Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes







Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress



Federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes limit the discretion of a sentencing court to
impose a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment or the death penalty. They have a
long history and come in several varieties: the not-less-than, the flat sentence, and piggyback
versions.
Critics argue that mandatory minimums undermine the rationale and operation of the federal
sentencing guidelines which are designed to eliminate unwarranted sentencing disparity. Counter
arguments suggest that the guidelines themselves operate to undermine individual sentencing
discretion and that the ills attributed to other mandatory minimums are more appropriately
assigned to prosecutorial discretion or other sources.
State and federal mandatory minimums have come under constitutional attack on several grounds
over the years, and have generally survived. The Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual
punishments clause does bar mandatory capital punishment, and apparently bans any term of
imprisonment that is grossly disproportionate to the seriousness of the crime for which it is
imposed. The Supreme Court, however, has declined to overturn sentences imposed under the
California three strikes law and challenged as cruel and unusual. The constitutional rule – that any
fact that increases the maximum penalty for crime must be charged in the indictment, presented
for jury determination, and proven beyond a reasonable doubt – has no application to a fact that
triggers a mandatory minimum penalty, at least with regard to facts traditionally considered
sentencing factors. It does mean, however, that federal sentence guidelines remain important
considerations but are no longer binding. Double jeopardy, ex post facto, due process, separation
of powers and equal protection challenges have been generally unavailing.
Lists of various federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes are appended as is a
bibliography of legal materials.
This report is available in an abbreviated form without its footnotes, citations to authority, or
appendices as CRS Report RS21598, Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes: An
Abbreviated Overview, by Charles Doyle.






Introduc tion ............................................................................................................................... 1
Types of Mandatory Minimums................................................................................................1
Histor y ....................................................................................................................................... 4
Mandatory Minimums and the Sentencing Guidelines.............................................................7
Constitutional Boundaries.......................................................................................................10
Cruel and Unusual Punishment.........................................................................................10
Juries, Grand Juries and Due Process...............................................................................16
Separation of powers.........................................................................................................18
Crack and Equal Protection..............................................................................................18
Recidivism, Ex Post Facto and Double Jeopardy.............................................................20
LIST OF FEDERAL MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCING STATUTES.......................................21
Imprisonment for not less than a specified term of years or life.......................................21
Death or imprisonment for any term of years or for life...................................................27
Death or imprisonment for life.........................................................................................28
Imprisonment for any term of years or life.......................................................................30
Imprisonment for life........................................................................................................33
Imprisonment for not more than some multiple of the sentence for a predicate
offens e ........................................................................................................................ .... 34
Bibliogr aphy ............................................................................................................................ 34
Books and Articles............................................................................................................34
Notes and Comments........................................................................................................38
Author Contact Information..........................................................................................................39





Federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes (mandatory minimums) demand that execution 1
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 23
discretion, although they impose few limitations upon prosecutorial discretion, or upon the 4
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 is a brief
overview of federal statutes in the area and a discussion of some of the constitutional challenges 5
they have faced.
Mandatory minimums come in many stripes, including some whose status might be disputed. The
most widely recognized are those that demand that offenders be sentenced to imprisonment for 6
“not less than” a designated term of imprisonment. Some are triggered by the nature of the

1 Although others may differ, this report does not classify as mandatory minimum sentencing statutes those statutory
proscriptions that call for a mandatory minimum fine unless they also call for a mandatory minimum term of
imprisonment.
2 Commentators have defined mandatory minimums in a number of ways, see e.g., Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Coupled with Multi-Facet Interventions: An Effective Response to Domestic Violence, 6 UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT
OF COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW 51, 68 (2001), quoting, Determinate Sentencing and Judicial Participation in Democratic
Punishment, 108 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 947 (1995)(mandatory minimums require judges to impose a specified
minimum prison term if an offense meets certain statutory criteria); Lowenthal, Mandatory Sentencing Laws:
Undermining the Effectiveness of Determinate Sentencing Reform, 81 CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 61, 64 (1993)
(mandatory sentencing statutes generally provide that when a specified circumstance exists in connection with the
commission of a crime (1) the court must sentence the defendant to prison and (2) the duration of the defendant’s
incarceration will be substantially longer than it would have been in the absence of the circumstance); Bernstein,
Discretion Redux—Mandatory Minimums, Federal Judges, and theSafety Valve Provision of the 1994 Crime Act, 20
UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON LAW REVIEW 765, 768 (1995)(ellipse in the original)(“[m]andatory minimums, which are most
commonly applied in drug cases, are statutory provisions calling for a sentence ofno less than . . .’ for a given offense
(adjusted for criminal record)”).
The definition used here i.e., any statute that effectively requires a federal judge, at a minimum, to sentence a
convicted defendant to a term of imprisonment is a mandatory minimum – is designed to avoid exclusion of any
provisions that should arguably be listed.
3 E.g., 18 U.S.C. 3553(e)(Upon motion of the Government, the court shall have the authority to impose a sentence
below a level established by statute as minimum sentence so as to reflect a defendant’s substantial assistance in the
investigation or prosecution of another person who has committed an offense. . .”)(emphasis added). Prosecutorial
discretion is somewhat confined, however, by the courts’ authority to accept or reject plea bargains, F.R.Crim.P. 32,
and their consideration of relevant but uncharged misconduct under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, U.S.S.G.
§1B1.3.
4 E.g., U.S.Const. Art.II, §2 (The President . . . shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against
the United States . . .”).
5 Various parts of the report are drawn from earlier reports, principally, CRS Report RL30281, Federal Mandatory
Minimum Sentencing Statutes: A List of Citations with Captions, Introductory Comments, and Bibliography, by Charles
Doyle (Aug. 14, 1999).
6 E.g., 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)(. . . any person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking
crime . . . for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the United States uses or carries a firearm . . . shall in
addition to the punishment provided for such crime . . . (i) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 5
years . . .”).





offense,7 others by the criminal record of the offender.8 A few members of this “not less than”
category are less “mandatory” than others, because Congress has provided a partial escape hatch
or safety valve. For example, several of the drug-related mandatory minimums are subject to a
“safety valve” for small time, first time offenders that may render their minimum penalties less 9
than mandatory, or at least less severe. Some of the other “not-less-than”mandatory minimums
purport to permit the court to sentence an offender to a fine rather than to a mandatory term of 10
imprisonment.
A second generally recognized category of mandatory minimums consists of the flat or single 11
sentence statutes, the vast majority of which call for life imprisonment. Closely related are the

