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An NPR Debate on Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

I think NPR is hard up for guests, because last night it called to ask me to appear this morning of the Diane Rehm show.  I understand the show is syndicated around the country.  Here in Washington, DC, it will be on at 10 a.m., on WAMU  88.5.  The blurb introduces the program like this:

Mandatory minimum sentencing has existed throughout the country's history, at one time used to punish mostly treason and murder. But in the1980s, Congress saw mandatory minimums as a way to tackle a different kind of crime--drug offenses. As part of the "war on drugs", there was bi-partisan support for tough sentences, rather than rehabilitation. Now, today, the pendulum might be swinging in the other direction. With a prison population soaring and budgets tightening, lawmakers from both parties are supporting ways to reform these sentences. And Attorney General Eric Holder is weighing in. Diane and her guests discuss the debate over mandatory minimum sentencing.


William Otis

former federal prosecutor and former special White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush

Devlin Barrett

reporter covering security and law enforcement, The Wall Street Journal

Paul Butler

professor at Georgetown Law School.

Mary Price

vice president and general counsel, Families Against Mandatory Minimums

[Editor's Note:  The show is available here.]

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