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Gannon Beaulne Interviewed on Mandatory Minimum Sentencing in the Lawyers Weekly
September 22, 2014
In Cristin Schmitz's Lawyers Weekly article, "Mandatory Minimums Branded Ineffective, Overly Constraining," Gannon Beaulne discusses the use of mandatory minimum penalties as sentencing tools. Gannon is quoted saying, “This debate in general has become very politicized?—?it's about picking sides,” he said. “Do you agree with this mandatory minimum? Is it proportionate? And that maybe misses the point of the wider discussion which is that, in the context of the rule of law, do mandatory minimums as such help or hinder an accused's, or the public's, ability to look forward and understand what the consequences of a certain crime would be?... The rule of law requires laws to be ascertainable in advance, and clear in every respect, and MMPs, by setting a stable sentencing floor, allow for a very recognizable range of sentences for the commission of a given offence. It puts the accused and the public on notice of what the likely sentencing range is. Now contrast that with a situation where the judge has complete discretion. It's much more difficult to look at a crime and say: ‘This is what I'm going to be sentenced to if I break that law.'”