Tag Archives: mandatory minimums

Life in Prison on First Nonviolent Offense

Fact: For nearly 20% of those serving life without parole for a nonviolent drug or property crime are doing so for their first offense.

Fact: In more than 80% of these cases, the judges had no choice but to sentence to life, based on mandatory-minimum offender statutes.

Fact: Only 20% of countries in the world allow a sentence of life without parole, typically for “murder or repeated violent crimes.”

Source: New York Times, Sentenced to a Slow Death

95% of federal convictions are without trials

Fact: 95% of federal convictions are without trials. For drug-related federal offenses, the figure is 97%.

Source: An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Human Rights Watch, covered by Salon

“The policy of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses has empowered the government to effectively nullify the constitutional right to a trial.” – George Will