“Smart on Crime”: Re-Examining Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Author: Cameron Downer, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

A Plea for Reform

On March 30, 2012, United States District Judge, John Gleeson, urged Attorney General Eric Holder to reform mandatory minimum sentences.[1] In an opinion relating to the mandatory five-year sentence imposed on a low-level drug dealer, Judge Gleeson addressed the injustice that occurs when mandatory minimum sentences are applied to low-level drug offenders.[2] In closing, the Judge stated that he had reason to believe that Eric Holder would be receptive to his request for reform.[3] Judge Gleeson was right.

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