Sens. Leahy and Paul Introduce Bill to Undo Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

Pat Leahy & Rand Paul
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced S. 619, the bipartisan "Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013," allowing judges to set aside mandatory minimum sentences when they deem appropriate. It expands on legislation passed in 1994 that allows judges to waive five- and ten-year sentences for certain drug crimes. (We advocated for the original safety valve, during our first year as an organization.) The Leahy-Paul bill does this for all federal crimes.

Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, has a press release. So does FAMM.

Phil will be doing a feature story on the bill tomorrow, but not in time for tomorrow morning's email editions, so be sure to check Drug War Chronicle this week. (If you don't get the Chronicle by email, you can sign up here.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Time Wasted

Congress needs to pass legislation allowing for parole for Federal " inmates " . Especially for " drug crimes " .


well! we got the same problem in Minneapolis, MN. I don't think we should give for "drug crimes" a better chance.

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sick people can't get med's.

Because of the DEA Treating pharmacist and pharmacies and doctors Just Like Drug Dealers now in Jacksonville Florida you cannot get a Legal prescription Filled. The DEA is Causing widespread suffering, Disabled people living in chronic pain should not be treated like Drug addicted criminals. This should not happen in America, anyone with a Legal prescription should be able to go into any pharmacy and get the medication they need. Since when should the DEA be making healthcare choices for the Disabled Sick people living in chronic pain. But that is were we are now. Will anyone Help us? Or have the disabled people with chronic pain become collateral damage. This is wrong anyone with a brain should be able to see what the DEA is doing isn't the way to fix anything. They are creating widespread suffering to American people. Will anyone Help the helpless, will anyone say enough is enough. I hope anand pray so because I'm living the nightmare every day.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

Senator Paul also has a bill with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that would provide federal judges more discretion in sentencing.

Alice is in Wonderland

Anyone who has truly researched the drug war or its disturbing effects could never offer such an opinion. Ones disconnect from this issue speaks of ignorance, racism, intolerance, injustice and/or fear. Either one allows only a limited view of any issue, broaden your knowledge base before making such uneducated responses. This War has been wages almost exclusively in poor communities of color, where resources are few and many cannot properly defend themselves, and are then swept into the criminal justice system as a result of a social issue, destroying communities and families alike, leaving children to fend for themselves, which many times leads to delinquency,high drop out rates, crime and drug use, which many times leads these children into the very system of incarceration which created the plight they are attempting to escape.

Alice is in wonderland- The REAL disconnect

 As long as the prison system is farmed out to corporations that have to please their shareholders, and those shareholders are one and the same politicians who create Drug War policy and writing it into law, despite logic and reason staring everybody in the face, WE are just assets for 'Senator Shareholder' to make more money quick.

 Just remember, during the Reagan Administration, the CIA was green lighted to import and sell cocaine by the TON, clearly to by distributed in these same inner city neighborhoods of color, and Mr. 'Just say no' and his cronies were passing those mandatory minimums. Kinda funny it was only a few more years until somebody did the math and came up with the corporate prisons...

No help here

I have just received my answer to a complaint I filed over a year ago concerning the pain med situation as it exists in Vancouver,BC.That's right,the same city with the heroin program.I have been fighting for seven years for the pain meds recommended by my treating neurosurgeon.It took them over a year to say that they agreed with the doctor that refused to prescribe.That as an addict,I had a brain disease?So why is methadone OK when it destroys the liver and kidneys and opiates ,that are benign are a no no.This duplicity is beyond maddening.Methadone hasn't worked for me as an addict.Why would it be any better now?As for the mandatory minimums.They were a terrible idea then and are a terrible idea now.Like everything drug war related,it sux.

So it is easy to test for, as

So it is easy to test for, as long as the police have probable cause. Obviously you can't be tested on the side of the road but if an officer believes you aren't fit to drive then regardless of testing or not you will not be allowed back on the road.

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Organization like DPA, NORML,

Organization like DPA, NORML, MPP, and the Global Commission on Drug Policy have been doing just that: asking people to take the time to make an effort to end this 40 year failure. I was just sitting at home and had a good idea - picking an arbitrary date a month in the future would be less effective than making a rally cry around a date with meaning. Please stop nay saying me for having this idea today and not two weeks ago - help me get the word out.

Interesting, my opinion is

It sounds like a good development, but on the flip side, it does add prejudice to the equation, whether intentionally or not. Judges would now be able to determine whether they want to give an individual the mandatory minimum or not, and as we all know, Western society is still plagued with prejudice. So I agree with it on one end, but on the other, I think the bill would have to be elaborate on, so that it isn't so much in the hands of the judge to decide, but rather the fundamentals of the individuals acts. Keep it logical and concise and it will never fail.

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