March 15, 2017

Federal marijuana sentences continue to drop

Washington Post  The number of people sentenced for federal marijuana-related crimes dropped for the fifth year in a row, according to data released this week by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

A total of 3,534 offenders received sentences for federal marijuana crimes in 2016. The overwhelming majority of these cases — 3,398 of them — involved trafficking marijuana. Another 122 individuals received federal sentences for simple possession of marijuana, although some of these offenders may have pleaded down from a more serious offense.

The commission's statistics show that more than 97 percent of people charged with a federal crime plead guilty, rather than go to trial.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"97 percent of people charged with a federal crime plead guilty, rather than go to trial."

Which is a misleading statement. Whereas it is true that about 97% of folks charged with a federal crime plead out, it is not true to suggest that they do not go to jail. The pleas are for a guaranteed lesser sentence for waving the right of trial rather than risk a challenge in court before a jury knowing that a guilty verdict will likely result in a threatened maximum sentence. As most folks do not have the financial means to pay a criminal attorney $500 an hour to wage defense, an undue number of defendants, though innocent, choose to accept the bargain of a known deal of relative short duration rather than risk a good portion of a lifetime behind bars. This is one of the major disgraces of our jurisprudence system today.