Toward the end of a hearing at which the Senate Judiciary Committee heard about the jaw-dropping injustices caused by mandatory minimum sentences, John Cornyn sounded a note of caution. "We have to be careful not to legislate by anecdote," said the Republican senator from Texas. Yet this is one issue where anecdotes are perfectly appropriate, argues Senior Editor Jacob Sullum, since it is impossible to assess the merits of a sentencing system without examining actual cases. If the law allows, let alone requires, grossly disprortionate penalties, it's a problem that needs to be corrected. That is something Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) understands, Sullum says.
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