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Impact Estimates of DOJ Policy Changes and Proposed Legislation Regarding Mandatory Minimums

PAUL J. HOFER Policy Analyst Sentencing Resource Counsel Project, Federal Public and Community Defenders In recent months, Attorney General Eric Holder has issued new policies regarding the application of mandatory minimum penalties in drug trafficking cases. He also vowed to work with Congress to enact legislation reforming mandatory minimum statutes, specifically citing the proposed ``Justice Safety Valve Act'' and the ``Smarter Sentencing Act.'' Key differences among the proposals are 1) whether they apply to all mandatory penalties, or only those applicable to drug trafficking offenses, and 2) whether they also direct changes to the sentencing guidelines. The Federal Public and Community Defenders used data from the U. S. Sentencing Commission to estimate the number of offenders who might benefit annually from the proposals. The following combines three memoranda that were developed in September and October, 2013, and made available to defense attorneys and interested policymakers. I. Impact of Holder Memo The defendant's relevant conduct does not involve the use of violence, the credible threat of violence, the possession of a weapon, the trafficking of drugs to or with minors, or the death or serious bodily injury of any person; Defendants who received the guideline adjustment under §2D1.1(b)(2) for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Federal Sentencing Reporter University of California Press
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