7 E.g., 18 U.S.C. 844(f)(1)(Whoever maliciously damages or destroys . . . by means of fire or an explosive any . . .
personal or real property . . . owned or possessed by . . . the United States . . . shall be imprisoned for not less than 5
years and not more than 20 years . . .”).
8 E.g., 18 U.S.C. 2252(b)(1)(Whoever violates . . . paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) [relating to commercial
activities with respect child pornography] shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 5 years and not
more than 20 years. . . .”).
9Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of an offense under section 401, 404, or 406 of the
Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841, 844, 846) or section 1010 or 1013 of the Controlled Substances Import and
Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960, 963), the court shall impose a sentence pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the United
States Sentencing Commission under section 994 of title 28 without regard to any statutory minimum sentence, if the
court finds at sentencing, after the Government has been afforded the opportunity to make a recommendation, that
(1) the defendant does not have more than 1 criminal history point, as determined under the sentencing guidelines;
(2) the defendant did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon
(or induce another participant to do so) in connection with the offense;
(3) the offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury to any person;
(4) the defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense, as determined under
the sentencing guidelines and was not engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise, as defined in section 408 of the
Controlled Substances Act; and
(5) not later than the time of the sentencing hearing, the defendant has truthfully provided to the Government all
information and evidence the defendant has concerning the offense or offenses that were part of the same course of
conduct or of a common scheme or plan, but the fact that the defendant has no relevant or useful other information to
provide or that the Government is already aware of the information shall not preclude a determination by the court that
the defendant has complied with this requirement,” 18 U.S.C. 3553(f).
When the “safety value”can be claimed, the Sentencing Guidelines call for a minimal offense level of 17, if the
otherwise applicable mandatory minimum is at least 5 years, U.S.S.G. §5C1.2(b). An offense level of 17 translates to a
permissible sentencing range of between 2 and 2.5 years imprisonment, U.S.S.G. Ch.5 Pt.A (Sentencing Table), and is
beyond the level for which an offender may be sentenced either to probation or to split sentence of imprisonment and
some other less restrictive form of supervision, Id.; U.S.S.C. §5C1.1.
10 E.g.,, 2 U.S.C. 390 (Every person who, having been subpenaed as a witness under this chapter [relating to
Congressional contested elections] to give testimony or to produce documents, willfully makes default, or who, having
appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the contested election case, shall be deemed guilty of a
misdemeanor punishable by fine of not more than $1,000 nor less than $100 or imprisoned for not less than one month
nor more than twelve months, or both)(emphasis added).
Although these might seem to stretch the definition (i.e., statutes that require a judge to impose a minimum sentence of
imprisonment), they are mentioned because the Sentencing Commission included them within its definition of
mandatory minimums, United States Sentencing Commission, Special Report to the Congress: Mandatory Minimum
Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System (Commission Report), 4-5 (1991)(Under some statutes, a mandatory
prison term is only required when the court otherwise determines to impose a sentence of imprisonment”).
Moreover, they highlight instances where Congress might have been thought to establish a mandatory minimum but
where its treatment of the fine to be imposed may leave its intentions in doubt. See e.g., 18 U.S.C. 242 (Whoever. . .
willfully subjects any person . . . to the deprivation of any rights . . . if death results . . . shall be fined under this title, or
imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both. . . . .”)(emphasis added).
11 E.g., 18 U.S.C. 1651 (Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and
(continued...)





capital punishment statutes that require imposition of either the death penalty or imprisonment for 12
life, or death or imprisonment either for life or for some term of years.
The “piggyback” statutes make up a third class. The piggyback statutes are not themselves
mandatory minimums but sentence offenders by reference to underlying statutes including those 13
that impose mandatory minimums.
Until the Supreme Court intervened in Booker v. United States to eliminate the binding effect of 14
the Sentencing Guidelines, the final and least obvious group was comprised of statutes whose
violation resulted in the imposition of a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment by operation
of law, or more precisely by operation of the Sentencing Reform Act and the Sentencing 15
Guidelines issued in its name. After Booker and the line of cases that followed, the Guidelines
cannot fairly be characterized as a source of mandatory minimum sentences, although they 16
continue to tilt heavily towards incarceration.

(...continued)
is afterwards brought into or found in the United States shall be imprisoned for life)(emphasis added).
12 E.g., 18 U.S.C. 1201(a)(Whoever unlawfully seizes, confines, inveigles, decoys, kidnaps, abducts, or carries away
and holds for ransom or reward or otherwise any person . . . if death of any person results, shall be punished by death or
life imprisonment”).
Most observers might exclude from this category capital crimes made punishable by death, life imprisonment, or
imprisonment for any term of years, under the theory that a sentence of imprisonment for zero years is a sentence of
any term of years. Yet this can hardly have been the intent of Congress given the seriousness of the offense to which
the sentence attaches.
13 E.g., 18 U.S.C. 1114 (“Whoever kills . . . any officer or employee of the United States . . . shall be punished (1) in
the case of murder, as provided under section 1111. . . .).
14 543 U.S. 220 (2005). Booker left the Guidelines in place and essentially intact, but they continue to have a large,
rather than a commanding, presence within the federal sentencing scheme, see e.g., Rita v. United States, 127 S.Ct.
2456 (2007)(appellate courts may consider a sentence within the accurately identified Guideline range reasonable);
Gall v. United States, 128 U.S. 586 (2007)(sentencing courts must begin by determining the appropriate Guideline
range for the case at hand and then consider the other sentencing factors identified in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a); they may not
consider a sentence within the Guideline range per se reasonable nor one outside that range per se unreasonable;
appellate courts are to review trial court sentences under a deferential abuse of discretion standard).
15 The Sentencing Commission did not consider its Guidelines mandatory minimum provisions, Commission Report, at
4 (footnote 3 of the Commission’s Report in brackets) (Mandatory minimums,’mandatory minimum sentencing
provisions,’ and related terms refer to statutory provisions requiring the imposition of at least a specified minimum
sentence when criteria specified in the relevant statute have been met. [Consistent with the intent of the statutory
directive for this Report, only minimums required by statute are considered to be ‘mandatory minimums. Not included
in the definitions (and in fact contrasted with mandatory minimums in a later chapter of this Report) are sentences
required by the federal sentencing guidelines . . .]”). The Sentencing Guidelines, however, are promulgated pursuant to
statutory authority and before Booker often curtailed the authority of a sentencing court to impose a sentence that did
not include a term of imprisonment – upon conviction for violation of a statute which on its face is not a mandatory
minimum.
16 This is particularly so because the Guidelines impose constraints on the option of probation that make a sentence
other than incarceration more uncommon than was once the case: “Prior to the [Sentencing Reform Act], the prison to
probation ratio in federal criminal sentencing was about sixty to forty. Congress said nothing in the statute about
abolishing or even drastically curtailing probation. . . . The Commission, however, drafted guidelines containing a
presumptive sentence of imprisonment for every felony in the United States Code. Near the bottom of the scale of
crimes, it established several ranges in which a court could select either prison or probation. . . . The result is that the
incidence of probation since the guidelines has been cut by more than half (15.5%), Freed, Federal Sentencing in the
Wake of Guidelines: Unacceptable Limits on the Discretion of Sentencers, 101 YALE LAW JOURNAL 1681, 1706-707
(1992). According to the most recent, publicly available statistics, the current incidence of probation is 7.5% with an
additional 3.9% of offenders sentenced to some mix of incarceration and probation, United States Sentencing
Commission, Federal Sentencing Statistics by State, District & Circuit (October 1, 2005, through September 30, 2006),
(continued...)





