American Bar Association notes human rights concerns


Saying that mandatory minimums are a
“one-way ratchet upwards” and cannot “satisfy the basic dictates of fairness,”
Judge Patricia Wald, testifying on behalf of the American Bar Association,
raised a host of concerns about such sentencing practices in testimony before
an Organization of American States Commission that is examining the issue. […]
Wald noted that mandatory minimums lead to an array of problems,
including: […] “Unchecked power” by prosecutors that Wald says, “dangerously disturbs the balance between the parties in an adversarial system, and deprives defendants of access to an impartial decisionmaker in the all-important area of sentencing.” […]
Wald, retired chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit and former judge at the International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, concluded by saying that she was “saddened
to see that the sentences imposed on war crimes perpetrators responsible for
the deaths and suffering of hundreds of innocent civilians often did not come
near those imposed in my own country for dealing in a few bags of illegal

[Thanks to Doug on MAPtalk]
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