Drug sentences in state vary by where you live, what judge you face

  • Article by: Brandon Stahl , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2014 - 9:49 AM

State judges are routinely rejecting guidelines that are supposed to make drug sentencing uniform and equitable statewide, according to a Star Tribune analysis of more than 21,000 drug convictions in Minnesota from 2007 to 2012.

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lakesloverFeb. 22, 1410:46 PM

"Drug sentences all over the Map", it is no different than any other offense. Judges differ in their sentencing guideline all the time! Every judge is different! For first time offenses with no prior history, judges should be more lenient with all offenses according to sentencing guidelines but many don't follow it at all!

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djvenomFeb. 23, 1412:50 AM

nobody should be taking up space in our prisons and using resources such as medical, dental, and nutrition for being in possession of any drug PERIOD

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anarad4Feb. 23, 14 1:17 AM

"Boyd, had previously been charged or convicted of six drug crimes as well as evading police and trespassing, records show"...SIX drug crimes? And this judge says he can be rehabbed? What world are you living in?.....

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minn12Feb. 23, 14 4:31 AM

Ummm, the sentences wouldn't be all over the map, if the judges would simply follow the guidelines. That's why they were established. Exceptions should be rare, not the norm.

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coolnoutFeb. 23, 14 4:38 AM

This has been a problem for to long and shows the bias many judges carry against drug crimes. I always find it incredulous that drugs are held as the scourge of society when it truth, it's money, and the sentences for white crimes committed in the name of greed are never given the harshest penalties.

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texas_technomanFeb. 23, 14 5:20 AM

The American legal system, it's all about who you are...not what you did. You have folks in the big house for selling weed; but at the same time a kid walks after getting drunk and killing 4 people with his F350. Something is not right!

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sundialFeb. 23, 14 5:38 AM

Hey, Strib, do some more homework and do an article on Drug Courts. These courts, which allow judges to put the convictions on hold and mandating treatment and strict monitoring have proven to be successful with less cost than incarceration. And treatment success rates are higher. Much better solution versus clogging up our prisons.

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elkiddFeb. 23, 14 6:18 AM

its another form of discrimation the law is able to get away with yet these same people say we can not discrimate

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floridascottFeb. 23, 14 6:22 AM

Its nice to know that all our tax dollars are being spent to fill prisons with non violent offenders. The "War on Drugs" is a complete failure. The reason nothing has changed since 1978 is the same reason why the tax code is so complex and has not been simplified. There are too many government employees that depend on us for their livelihood. Do you really think they are going to reform their system in a way that may eliminate jobs. Of course not.

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Geezer1976Feb. 23, 14 6:38 AM

Our judges should be allowed to determine the appropriate sentence for each case. The guidelines should be viewed as suggestions by politicians. I don't know that We should allow the politicians to determine much of anything in our state or country. Look at the ability they have to screw things up!

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