Mandatory minimums have been with us from the beginning. In fact, the history of our criminal
sentencing practices is the story of increased reliance upon judicial or administrative discretion in 17
order to mute the law’s severity in individual cases, followed by increased limitations on such 18
discretion in order to curb the resulting arbitrary and discriminatory disparities in punishment. It
is a saga in which “competing theories of mandatory and discretionary sentencing have been in
varying degrees of ascendancy or decline,” Harmelin v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957, 999 (Kennedy,
J. concurring).
Severity and a want of discretion marked the early criminal law. The sentence which followed a
felony conviction was death; except in rare instances no other punishment could be imposed.
Over time the courts were given some discretion over sentencing, but the choices were hardly 19
lenient; and corporal punishment and banishment were common.
Yet even early on there were efforts to ease the law’s severity. Both the accused and the convicted 20
could be pardoned at the King’s will. While Parliament regularly increased the number of
crimes, it often replaced common law capital offenses with statutory crimes defined as
misdemeanors or subject to the benefit of clergy. The result was the same in either case, a reduced

(...continued)
Table 4, available on Dec. 21, 2007 at http://www.ussc.gov/JUDPACK/JP2006.htm.
17 Blackstone, COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND (1765); Chitty, A PRACTICAL TREATISE ON CRIMINAL LAW
(3d Amer. ed. 1836); Stephen, HISTORY OF THE CRIMINAL LAW OF ENGLAND (1883); Rubin, THE LAW OF CRIMINAL
CORRECTION (2d ed. 1973).
18 Frankel, CRIMINAL SENTENCES: LAW WITHOUT ORDER (1973); Frankel, Lawlessness in Sentencing, 41 UNIVERSITY OF
CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW 1 (1972); O’Donnell, Churgin & Curtis, TOWARD A JUST AND EFFECTIVE SENTENCING
SYSTEM: AGENDA FOR LEGISLATIVE REFORM (1977); Stith & Cabranes, FEAR OF JUDGING (1998).
19 Blackstones summary on the eve of the Revolutionary War marks the evolution of English sentencing law to that
point: “. . . [T]he court must pronounce that judgment, which the law hath annexed to the crime . . . . Of these some are
capital, which extend to the life of the offender, and consist generally in being hanged by the neck till dead; though in
very atrocious crimes other circumstances of terror, pain, or disgrace are superadded: as, in treasons of all kinds, being
drawn or dragged to the place of execution; in high treason affecting the king’s person or government, embowelling
alive, beheading, and quartering; and in murder, a public dissection. And, in case of any treason committed by a
female, the judgment is to be burned alive. But the humanity of the English nation has authorized, by a tacit consent, an
almost general mitigation of such part of these judgments as savour of torture or cruelty: a sledge or hurdle being
usually allowed to such traitors as are condemned to be drawn; and there being very few instances (and those accidental
or by negligence) of any person’s being embowelled or burned, till previously deprived of sensation by strangling.
Some punishments consist in exile or banishment, by abjuration of the realm, or transportation to the American
colonies; others in loss of liberty, by perpetual or temporary imprisonment. Some extent to confiscation, by forfeiture
of lands, or movables, or both, or of the profits of lands for life: others induce a disability, of holding offices or
employments, being heirs, executors, and the like. Some, though rarely, occasion a mutilation or dismembering, by
cutting off the hand or ears: others fix a lasting stigma on the offender by slitting the nostrils, or branding the hand or
face. Some are merely pecuniary, by stated or discretionary fines: and lastly there are others, that consist principally in
their ignominy, though most of them are mixed with some degree of corporal pain; and theses are inflicted chiefly for
crimes, which arise from indigence, or which render even opulence disgraceful. Such as whipping, hard labour in the
house of correction, the pillory, the stocks, and the ducking stool.” 4 Blackstone, COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF
ENGLAND 369-70 (1769).
20 ID. at 390; Kobil, The Quality of Mercy Strained: Wresting the Pardoning Power From the King, 69 TEXAS LAW
REVIEW 569, 583-89 (1991).





number of capital offenses.21 In our own country, state legislatures drastically curtailed the 22
number of capital offenses soon after the Revolution.
When the first Congress assembled, it enacted several mandatory minimums, each of them a 23
capital offense. The nineteenth century, however, witnessed the appearance of a host of
discretionary schemes designed to ease the harshness of criminal law in individual cases. The
courts could suspend sentence and were vested with broad authority in the selection of those 2425
sentences they chose to impose. Probation and parole were born and became prominent.
By late in the century at the federal level, the number of mandatory capital offenses had been 2627
reduced, and while the number of mandatory minimums had increased, most federal criminal
statutes merely established a maximum penalty and left to the discretion of the courts sentences to
imposed within the maximum. The 1909 federal criminal code revision eliminated most 28
mandatory minimums; soon thereafter federal prisoners were made eligible for parole after

21 Hall, THEFT, LAW AND SOCIETY, 114-32 (1952); Rubin, supra footnote 20 at 180.
22 1 Blumstein, Cohen, Martin & Tonry, RESEARCH ON SENTENCING: THE SEARCH FOR REFORM, 58 (1983); Rothman,
THE DISCOVERY OF THE ASYLUM: SOCIAL ORDER AND DISORDER IN THE NEW REPUBLIC, 61 (rev.ed. 1990).
23 The Act of April 30, 1790 declared that “persons . . . adjudged guilty of treason against the United States . . . shall
suffer death,” 1 Stat. 112; the same sentence awaited those who committed murder within the exclusive jurisdiction of
the United States, 1 Stat. 113, or engaged in piracy, 1 Stat. 113-14, or counterfeiting, 1 Stat. 115.
24 Rubin, supra footnote 20 at 180-84.
25 Zalman, The Rise and Fall of the Indeterminate Sentence, 24 WAYNE LAW REVIEW 45 (1977); Lindsay,
Indeterminate Sentence and Parole System, 16 JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW & CRIMINOLOGY 9 (1925); Rubin, THE LAW
OF CRIMINAL CORRECTION, 205-208, 619-22 (2d ed. 1973).
26 Even treason, at the discretion of the court, was made punishable by imprisonment at hard labor for not less than five
years rather than by death, Rev.Stat. §5332; and the penalty for forgery or counterfeiting of U.S. securities was reduced
from death to imprisonment for not more than fifteen years, Rev.Stat. §5414.
27 Mail robbery, for instance, became punishable by imprisonment at hard labor for not less than five years and not
more than ten years; by imprisonment for life for a 2d offense or if the custodian of the mail were wounded or his life
placed in jeopardy by the use of dangerous weapons, Rev.Stat. §5472.
28 As the Joint Committee on Revision of the Laws explained: “The committee has also adopted a uniform method of
fixing in all offenses not punishable by death the maximum punishment only, leaving the minimum to the discretion of
the trial judge.
“The criminal law necessarily subjects to its corrective discipline all who violate its provisions. The weak and the
vicious, the first offender and the atrocious criminal, the mere technical transgressor and the expert in crime are alike
guilty of the same offense. In the one case the utmost severity of punishment can scarcely provide the protection to
which society is entitled; in the other anything except as nominal punishment may effectually prevent the reclamation
of the offender.
The argument most frequently urged against leaving the minimum punishments to the discretion of the trial judge is
that it affords parties convicted of crime of a heinous character an opportunity to obtain immunity because of the
weakness or dishonesty of judges. It has been well said by a distinguished authority upon this subject that
Instances of the former are rare, and of the latter none is believed ever to have existed. The purity of our judiciary
is one of things which calumny has as yet left untouched.
This recommendation will be found to be in accordance with the humane spirit of advanced criminal jurisprudence.
The early English statutes were proverbially cruel; the gravest crimes and the most trivial offenses alike invoked the
penalty of death. Our own crimes act of 1790 reflected this barbarous spirit and denounced the death penalty for
thirteen distinct offenses, but this spirit of vindictive retribution has entirely disappeared. We have abolished the
punishment of death in all except three cases—treason, murder, and rape—and have provided that even in these cases it
may be modified to imprisonment for life; and as humane judges in England availed themselves of the most technical
irregularities in pleadings and proceedings as an excuse for discharging prisoners from the cruel rigors of the common
law, so jurors here often refuse to convict for offenses attended with extenuating circumstances rather than submit the
offender to what in their judgment is the cruel requirement of a law demanding a minimum punishment,” S.Rep.No.10,
(continued...)





