Friday, May 21, 2021

New Jersey will review sentences imposed as mandatory minimums

While the governor and state legislators battle over a provision that would abolish mandatory minimum sentences for public corruption, the New Jersey Attorney General's Office effectively abolished mandatory minimums for six non-violent drug offenses, reported New

The office debuted an online application where inmates serving mandatory minimum sentences for a handful of crimes can request a court review and new sentence, according to a statement from Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. 

The directive effectively takes mandatory minimum sentences "off the table," the statement said.

Applications are open to anyone serving a minimum sentence for the following violations:            

·         Maintaining or operating a facility that produces controlled dangerous substances
·         Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance
·         Employing a juvenile in a drug distribution operation
·         Distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school
·         Distributing drugs to juveniles or leading a narcotics trafficking network

Inmates convicted of most state crimes are eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence, the office said. But mandatory minimums disqualify inmates from that protocol, and impose prison terms that must be served for a specific number of years before parole is considered.

If the court believes a prisoner applying for a new sentence presents a significant public danger based on aggravating factors, a prosecutor can request a new mandatory minimum, but it must be shorter than the original minimum imposed, under the new policy.

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