This bill would reduce mandatory minimums in federal drug sentencing, giving federal judges more discretion when sentencing people convicted of non-violent drug offenses.
The mandatory minimum set forth in the Controlled Substances Act for a conviction related to the manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute certain drugs in specified amounts would be lowered from 10 years to five years. If death or serious bodily harm occurs from the drug’s use, the mandatory minimum would be lowered from 20 years to 10 years.
For first convictions, the mandatory minimum would be lowered from five years to two years, and dropped from 20 years to 10 years for a second conviction. If a person had two or more felony drug convictions before their next conviction, the mandatory minimum would be dropped from life imprisonment to 25 years.
Mandatory minimums under the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act would be lowered for drug couriers from 10 years to five for a first conviction, and from 20 years to 10 for a second conviction. For convictions involving couriers of smaller amounts of illegal drugs, the mandatory minimum would be lowered from five years to two for a first offense, and from 10 years to five for a second offense.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission would be directed to review and change its sentencing guidelines to:
Ensure that prison populations don’t exceed capacity;
Consider the fiscal and public safety implications of these changes;
Reduce racial disparities in Federal sentencing.