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Repeal drug mandatory minimums


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Feb 18, 2013

~~<p>Hawaii is one of the nation's safest states from violent crime but prison walls have been spilling over to Arizona because of another policy: mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. A federal sentencing commission determined two years ago that such sentencing rules are &quot;excessively severe&quot; and studies in Hawaii agree. Putting offenders behind bars for a requisite period in drug cases is harsh, futile and expensive, and state legislators should put the mandate aside.</p>
<p>Congress approved mandatory minimum sentences as part of the &quot;war on drugs&quot; in the 1970s. Hawaii passed its mandatory minimum for drug offenders in 1986 and so did most other states. By the 1990s, then-U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist acknowledged that those measures were &quot;perhaps a good example of the law of unintended consequences.&quot;</p>
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Hawaii is one of the nation's safest states from violent crime but prison walls have been spilling over to Arizona because of another policy: mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. A federal sentencing commission determined two years ago that such sentencing rules are "excessively severe" and studies in Hawaii agree. Putting offenders behind bars for a requisite period in drug cases is harsh, futile and expensive, and state legislators should put the mandate aside.

Congress approved mandatory minimum sentences as part of the "war on drugs" in the 1970s. Hawaii passed its mandatory minimum for drug offenders in 1986 and so did most other states. By the 1990s, then-U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist acknowledged that those measures were "perhaps a good example of the law of unintended consequences." Login for more...



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