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Judiciary supports re-evaluating sentences

The chair of the Judicial Conference Criminal Law Committee has written a letter in support of Congress’ efforts “to review and ameliorate the deleterious and unwanted consequences spawned by mandatory minimum sentencing provisions.”

The letter, available at, was written by Judge Robert Holmes Bell, who was prompted by a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on “Re-evaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences.”

The Judicial Conference has a long-standing policy of opposing mandatory minimum sentences. In his letter, Judge Bell expresses “strong support” for legislation such as the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013 to help avoid fiscal and social costs associated with mandatory minimums.