mandatory minimums http://wrkf.org en How Long Is Too Long? Congress Revisits Mandatory Sentences http://wrkf.org/post/how-long-too-long-congress-revisits-mandatory-sentences Mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug dealers were once viewed as powerful levers in the nation's war against drugs, a way to target traffickers, and punish kingpins and masterminds.<p>But Congress, which <a href="https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/99/hr5664#summary/libraryofcongress">approved the requirements in 1986</a> when crack-fueled crime gripped America's big cities, is now grappling with a present-day, lower-crime reality: Have the mandatory sentences put the wrong sort of offenders in prison, for too long, and at too high a cost for the nation to bear — both literally and f Thu, 09 Jan 2014 16:41:00 +0000 Liz Halloran 21078 at http://wrkf.org How Long Is Too Long? Congress Revisits Mandatory Sentences Report: Threat Of Mandatory Minimums Used To Coerce Guilty Pleas http://wrkf.org/post/report-threat-mandatory-minimums-used-coerce-guilty-pleas A new report says the Justice Department regularly coerces defendants in federal drug cases to plead guilty by threatening them with steep prison sentences or stacking charges to increase their time behind bars.<p>And for the first time, the study <a href="http://www.hrw.org/node/120933" target="_blank">by Human Rights Watch</a> finds that defendants who take their fate to a judge or jury face prison sentences on average 11 years longer than those who plead guilty.<p>In all, a whopping 97 percent of defendants plead guilty — no surprise, says author Jamie Fellner, given the enormous and essent Thu, 05 Dec 2013 05:03:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 19655 at http://wrkf.org Report: Threat Of Mandatory Minimums Used To Coerce Guilty Pleas