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September 4, 2019

Some recent data on mandatory minimum penalties in the federal sentencing system

Though I did not get us all the way through our discussion of important mandatory minimum cases like McMillan and Haymond (we will wrap these up next week), I think we covered a lot of useful ground in our extended discussions of mandatory minimum sentencing in class today.  And, as a useful follow-up, everyone is encouraged to take a few minutes to check out at the data assembled by the US Sentencing Commission in this short "Quick Facts" document about mandatory minimum penalties applied in the federal system.  Here are just some of many interesting tidbits from the document:

Of all cases carrying a mandatory minimum penalty:
-- 70.5% were drug trafficking;
-- 5.7% were child pornography;
-- 5.5% were fraud;
-- 5.4% were firearms;
-- 4.4% were sexual abuse.

40.6% of offenders convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum were relieved of the penalty because:
-- 18.9% received relief through the safety valve provision;
-- 16.3% provided the government with substantial assistance;
-- 5.4% received relief through both.

The average sentence length was:
-- 139 months for those subject to the mandatory minimum;
-- 65 months for those receiving relief;
-- 26 months for offenders who were not convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum.

September 4, 2019 in Data on sentencing, Sentencing data | Permalink


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