• Mandatory minimum sentences give no discretion to judges about the amount of time that the person should receive once a guilty verdict is rendered. Harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses were passed by Congress in the 1980s as part of the war on drugs and the "get tough" movement, sentences that have helped to fuel our nation's prison boom and have also greatly aggravated racial disparities, particularly in the application of mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine.

    "Michelle Alexander: “Zimmerman Mindset” Endangers Young Black Lives with Poverty, Prison & Murder". "Democracy Now!" with Amy Goodman, July 17, 2013.
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