Rand Paul: The madness of mandatory minimumsSubmitted by wolfe on Fri, 08/16/2013 - 09:07
By Senator Rand Paul -
I applaud President Obama’s recognition that mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders needs to end. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s announcement Monday to change federal drug-sentencing policy hopefully signaled a significant shift toward justice in addressing one of the most unjust federal policies of our time.
Mr. Holder called our current system “broken,” and he couldn’t be more right. Congress needs to consider and pass my bipartisan legislation to provide flexibility for federal judges in sentencing nonviolent offenders, which I have introduced with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat.
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Many of those people deserve to be in prison; however, some of them do not. They find themselves incarcerated owing to a misguided focus on draconian punishment that does nothing to enhance public safety. As Mr. Holder noted, incarceration rates have grown “at an astonishing rate — by almost 800 percent” since 1980.