Federal Judge Questions Drug War

Iowa Chief Judge Mark Bennett

Judge Mark W. Bennett, a federal judge in the Northern District of Iowa has sentenced more drug offenders in a single year than the average federal judge in New York City, Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco – combined.  He writes a heartfelt essay on his conflicted feelings about his role in the war on drugs.  And talks about debriefing jurors after their verdicts and asking jurors in drug cases what they think a fair sentence would be.  He says not one, even in this conservative corner of Iowa, have come close to the mandatory minimums.  They all suggest sentences far lower.  Read it here.

He also appears in an award-winning documentary from the Sundance festival, “The House I Live In.”




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