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Drug Trafficking
Ending mandatory sentencing is smart public policy
Ending mandatory sentencing is smart public policy

Ending mandatory sentencing policies for second-time drug dealers is a step in the right direction — and one I hope my own state of Virginia will follow ("House votes to drop mandatory terms for 2nd-time drug dealers," March 23). Not only is the legislation politically sound, it is cost effective and morally correct. Mandatory sentences for nonviolent offenses have not resolved the larger issues our society faces: addiction, poverty, inequality and the breakdown in family structures. Mandatory sentences often beget more of the very problems they are intended to solve by increasing the likelihood of people becoming repeat offenders due to the lack of job opportunities when...

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