Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 113th Congress

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 113th Congress

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Defendants convicted of violating certain federal criminal laws face the prospect of mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment. Bills offered during the 113th Congress would have supplemented, enhanced, or eliminated some of these. The most all-encompassing, H.R. 1695 (Representative Scott (VA)) and S. 619 (Senator Paul) would have permitted federal courts to impose a sentence below an otherwise applicable mandatory minimum when necessary to avoid violating certain statutory directives. Federal drug statutes feature a series of mandatory minimums. S. 1410 (Senator Durbin)/H.R. 3382 (Representative Labrador) and S. 1410 (Judiciary), as voted by the Judiciary Committee, would have reduced several of the most severe of these. H.R. 3088 (Representative Waters) would have eliminated virtually all of them. The Durbin bill would also have enlarged the safety valve exception. The safety valve provision allows a federal court to sentence qualified defendants below the statutory mandatory minimum in drug cases, if the defendant has a virtually spotless criminal record, that is, has not more than one criminal history point. S. 1410 would have expanded safety valve eligibility to defendants with a slightly more extensive criminal record. Elsewhere, H.R. 2372 (Representative Scott (VA)) would have dropped the sentencing distinction between powder and crack cocaine by striking the cocaine base specific references. Two proposals would have addressed the Fair Sentencing Act's retroactive application. One, H.R. 2369 (Representative Scott (VA)) would have permitted a court to reduce, consistent with the act, a previously imposed sentence for crack cocaine possession or trafficking. The second, S. 1410 (Senator Durbin), would also have permitted a court to reduce such sentences, but would have limited the authority to instances in which the defendant had not been previously granted or denied a similar reduction. The firearms bills were mixed. H.R. 2405 (Representative Scott (VA)) would have stripped the mandatory minimums from 924(c) that outlaws possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence or serious drug offense. On the other hand, H.R. 722 (Representative King (NY)) would have added two years to each of 924(c)'s mandatory minimums, if the firearm were stolen or had had its serial number defaced. H.R. 404 (Representative Schiff) would have established a two-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for violation of either of the two firearm acquisition false statement (straw purchaser) proscriptions, if the offense involved two or more firearms and an intent to subsequently transfer them to an ineligible person. H.R. 117 (Representative Holt) would have required the Attorney General to establish a system of handgun registration and licensing. Possession without a federal license or of an unregistered handgun would have been punishable by imprisonment for not less than 15 years. Several proposals would have added or enhanced the mandatory minimums associated with individual offenses. For instance, S. 1410 (Judiciary) would have set new mandatory minimums for various weapons and sex offenses. H.R. 1468 (Representative Blackburn) would have created a separate crime for anyone who, during and in relation to a computer fraud or abuse violation, substantially impaired or attempted to impair the operation of a critical infrastructure computer system or an associated critical infrastructure. H.R. 457 (Representative Issa) would have established mandatory minimum penalties for an alien previously removed from the U.S. for his criminal activities. H.R. 1577 and S. 698 would have expanded the class of protected public servants; increased the penalties associated with homicides committed against them; established mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment for killing or assaulting them; and created a new flight-to-avoid-prosecution offense for fugitives accused of such crimes, punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonm"show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 24 pages
  • 215.9 x 279.4 x 1.52mm | 113.4g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507736746
  • 9781507736746