President of the U.S., 1974-1977; Republican Rep. (MI)
Mandatory sentences for sale of hard drugs
The sale of hard drugs is tragically on the increase again. I have directed all agencies of the Federal Government to step up law enforcement efforts against those who deal in drugs.
In 1975, I am glad to report, Federal agents seized substantially more heroin coming into our country than in 1974.
As President, I have talked personally with the leaders of Mexico, Colombia, and Turkey to urge greater efforts by their Governments to control effectively the production and shipment of hard drugs.
I recommended months ago that the Congress enact mandatory fixed sentences for persons convicted of Federal crimes involving the sale of hard drugs. Hard drugs, we all know, degrade the spirit as they destroy the body of their users.
I sent a special message up to Capitol Hill. "For too long", I said, "the law has centered its attention more of the right of the criminal than on the victim of crime. It is high time that we reverse this trend."
I suggested mandatory prison terms for federal offenses committed with firearms or other dangerous weapons, and the same for hijackers, kidnapers and traffickers in hard drugs. Fines or prison terms,
I added, should relate directly to the gravity of the offense. Fines were woefully low and did nothing to deter offenders whose business was crime.
For antitrust legislation, I recommended that maximum fines be increased to $100,000 for an organization, to make the penalty commensurate with the crime.
Mandatory 5-year minimum sentence for 4 ounces of heroin
Rep. Ford co-sponsored H.R.5946, the Heroin Trafficking Act:
Increases penalties for manufacturing, distributing, or possessing a mixture or substance containing any amount of heroin or morphine.
States that if the person was convicted of the
offense with respect to less than 4 ounces of such substance, he would be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 5 years nor more than 15 years imprisonment, and could also be fined not more than $50,000.
Provides that if the perso
was convicted of the offense with respect to 4 ounces or more of such substance, he would be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of not less than 10 years, or for life, and could be fined not more than $100,000.
States that, if a person convicte
of an offense involving less than 4 ounces had previously been convicted of a felony relating to heroin or morphine, he shall be subject to a minimum mandatory sentence of not less than 10 years and may be fined not more than $100,000.