Mandatory Minimum Penalties: Their Effects on Crime, Sentencing Disparities, and Justice System Expenditures

2. Scope of the review

This review covered the period from 1980 to 2000 inclusive, although several earlier studies were included due to their salience. The databases searched included Current Contents, Soc Abstracts, PsycINFO, and Legal Trac. Dozens of key words were used in the searches including various combinations of the following: mandatory sentences, mandatory minimum penalties, deterrence, incapacitation, denunciation, homicide, murder, impaired driving, drugs, firearms, crimes, offences, disparity, capital punishment.

Materials cited in this report included empirical studies, as well as commentaries by jurists and prosecutors with extensive first-hand experience with cases eligible for or resulting in the imposition of a MMS.

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