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Mandatory Minimums Virtually Ignored Except in Drug and Weapons Cases


June 1993

Despite more than 60 statutes containing mandatory minimums under federal law, only four, which cover drug and weapons offenses, are used frequently, and these account for 94 percent of all federal mandatory minimum cases, according to Criminal Justice Policy Foundation senior fellow Henry Scott Wallace (Henry Scott Wallace, "Mandatory Minimums And The Betrayal Of Sentencing: A Legislative Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde," Federal Bar News & Journal, March/April 1993, p. 158).

Mandatory minimums are both unjust and ineffectual in reducing crime, according to Wallace. He is guardedly optimistic about repeal of mandatory minimums in the near future. The article provides an excellent bibliography of legal citations for attorneys and scholars examining the issue.