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April 22, 2018

"Addicted to Incarceration: A Federal Judge Reveals Shocking Truths About Federal Sentencing and Fleeting Hopes for Reform"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new article authored by Mark W. Bennett just posted to SSRN.  Here is its abstract:

A federal district judge who has sentenced more than 4,000 offenders in multiple districts shares his experience and criticisms of current federal sentencing.  The article begins with a history of federal sentencing, then focuses on problems related to mandatory minimum sentencing and application of 21 U.S.C. § 851 prior conviction enhancements in federal drug cases. The next section exposes the myth of empirical federal sentencing guidelines.  The final section offers eight specific suggestions for federal sentencing reform.

April 22, 2018 at 06:23 PM | Permalink


Kinda proud that Judge Bennett writes at SJ. Just sayin'.

Posted by: shg | Apr 22, 2018 7:24:38 PM

I wish all judges had the same attitude Judge Bennett does. He uses common sense. Wow! What a novel thought!

Posted by: Shelly Thornton | Apr 23, 2018 9:45:22 AM

Excellent article, should be required reading for all federal judges!

Posted by: Tess Lopez | Apr 23, 2018 2:42:13 PM

It is an excellent article - one which I can agree about venting his disgust over the unfair use of 851 enhancements and mandatory minimum sentences faced by low level drug dealers/users. However, while he notes 8 substantial changes he'd like to see, many of them will, literally, take an act of Congress, to change. I, unfortunately, don't see that happening any time soon.

Posted by: atomicfrog | Apr 24, 2018 11:52:29 AM

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