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Justice Criticizes Mandatory Sentences (Breyer)

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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-21-03 11:57 PM
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Justice Criticizes Mandatory Sentences (Breyer)
BOSTON -- Mandatory minimum sentences passed by Congress are "bad policy" because they are unfair in some cases, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said Sunday.

Breyer, who was a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in the 1980s, said there must be flexibility in sentencing to make room for exceptional cases.

In a speech to about 550 people at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Breyer said Congress had passed statutes with "no room for flexibility on the downside."

"That is not a helpful thing to do," he said. "It's not going to advance the cause of law enforcement in my opinion, and it's going to set back the cause of fairness in sentencing."

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