service of a third of their sentences (after fifteen years in the case of prisoners with life 29
sentences); and federal courts shortly thereafter received the authority to suspend the imposition 30
or execution of sentence and impose probation. The 1948 federal criminal code revision took
much the same tack as its predecessor: it eliminated many, but not all, of the “not-less-than” 31
mandatory minimums and continued in place most of the “flat” sentence mandatory minimums.
By mid-twentieth century, a well respected commentator could observe that “[t]he
individualization of penal dispositions, principally through the institutions of the indeterminate 32
sentence, probation, and parole, is a development whose value few would contest.” The contest 33
was joined soon thereafter.
Driven by concerns that broad discretion had led to rootless sentencing, unjustifiable in its
leniency in some instances and in its severity in others, legislative bodies moved to curtail 34
discretionary sentencing on several fronts. Determinate sentencing, sentencing commissions and 3536
guidelines, and mandatory minimum sentences became more prevalent. Parole and probation 37
were abolished or greatly restricted in several jurisdictions.

(...continued)
60th Cong., 1st Sess. 14 (1908).
29 Act of June 25, 1910, §1 36 Stat. 819, and Act of Jan. 23, 1913, 37 Stat. 650.
30 Act of March 4, 1925, 43 Stat. 1259.
31The minimum punishment provisions were omitted because of the courts power, under 3651 of this title, to suspend
sentence whenever the crime or offense is not punishable by death or life imprisonment, and, also, to conform with thst
policy adopted by the codifiers of the 1909 Criminal Code,” H.R.Rep. 304, 80 Cong., 1 Sess. Reviser’s Notes A16
(1947).
32 Kadish, Legal Norm and Discretion in the Police and Sentencing Process, 75 HARVARD LAW REVIEW 904, 915
(1962).
33 Davis, DISCRETIONARY JUSTICE: A PRELIMINARY INQUIRY (1969); Packer, THE LIMITS OF THE CRIMINAL SANCTION
(1968); Frankel, CRIMINAL SENTENCES: LAW WITHOUT ORDER (1973).
34 A determinate sentence is a sentence for a fixed period of time, a flat sentence; an indeterminate sentence is one
whose duration is specifically fixed but is determined by prison and/or parole authorities, BLACKS LAW DICTIONARY th
1367 (7 ed. 1999); see generally, Indeterminate Sentencing: An Analysis of Sentencing in America, 70 SOUTHERN
CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 1717 (1997); Gardner, The Determinate Sentencing Movement and The Eighth Amendment:
Excessive Punishment Before and After Rummel v. Estelle, 1980 DUKE LAW JOURNAL 1103, 1104-105; Do Judicial
“Scarlet Letters Violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment?, 16 HASTINGS
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW QUARTERLY 115, 118-19 (1988) (contrasting 7 indeterminate sentencing structure states with 9
determinate sentence states).
35 Robinson, A Sentencing System for the 21st Century?, 66 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 1, 24-5 (1987). Sentencing guidelines
do not necessarily circumscribe judicial sentencing discretion; the guidelines may simply be advisory. In whatever
form, guidelines are or have been authorized for almost half of the states: Ala.Code §§12-25-1 to 12-25-12; Ark.Code
Ann. §§16-90-801 to 16-90-804; Cal.Penal Code §1170 (repealed); Conn.Gen.Stat.Ann. §51-10c; Del.Code Ann. tit.11,
§§6580, 6581; Fla.Stat. Ann. §§921.001 to 921.242; Ill. Comp.Stat.Ann. ch.730, §5/5-10-1 (repealed); Kan.Stat.Ann.
§§21-4701 to 21-4728; La.Rev. Stat.Ann. §§15:321 to 15:326 (repealed); Md.Crim.Pro. §§6-201 to 6-213;
Mass.Gen.Laws Ann. ch.221E, §§1-4; Mich.Comp.Laws Ann. §§769.31 -739.34; Minn.Stat.Ann. ch.244 App.;
Mo.Ann.Stat. §558.019; N.M.Stat.Ann. §§31-18A-1 to 31-18A-9 (repealed); N.C.Gen. Stat. §§164-35 to 164-47; Ohio
Rev.Code Ann. §§181.21 to 181.56; Okla.Stat.Ann. tit. 22 §§1501-1516; Ore.Rev.Stat. §§137.667 to 137.671;
Pa.Stat.Ann. tit. 42, §§2151-2155; S.C. Code §§24-26-10 to 24-26-50; Tenn.Code Ann. §§40-37-101 to 40-37-105
(repealed); Utah Code Ann. §§63-25a-301 to 63-25a-306; Va.Code §§17.1-800 to 17.1-806; Wash.Rev. Code Ann.
§§9.94A.310 to 9.94A.420; Wis.Stat.Ann. §§973.017, 973.30.
36 Do Judicial “Scarlet Letters Violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment, 16
HASTINGS CONSTITUTIONAL LAW QUARTERLY 115, 119 n.32 (1988) (listing 33 states with mandatory minimum
sentencing structures).
37 See e.g., Alaska Stat.§§12.55.125 to 12.55.185; Cal.Pen.Code §1170; Colo.Rev.Stat. §§16-11-304, 18-1-105;
(continued...)





The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 brought this trend to the federal criminal justice system.38 It
repealed the authority of the federal courts to suspend criminal sentences, 18 U.S.C. 3651 (1982
ed.). It abolished federal parole, 18 U.S.C. 4201 to 4218 (1982 ed.). It created a sentencing
guideline system, applicable within the statutory maximum and minimum penalties established by
Congress, that tightly confined the sentencing discretion of federal judges, 28 U.S.C. 991 to 998.
The armed career criminal, three strikes, and several of the other prominent drug and gun related 39
mandatory minimums followed in the ensuing years.
Even though the guidelines work to reduce judicial sentencing discretion and might once have
been characterized as creating a host of new members of the species of mandatory minimums, the
not-less-than mandatory minimums have been criticized as incompatible with the federal
sentencing guidelines. Perhaps most prominent among its critics has been the Sentencing
Commission itself. Its report, after sketching the arguments traditionally offered in support of 40
mandatory minimums, observed that
- only 4 of the 60 mandatory minimums were regularly prosecuted;41

