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Ted Cruz on Drugs

 


Lower minimums and mandatory sentencing for drugs

As of February 2015, nearly half--49%--of [federal prison] inmates were sentenced for drug crimes. This has contributed to overcrowding. Federal prisons now house 39 percent more inmates than their capacity. It is far from clear whether this dramatic increase in incarceration for drug crimes has had enough of an effect on property and violent crime rates to justify the human toll of more incarceration.

Given the undeniable costs and dubious benefits of mass, longterm incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, Congress should take steps to give judges more flexibility in sentencing those offenders. The Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015, which was introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and of which I am an original cosponsor, is a significant stride in that direction. Among other things, the bill lowers minimum sentences, cutting them in half, to give judges more flexibility in determining the appropriate sentence based on the unique facts and circumstances of each case.

Source: Brennan Center for Justice essays, p. 33-4 , Apr 28, 2015

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Page last updated: Jul 09, 2015