SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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DEFENDING AMERICA'S MOST VULNERABLE: SAFE ACCESS TO DRUG TREATMENT AND CHILD PROTECTION ACT OF 2004
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM,
AND HOMELAND SECURITY
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
JULY 6, 2004
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Serial No. 103
Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/judiciary
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
LAMAR SMITH, Texas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
WILLIAM L. JENKINS, Tennessee
CHRIS CANNON, Utah
SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
MELISSA A. HART, Pennsylvania
JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTEVE KING, Iowa
JOHN R. CARTER, Texas
TOM FEENEY, Florida
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee
JOHN CONYERS, Jr., Michigan
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
RICK BOUCHER, Virginia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
MELVIN L. WATT, North Carolina
ZOE LOFGREN, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ, California
PHILIP G. KIKO, Chief of Staff-General Counsel
PERRY H. APELBAUM, Minority Chief Counsel
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSubcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina, Chairman
TOM FEENEY, Florida
BOB GOODLATTE, Virginia
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MARK GREEN, Wisconsin
RIC KELLER, Florida
MIKE PENCE, Indiana
J. RANDY FORBES, Virginia
ROBERT C. SCOTT, Virginia
ADAM B. SCHIFF, California
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
MAXINE WATERS, California
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
JAY APPERSON, Chief Counsel
ELIZABETH SOKUL, Counsel
KATY CROOKS, Counsel
JASON CERVENAK, Full Committee Counsel
BOBBY VASSAR, Minority Counsel
C O N T E N T S
JULY 6, 2004
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The Honorable Howard Coble, a Representative in Congress From the State of North Carolina, and Chairman, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
The Honorable Robert C. Scott, a Representative in Congress From the State of Virginia, and Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
Ms. Catherine M. O'Neil, Associate Deputy Attorney General, United States Department of Justice
Mr. Robert J. Cramer, Special Investigator, United States General Accounting Office
Mr. Tyrone V. Patterson, Manager of the Model Treatment Center, District of Columbia Department of Health
Mr. Frank O. Bowman, III, J.D., M. Dale Palmer Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrepared Statement
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
Letter from Commissioners and Vice Chairmen of the U.S. Sentencing Commission
Letter from Robert D. Evans, Director of the Washington Office of the American Bar Association
Questions and Responses for the Record from Mr. Robert J. Cramer
''Drug Market Thrives By Methadone Clinics: D.C. Patients Must Face McPharmacy,'' article from The Washington Post, August 12,2002
''Probe Confirms Dealing of Drugs Near D.C. Clinics,'' article from The Washington Post, July 7, 2004
Letter from Edwin C. Chapman, M.D. and James T. