In an interesting article published at U.S. News, the United States Supreme Court decided that jurors, not judges, would decide if mandatory minimum sentencing would apply.
SCOTUS: Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences in Jury’s Hands
Many mandatory minimum sentences are imposed for drug offenses
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a jury, not a judge, should have the final say on facts that impose mandatory minimum sentences for criminals.
In particular, the 5-4 ruling will make it harder to impose minimum sentences on drug offenders, because they are among the most frequent to receive those sentences. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
“Mandatory minimums for drug offenders will lessen, but it’s difficult to say to what extent,” says Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which opposes mandatory minimum sentences. “It’s also likely that this will have beneficial effects in reducing racial disparity, because so many mandatory minimums are imposed for drug offenses, and because African-Americans in particular are on the receiving end of those penalties.”
Read the rest of the story here –