(...continued)
Ind.Code Ann. §35-50-6-1; Minn.Stat.Ann. §244.05; N.M.Stat.Ann. §§31-18-15, 31-21-10. Note that some of the
jurisdictions that have abolished parole as a discretionary means of reducing an offenders term of imprisonment
authorizereentry parole or terms ofsupervised release under which the offender is subject to supervision after
service of his or her full term of imprisonment.
38 The Sentence Reform Act is chapter II, 98 Stat. 1987, of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, 98 Stat.
1976, enacted as title II of P.L. 98-473, 98 Stat. 1837 (1984).
39 The mandatory minimum applicable when a firearm is used during the course of a federal crime of violence, 18
U.S.C. 924(c), originated in the same legislation as the Sentence Reform Act, P.L. 98-473, 98 Stat. 2138 (1984). The
armed career criminal provisions, 18 U.S.C. 924(e), first surfaced in the Firearms Owners Protection Act, P.L. 99-308,
100 Stat. 458 (1986); the mandatory minimums for drug trafficking, 21 U.S.C. 841(b), in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of
1986, P.L. 99-570, 100 Stat. 3207-2; the mandatory minimums for crack possession, 21 U.S.C. 844, in the Anti-Drug
Abuse Act of 1988, P.L. 100-690, 102 Stat. 4370; and the three strikes provisions, 18 U.S.C. 3559(c), in the Violent
Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, P.L. 103-322, 108 Stat. 1982.
The drug kingpin mandatory minimum, 21 U.S.C. 848, enacted as part of the original Controlled Substances Act in
1970, P.L. 91-513, 84 Stat. 1265 (1970), and most of the mandatory minimums cited in the appendix predate their more
well known fellows.
The safety valve feature of 18 U.S.C. 3553(f) available to nonviolent, first-time drug offenders and passed in 1994, P.L.
103-322, 108 Stat. 1985, might be seen as a break in the trend towards greater use of mandatory minimums even
though it does not enhance federal judicial sentencing discretion.
40Retribution orJust Deserts. Perhaps the most commonly-voiced goal of mandatory minimum penalties is the
justness of long prison terms for particular serious offenses. . . . Deterrence. By requiring the imposition of
substantial penalties for targeted offenses, mandatory minimums are intended both to discourage the individual
sentenced . . . from further involvement in crime . . . and, by example discourage other potential lawbreakers . . . .
Incapacitation, Especially of the Serious Offender. Mandating increased sentence severity aims to protect the public by
incapacitating offenders . . . . Disparity. Indeterminate sentencing systems permit substantial latitude in setting the
sentence, which in turn can mean that defendants convicted of the same offense are sentenced to widely disparate
sentences. Inducement of Cooperation. Because they provide specific lengthy sentences, mandatory minimums
encourage offenders to assist in the investigation of criminal conduct by others [in order to take advantage of the escape
hatch 18 U.S.C. 3553(e) supplies to those who cooperate with authorities]. . . . Inducement of Pleas . . . [P]rosecutors
express the view that mandatory minimum sentences can be valuable tools in obtaining guilty pleas. . .” Commission
Report 13-4.
41 Commission Report at ii, 11 (“four statutes account for approximately 94 percent of the cases . . . 21 U.S.C. 841
(continued...)





- mandatory minimums induce new sentencing disparities;42
- due to plea bargaining, 35% of the defendants who might have been charged and sentenced 43
under mandatory minimums were not;
- “disparate application of mandatory minimum sentences . . . appears to be related to race;”44
- mandatory minimums lack the capacity to consider the range of aggravating and mitigating
circumstances that may attend the same offense and as a consequence produce unwarranted 45
sentencing uniformity;

(...continued)
[illicit drug trafficking], 21 U.S.C. 844 [illicit drug possession], 21 U.S.C. 960 [drug smuggling], and 18 U.S.C.
924(c)[armed career criminals]”).
42 Commission Report at ii. (“[The] lack of uniform application creates unwarranted disparity in sentencing and
compromises the potential for the guidelines sentencing system to reduce disparity”). But see, Stith & Cabranes, FEAR
OF JUDGING, 106 1998)(Our analysis suggests four major conclusions: 1. Inter-judge sentence variation was not as
rampant or asshameful’ in the federal courts under the pre-Guidelines regime as Congress apparently believed . . . . 2.
No thorough empirical study has demonstrated a reduction in the total amount of disparity under the Guidelines. 3.
While reduction of inter-judge disparity is a worthwhile goal . . . it is a complex goal, and a myopic focus on this
objective can result in a system that too often ignores other, equally important goals of a just sentencing system. . . . 4.
Important sources of disparity remain in the Guidelines regime); Farabee, Disparate Departures Under the Federal
Sentencing Guidelines: A Tale of Two Districts, 30 CONNECTICUT LAW REVIEW 569 (1998)(discussing sentencing
disparity under the guidelines between two adjacent federal court districts); Payne, Does Inter-Judge Disparity Really
Matter? An Analysis of the Effects of Sentencing Reforms in Three Federal District Courts, 17 INTERNATIONAL REVIEW
OF LAW AND ECONOMICS 337 (1997) (suggesting that inter-judge disparity exists the guidelines notwithstanding).
43 Commission Report at iii (“Since the charging and plea negotiation processes are neither open to public review nor
generally reviewable by the courts, the honesty and truth in sentencing intended by the guidelines system is
compromised”).There are two basic responses to this critique. First, prosecutors undoubtedly do, through charging
decisions and plea bargains, sometimes seek, or agree to, lower than the maximum possible sentences. They have
always done that. With respect to charging decisions, the Guidelines themselves do not even attempt to limit the
historical practice. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine a system which could eliminate prosecutorial charging discretion.
Nonetheless, the Justice Department recognized at the outset . . . that unrestrained pre-indictment bargaining over
charges would undermine the Guidelines . . . .Therefore, it issued internal directives that prosecutors are to charge the
most serious readily provable offense consistent with the nature of the defendant’s conduct. . . . As for plea bargains
after indictment, the primary justification of the relevant conduct guideline is to ensure that prosecutors cannot
manipulate sentences by dismissing courts. As long as the judge knows all the facts, the precise charge of which a
defendant is convicted is usually of little consequence except to set the statutory maximum sentence . . . . Thus, in order
to really control sentences through plea bargaining, a prosecutor must be willing to hide facts from the court. . . . The
truth is that most prosecutors, most of the time, play the sentencing game straight down the middle. To achieve plea
bargains, they will give defendants the benefit of close class on the provability of certain facts, or on the applicability of
certain enhancements to the undoubted facts of a given case. But they will not lie and they will not conceal evidence.
The consequence is that prosecutors, too, have had their discretion restrained by the Guidelines,” Bowman, The Quality
of Mercy Must Be Restrained, and Other Lessons in Learning to Love the Federal, Sentencing Guidelines, 1996
WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW 679, 727-28.
44 Commission Report at iii. The disparate impact of the federal sentencing practices, including mandatory minimums,
has been the subject to extensive debate; see e.g., Albonetti, The Effects of the Safety Valve” Amendment on Length of
Imprisonment for Cocaine Trafficking/Manufacturing Offenders: Mitigating the Effects of Mandatory Minimum
Penalties and Offender’s Ethnicity, 87 IOWA LAW REVIEW 401 (2002); CRS Report 97-743, Federal Cocaine
Sentencing: Legal Issues, by Paul Starett Wallace Jr. (April 25, 2002); A Second Look at Crack Cocaine Sentencing
Policies: One More Try for Federal Equal Protection, 34 AMERICAN CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW 1211 (1997); Sklansky,
Cocaine, Race, and Equal Protection, 47 STANFORD LAW REVIEW 1283 (1995).
45 Commission Report at 26 (Sentencing guidelines look to an array of indicators to determine offense seriousness,
including the offense of conviction, any relevant quantity determinant (e.g., the amount of drugs in a trafficking
offense, dollar loss in fraud offense), weapon use, victim injury or death, the defendant’s role in the offense, and
whether the defendant accepted responsibility for the offense or, on the other hand, obstructed justice. Mandatory
(continued...)





