John Roth is the chief of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the Department of Justice, Criminal Division. The following viewpoint is his testimony before a congressional committee on drug policy. Roth argues that mandatory minimum sentences are a valuable tool in the war on drugs. Mandatory minimums ensure that criminals convicted of similar crimes receive similar sentences, thus protecting public safety. He adds that the guidelines for mandatory minimum sentences offer a “safety valve” that reduces the sentence for low-level drug criminals who help investigators gather...
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