mandatory minimums

Impact of Mandatory Minimum Penalties on the Federal Criminal Justice System

"[D]rug mandatory minimum penalties continue to have a significant impact on the sentencing of drug offenders and on the federal prison population. The data demonstrates that offenders convicted of an offense carrying a drug mandatory minimum penalty continue to receive longer sentences than offenders not convicted of an offense carrying a drug mandatory minimum. These longer sentences, coupled with the fact that drug offenses are the most common offenses carrying mandatory minimum penalties, considerably affect the prison population.

Federal Drug Offenders Sentenced in Fiscal Year 2015, by Drug Type

"Of the 20,115 drug offenders sentenced in fiscal year 2015, slightly less than one-half (47.9%) were convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty.
"• Half (50.7%) of drug offenders convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty remained subject to that penalty at sentencing.
"• The average sentence for drug offenders subject to a mandatory minimum penalty at sentencing was 124 months (with relief, 62 months) compared to 39 months for drug offenders not convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences in the Federal System FY2010, by Drug Type

"Approximately two-thirds (66.1%, n=15,831) of the 23,964 drug offenders in fiscal year 2010 were convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty. More than one-quarter (28.1%, n=4,447) of drug offenses carrying a mandatory minimum penalty involved powder cocaine, followed by crack cocaine (24.7%, n=3,905), methamphetamine (21.9%, n=3,466), marijuana (17.2%, n=2,725), heroin (6.9%, n=1,098) and other drugs (1.1%, n=172). See Figure 8-1.

Federal Defendants Convicted of Offenses Carrying a Mandatory Minimum Sentence, FY2015, by Offense Type

In Fiscal Year 2015, according to the US Sentencing Commission:
"In 22.2% of all cases, the offender was convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty.
"• Drug trafficking offenses accounted for over two-thirds (66.2%) of the offenses carrying a mandatory minimum penalty, followed by firearms (15.4%) and child pornography offenses (8.8%).
"• Almost 40 percent (39.2%) of offenders convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum were relieved of the mandatory minimum penalty because:

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