- uneven application deprives mandatory minimums of their potential to deter;46
- mandatory minimums breed disparity by transferring judicial discretion to the prosecution;47
- in contrast to the calibrated approach of the guidelines, mandatory minimums create cliffs 48
where minuscule factual differences can have enormous sentencing consequences;
- the amendment process of the sentencing guidelines makes them perpetually self-correcting, 49
while mandatory minimums are single-shot efforts at crime control; and
- the most efficient and effective way for Congress to exercise its powers to direct sentencing
policy is through the established process of sentencing guidelines, permitting the
sophistication of the guidelines structure to work, rather than through mandatory 50
minimums.

(...continued)
minimums, in contrast, typically look to only one (or sometimes two) measurements of offense seriousness. . . . Thus,
for example, whether the defendant was a peripheral participant or the drug rings kingpin, whether the defendant used
a weapon, whether the defendant accepted responsibility or, on the other hand, obstructed justice, have no bearing on
the mandatory minimum to which each defendant is exposed”). These arguments would seem to be most persuasive in
the case of flat sentence mandatory minimums; in other instances the range between the mandatory minimum and the
statutory maximum would seem to provide ample room for the type of distinctions just mentioned.
46 Commission Report at iii (While mandatory minimum sentences may increase severity, the data suggest that uneven
application may dramatically reduce certainty. The consequences of this bifurcated pattern is likely to thwart the
deterrent value of mandatory minimums). Proponents might suggest that incapacitation and the prospect of minimal
punishment were always the principal objectives. Deterrence is at best challenging to judge; the fact that not all
possible cases receive mandatory minimum treatment is no reason to abandon incapacitation for those that are
ensnared; and the result is one more properly laid to the door of prosecutorial discretion than to mandatory minimums.
47 Commission Report at iii (“Since the power to determine the charge of conviction rests exclusively with the
prosecution for 85 percent of the cases that do not proceed to trial, mandatory minimums transfer sentencing power
from the court to the prosecution. To the extent that prosecutorial discretion is exercised with preference to some and
not to others, and to the extent that some are convicted of conduct carrying a mandatory minimum penalty while others
who engage in the same or similar conduct are not so convicted, disparity is reintroduced). This presumes that
unwarranted disparity existed before the guidelines, that the guidelines have reduced or eliminated it, and that
mandatory minimums returned it to the system – three propositions upon which there is no consensus. Even if one
accepts all three, the question remains whether disparity, produced by plea agreements that make possible the
conviction of other wrongdoers, is unwarranted or appropriately laid to the door of mandatory minimums.
48 Commission Report at 29 (TheCliff Effect of Mandatory Minimums. Related to the proportionality problems
posed in mandatory minimums already described are the sharp differences in sentence between defendants who fall just
below the threshold of a mandatory minimum compared with those whose criminal conduct just meets the criteria of
the mandatory minimum penalty. Just as mandatory minimums fail to distinguish among defendants whose conduct and
prior records in fact differ markedly, they distinguish far too greatly among defendants who have committed offense
conduct of highly comparable seriousness”). Critics might suggest that such cliffs are natural, necessary, and frequently
occurring in the law (e.g., the age of majority, alcohol-blood levels, statutes of limitations) or that few cliffs are as high
as the one that stands between a crime committed the day before the effective date of the guidelines and one committed
the day after.
49 Commission Report at iv. Critics might note that the perpetual need for self-correction neither inspires great
confidence nor dilutes the prospect of disparity.
50 Commission Report at iv.





The Commission’s report was quickly followed by a Department of Justice study that concluded
that a substantial number of those sentenced under federal mandatory minimums were nonviolent, 51
first-time, lower level drug offenders.
Congress responded with the safety valve provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3553(f) under which the court
may disregard various drug mandatory minimums and sentence an offender within the applicable
sentencing guideline range as long as the offender was a low level, nonviolent participant with no
prior criminal record who has cooperated fully with the government.
Defendants sentenced to mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment have challenged them on a
number of constitutional grounds ranging from cruel and unusual punishment through ex post
facto and double jeopardy to equal protection and due process. Each constitutional provision
defines outer boundaries that a mandatory minimum must be crafted to honor; none confine
legislative prerogatives in any substantial way.
Mandatory minimums implicate considerations under the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual 52
punishments clause. The clause bars mandatory capital punishment statutes, Woodson v. North
Carolina, 428 U.S. 280 (1976). And although the case law is somewhat uncertain, it seems to
condemn punishment that is “grossly disproportionate” to the misconduct for which it is imposed,
Ewing v. California, 123 S.Ct. 1179 (2003); a standard which a sentence imposed under a
mandatory minimum statute might breach under extreme circumstances.
During the first century of its existence, there was little recourse to the Amendment’s protection,53
and the early cases involved its proscriptions against particular kinds of punishment rather than of 54
punishments of a particular degree of severity. In O’Neil v. Vermont, 144 U.S. 323 (1892),
however, three dissenting justices expressed the view that the cruel and unusual punishments
clause’s prohibitions extended to “all punishments which by their excessive length or severity are 55
greatly disproportionate to the offences charged.”

51 United States Department of Justice: An Analysis of Non-Violent Drug Offenders with Minimal Criminal Histories,
reprinted in, 54 CRIMINAL LAW REPORTER 2101 (1994).
52 The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states in its entirety, “[e]xcessive bail shall not be required,
nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
53 In Pervear v. Massachusetts, 72 U.S. (5 Wall.) 475 (1866), the Court held that the clause applied to the federal
government and not the states; the first substantive cruel and unusual punishment case apparently did not arrive before
the Supreme Court until Wilkerson v. Utah, 99 U.S. 130 (1878), Mulligan, Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The
Proportionality Rule, 47 FORDHAM LAW REVIEW 639, 642 (1979).
54 See, Wilkerson v. Utah, 99 U.S. 130 (1878) (challenging execution of the death penalty by firing squad); In re
Kemmler, 136 U.S. 436 (1889) (challenging execution of the death penalty by electrocution).
55 144 U.S. at 339-40 (Field, J.)(dissenting); see also, 144 U.S. at 371 (Harlan with Brewer, JJ.)(dissenting) (“The
judgment before us by which the defendant is confined at hard labor. . . for the term of. . . fifty-four years. . . inflicts
punishment, which, in view of the character of the offences committed must be deemed cruel and unusual”). O’Neil, a
mail order liquor dealer licensed in New York, was convicted for filling mail orders sent to Vermont where he had no
(continued...)





