Legislation to end mandatory minimum sentences for all drug offenses has been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The legislation – H.R. 3800 – was introduced by Representative Maxine Walters, a Democrat from California’s 43rd legislative district. It would end the practice of applying mandatory minimum sentences to offenses involving illegal substances. Mandatory minimum sentences require judges to give offenders a specific – and typically harsh – sentence regardless of extenuating circumstances.
Mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes was greatly scaled back under President Obama’s terms as president. However, current President Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently reversed much of the changes made by the Obama Administration regarding mandatory minimums, making Representative Walters’ proposal incredibly important and relevant to the times.
Walters’ proposal would apply to all illegal substances located on the federal controlled substances list. According to Congress.gov, the measure has been “Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.”