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Rules to revise minimum sentencing rules put before Congress

One of the great issues of the criminal justice system is excessive incarceration. This term refers to a person receiving a jail sentence that is far longer and more harsh than the crime allegedly committed. The two simply do not equate; and as a result, many people are locked away for long periods of time for relatively innocuous crimes. This is especially true of drug crimes, which are treated as heinous acts.

But there are a lot of problems with excessive incarceration, not the least of which is the impact it has on the defendant and his or her family. People have their lives changed by these excessive prison sentences. Their personal relationships are destroyed, and their chances to rebuild their life after prison are about as long as their sentence.

Thankfully, a recent movement to get rid of minimum sentencing standards -- a huge driving factor of excessive incarceration -- is moving forward, and now there may be actual legislation to fix the problem. A bipartisan group of politicians is going before Congress to try and relax federal sentencing minimums. These minimum sentencing guidelines often handcuff judges into doling out decade-long jail sentences for minor drug offenders who are otherwise no threat to society.

But, since they are lumped in with major drug criminals under the sentencing guidelines, judges have no choice but to give them an outrageous jail sentence. Instead of allowing for a gray area, minimum sentencing rules force criminal cases to be a black-and-white issue.

Hopefully, in the near future, the system can be refined to better accommodate some leniency.

Source: Associated Press, "Congress Looks To Relax Mandatory Prison Terms," Henry C. Jackson, Sept. 17, 2013

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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