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Report to Congress: Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System

“This report assesses the impact of mandatory minimum penalties on federal sentencing, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in “Booker v. United States”, which rendered the federal sentencing guidelines advisory” (p. xxv).

Twelve chapters follow an executive summary:

  • overview;
  • history of mandatory minimum penalties and statutory relief mechanisms;
  • the interaction between mandatory minimum penalties and the sentencing guidelines;
  • changes in the federal criminal justice system, mandatory minimum penalties, and the federal prison populations;
  • policy views about mandatory minimum penalties;
  • the use of mandatory minimum penalties in 13 selected districts;
  • statistical overview of mandatory minimum penalties;
  • mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses;
  • mandatory minimum penalties for firearm offenses;
  • mandatory minimum penalties for sex offenses;
  • mandatory minimum penalties for identity theft offenses;
  • and conclusions and recommendations.

Of those individuals sentenced in federal courts during fiscal year 2010, 27.2% where convicted of a crime associated with a mandatory minimum penalty, with 77.4% of these being for drug trafficking offenses.