The views of the O’Neil dissenters gained further credence after they were quoted by the Court in
Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 371 (1910), when it invalidated a territorial sentencing 56
scheme which it found both disproportionate in degree and cruel in nature.
Perhaps because of the unusual nature of the penalties involved, the proportionality doctrine 57
suggested in Weems lay dormant for over sixty years. It reappeared in the capital punishment 58
cases following Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972).
When the capital punishment statutes enacted in response to Furman came before the Court, one
of the threshold questions was whether capital punishment was a per se violation of the cruel and
unusual punishments clause. For a plurality of the Court that question could only be answered by
determining whether capital punishment was of necessity “grossly out of proportion to the
severity of [any] crime,” Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 173 (1976). “[W]hen a life has been
taken deliberately by the offender, [the Court could not] say that the punishment is invariably
disproportionate to the crime.” 428 U.S. at 187.
In Coker v. Georgia, a plurality of the Court found “that death is indeed a disproportionate
penalty for the crime of raping an adult woman,” 433 U.S. 583, 597 (1977). It did so after
considering the general repudiation of the death penalty in such cases by the legislatures of other
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The views of the O’Neil dissenters gained further credence after theytheyoted by the Court i p>enwheeso th p>eu capitsg an adF inteenry capital p,epsuclutly t womincy with p>e/> cladeatu

ejcd e97r jury.Court iTp>enwheesoinind ulth ravetiodtl anith wo>>58 tsecondan of claWoodsy wcruNortu cladecl72).. Iwo. Gecont>apy Isup>seeishmingr whrdardusg adecencysup>tofmarkunusua resholdwith p>e/> clacapital pre 5un adibjpunilausg aa per s/o />58edeatu

ejcd e97r jurym 428in sucCok302.Court iAndaiwofailly dispermiwoc/> juriancy withindividcespuraracf oi>un Cokacuprdusno significhrin disrelevapwofacetusg an ad raracf ortheisucprdwith p>e/> claindividcespime.&der97r n ad ircum whrinslsant forar juriancy w/> clainvfixingrer vultimheeu21; Gregg vimedeatu Pethe Cfactopsr wemm/> Pfroman >ediv83i vfrailtinslsanhuer kind. Iwoa s uluperslausconviital ithatry of tlsignatal ite.&se5ingqusproindividcesphuer be/> s,abutua>5memb ts ithatfacelup>br/> claund>fferia,iatal masch itbe/subjpunly disn >ebi, y g flp>x claC/> juriancy withbotu54p,rder9disarrightntua just.sup>a>58 Duringha>5boenoviewsd>as77).apgrup>ightn8dphuer iz/> Pdevetopheth.rWhillh p>e/> clapsuvail/> Ppracficewithindividcesiz/> Ps> Duri/> PdeIerm, d
e/> clafunuaheth#82rupppunder thuer iryvst celyingrer vyatory capital p,2ruqui juriancy w/> clag an ad raracf ortheisucprdwith p>eindividcespime.&der9sup>54 clag e.&seeeapcup>usang flp>xeult woregul72lys ndbr/> j wentprorecognizedker vindividcespu/> juriancy s2ruquisuuc,&sd>aboghtn8dp. 583,up>xa wt 187p>58
em9disapwl/>wizedkerCoker v capital wssm>suemosasir/fichlCfactop g 56non-cte,⁀e i,an ads oiousnup>usant foime.&seejcd edcCokloaup g esucprdwith p>e/> claindividcespwhotcommiwnlyaiw.Court i>n United Staten i i inda op> rspiresAMo<sup>cr<<> i ha rquasup>qucsup>r<<> i pit inpu/sup>a>/sup>
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The views of the O’Neil dissenters gained further credence after toted by the Court iGrav tpHarmeli wcruMichigan, 501in suc95 by t91), wssmavfirst.ourt i enerime.&der9conviital ithrossesscy with672opramusg acocaine, enou>uys s ourt i65,000aindividcespdoe i. U&der9t folaw>usant foSwheeusanMichigan, 54 Duringithis int w> Duringviolatal botu juriancy tn8dp/> clapsppeared in the capital>usant foyatory capital p. A itjore/> claindividcespu/> juriancy s2arguegg vsup>a plurin therefusly disaccepoker v.appeared in theeult wonot). n Coktn>iup opini< s2sup>ffersafroma ulu. 583,er musg a 597 s gen, iup toRirrevocabItcurring). Inoviewwith p>ed>fferiac i,an aditjor56noereasy wsup>ltip so-ca Duri/> Pdcapital disan g dividcesizedbry of it> Duri/> Pdcapitalvea
e.appeared in thequestcy tne ed>ffsculh.rJust YfoScsliavsup>ChiefrJust Yfoourt iRehnqu/str imwl/>refusly disrecognizesan yatory capital pd.appeared in theruqui clainvnoncte,⁀e i,a501in sucCok994. F7r n ree . 583,just Y i,aKennedy, O>nConnor9sup>S76)8217atry of s> Duringup>tofs#nisfi in p>efirst.sant foSoiem testi,as oiousnup>usant foime.&se, neeu /s survighto2d/> claeventfaceecompa>w Durinsejc>f7r n adsam>e 597 s genep, 583,ju>epsucisely,an adplurin theempha>izedkerCoksup> clapsppeared in thebetwoeno genertheis> Durin. Ran583,aiwoforbiext Durins J.<66y the Court igrossl/>dippsppeared ite disn >e gene,eae aitsg aHarmeli ,ker vs> Duringourt iwssm /s grossl/>dippsppeared ite bhcauitsg an ads clag an addrug epjurmicoinkerip ountry.C.C.Curmeindividcesptheisociethebyhrossesscy witherip largesan amountCourt i>n
United StateF
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t p>Mc, waup>husup>ited r<>tf f , wac #> fideup>i in
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The views of the O’Neil dissenters gained further credence after ter toted by the Court ig acocaine>u< it urt iwsrranoker v eIerriac rtheisutribuncy witha is ins> Duringue.lurin theopini< alsowcontainsdsespuseful observancy s2ab76).t focop> Durinsvper se.Court iDeferiac esam>egrossCourt idippsppeared iniryv whr&ardpexcup>ightftal>ucont.xt,aiwos>emly disimwl/>erCokmisconduitp/> clalegislatighl/>> as77)fai2lyss oiouso gener(7)felony)kmighwolack t foprav clab76ndlup>usanitcy i. U&,nly Swheessv>econfiscancy w/> clag a$357,144uquggingithtryingreowcarryaiwo76).g an adU&,nly Swheessuen Cum5 years, 31in suC. 5322. Inon >eeyeusg a 597 sn adult w,sn >e geneainvolvly aov83,asup>e disrepearperip urriacy ame.unal inl/>one56asrelatighl/>min7r way.r.r.r.rHadatip gene gone<6ndeIeunal,an adGov83nmia, wt 187have bhe 56dew>ofsn >einer mancy werCok$357,14456respondia,>eks, wes onclutlkerCoksuch7atry of er feitureewt 187be grossl/>dippsppeared il disn >epravltip mea werCoklongiit>56asclt womighwotreCokssm misdemea 7r u&der9Cinier nia>56co 187resuloktn>grossCdippsppeared ite s> Durins? Flt ,just Y iusaid>yes,abtt n ree said>no,tn8dp/> clan >y wereejo>bt folaw survighdocop>usan/> clapsppeared in th.Court iTp>equestcy ta Duri clalessen Cum25 yearsp&irsuantmpta piein, Ewsup> United States itpn onfoup>in, waAMe th<> inonalil> fideup>ic JJ. thes16;p>e th<> irety /br/> psup>ac,vuyup>b cp>c
rrtl/sup>t pu
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niss/sup> >>up>ne euwup>i,AM top>bittMnti norL, fices coeue />l, susm cop/sup>pp>rces coed e ssup>ttni norcssen zen>euup>i seed h<> idusupORDHenisIn,nup>oh<>d etl/sup>ts> iiAM s/sup> the s/sup> p> 1ro anquadaM >l> fideup>ic JJ. thespp>rd tos3up>o #> fthenttsup>
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ssen
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The views of the O’Neil dissenters gained further credence after ter oted by the Court iU&der9Cinier niaolaw,an adtriespclt womighwohave chosenano avoid>t fon ree snrikep wheute ei 583 Durimptly dp>fokssm misdemea 7r o3eearlilrksup>56conviitieCinier niaoapw>llatapclt wsar/j.unal Ew56Eighwh AeMemb83spg an >eSup>sup>56ult w.Court iJust Y iuSciniatn8dpThomaueEighwh A16;crueltn8dp/> claunusualp&ing wsgg s>16;guaranoe>>agaunstCdippsppeared ite s> Durinsea56> Duringdid>notocop>e gueltn8dpunusualp&ing wsgg ktn>violancy withn >eEighw A56538in suc31-2 (Scinia, J.s oncurrejcd emia,); 538in sucCok32 (Thomau, J.s oncurrbe gueltn8dpunusualp&ing wsgg sp> 56apwlils disnoncapitin s> Durins,ea
y notlkerCokswhr&ibs alonefoksan/> clapspperth valuly at,nearly $1,200ov83,asup>escinls notoinl/>rip urriat)felony,>Malsowrip longiriptopy g afelony sucidivism,ea Duringg a25Court iyearsp/o lieerinow>eime.&se g afelony prany dp>foku&der9t fon ree snrikep law,ais n clagrossl/>dippsppeared ite n8dpererefor>edols notoviolanekn >eEighwh AeCop>usnuaupres> Dsgg k7r indicDsgg k7tha prany jc>yea
clapspsecuti joy t forighwotisa spey,ea
<. Aov83,adueapspcup> suquiressn Cokn >epspsecutiatry of viesonty ey faitpnecup>a>/reowcop>en >e geneea
equestcy taes>epe inpinf7r a waarecular gene basal in77)facoksup>1up n clainclutldpinon >eindicDsgg , ny,tn8dpnatviesonty e clalike) wereesubjpcwotisa it>ejcd eksup>56aftarsconviitieevidiac evisibl>>Miy witha firearmrdureime.&se.rHadan >ePenbsylvaniao wheute ourt icreColy a>visibl>>inowossup>iy withfirearm? And gf so,gdid>n >efacokg avisibl>>wossup>iy wMy bhyoup>atviesonty esup> United Statenne ther
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The views of the O’Neil dissenters gained further credence after ter oted by the Court iT >eSup>ult wo onclutldperCokvisibl>>wossup>iy witha firearmru&der9t fo wheute wss nats> Duriidirancy werCokhadabhe 56aalegislatighl/>pres gebldpweight,>McMilla kv.ePenbsylvania, 477in suc79by t86). AsCsuch,peres/> claPenbsylvaniao wheutopy schnei 583 7r triggeridy fir&ibs, 477in sucCok84, 93.Court iTp>re followly aesp wheutes u&der9which7facos>erCokmighwoearlilrkhave ourt ibhe > as7s> Durisup>56unstarins,rt fonewos Duriexcup>withn Coksup>56oererwiitsavailty eeu&derlyeSup>ult wof76nden Cum2tyears, btt which7&ermit,ldpt foaliln Durindp/> clanisimw>en Cum20iyearspupsnuaupost-tries,
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the issen thenn idtheed rnisoy> issen thenttoacsup>t<>ou> icnisup>idoud ett asup>
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onalir<ssen
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r te a130hd ,inis/sup>qu,p>, wac< p>, wac

