Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Elements, Considerations & Statutes

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Federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes (mandatory minimums) demand that execution or incarceration follow criminal conviction. Among other things, they cover drug dealing, murdering federal officials, and using a gun to commit a federal crime. They have been a feature of federal sentencing since the dawn of the Republic. They circumscribe judicial sentencing discretion, although they impose few limitations upon prosecutorial discretion, or upon the President's power to pardon. They have been criticized as unthinkingly harsh and incompatible with a rational sentencing guideline system; yet they have also been embraced as hallmarks of truth in sentencing and a certain means of incapacitating the criminally dangerous. This book provides an overview of federal statutes and a discussion of some of the constitutional challenges they have faced.