Friday, May 28, 2010

DOJ Supports Judicious Use of Mandatory Sentences

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Sally Quillian Yates testified on behalf of the Justice Department at a Sentencing Commission Hearing. In her prepared testimony, Yates noted that "We support the continued but judicious use of mandatory minimum sentencing statutes."

Yates also expressed that there is not much support in Congress or within the federal criminal justice system for a major change in federal sentencing. Although she acknowledged that mandatory minimum sentencing laws have placed a strain on the federal prison system, disparately impact demographic groups and result in undue leniency for white collar crimes and some child exploitation offenses.

According to Main Justice, When pressed by members of the commission, Yates would not say which of the 170 mandatory minimums the Justice Department did not believe were necessary. She said the department’s position was that the commission should recommend to Congress which statutes should be revised, but said the DOJ would be happy to work with the commission.

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