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t i i hant isquad rd rrhd enali130quad Ap>h,ch handaqu] >d nnnnaliquadp>Mr the< n
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r, wanis/sup>quatt<> in>130ch<> ien inp>n>130nup>hen up>hr ily toytsup>onaliaM a ien afup>bup>ntcttcd spp> in iquaFup>tc itl,nis/sup>qu,p>, wacnr, iip>rqua.sup>qua.sup>quasup>tt130ce130c

r attpp>nt is on

nisearan>en > ant is onuup>t<> UM>130ntl b>nt is onuup>cr<. odh<>cp>cr, wacthe ssp>ch<> i130rtt<> Ut c> innciu Utn, wanisesup>

il n anncn,130c p> iquabisup>tncd eMb,nc itecee,onalir< did notd re attr<ssen the< nrr<.sup>quaWp>chnnr< did not,odsup> aciurcnis/sup>quatup>tt; >usn /sup>cee,cee,onali the< n,

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ilnnnoHsup>oWp>c130ee,oE>130nn130noYsennnoWp>cee,nnee,nd d uscd ionalinn an,ic i,i<fd d p>M a

in, innnnnt isquaMacrr UeonaliFe,,130<<> inhd enalic rolib>d rnnh130nhnnnOp>hnhnn130hnhMnee,nee,d (<
The views of the O’Neil dissenters gained further credence after ter after ter oted by the Court i h
h
<> i U
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idir idh icd enalicc ifnrc ib,i
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t

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r, wa inc

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ther
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nis/sup>quasup>h<> ih inr irasup>h<> i,r

M>130 theStatl, ip,p>, watnr< did not ascp>c,130n i
< s

ttp>c id h/sup>ctup>ntlikork, wa130< up> (

MMsup>r< did not hant isqua/sup>rd rrdnn,rir ther hanhtl,nis/sup>quyipYorkrhcquyCp>n r thertdndadd rtps>rr i; <fn theoitsup>nali

tn ir/sup>p, up> (

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te a130<<> i p<> idhd enalic d i Unalir r >sup>r adh<>7nahd enalicd hsGsup>rolib>d rd olikork, warolib>d dhd enali,rdnnnt isquadp>M i i hant isquad rrr Uosup>
d 130<<> inis/sup>quydon/sup>quatt>>130
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d h<> icor>nt is ft i<f
nccir ther< did not a rcutp>d id db,nalictl,dp>Mrn ichnn na; rpn /sup>ppsup>r.aonali130quara> theo

nis/sup>quy<of/sup>o

nise>up>neof/sup>ona; rup>nc itd spp> in icd hs>/sup>y> rAMc; <fncd etl, inquy> a130 /sup>psup> indp>Mdhd enalic ir/sup>pb>d rr inpsup> te ar inonalil<> ipopt the

tn ad hpandatl aup> ar