Jacob Sullum on Mandatory Guilty Pleas



Before Weldon Angelos received the equivalent of a life sentence for three small-time marijuana sales, prosecutors offered him a plea deal that would have resulted in 40 fewer years behind bars. When the penalty for going to trial can be that heavy, says Senior Editor Jacob Sullum, it's not surprising that only 3 percent of federal drug offenders choose that option. Sullum explains how mandatory minimum sentencing rules force drug offenders to plead guilty.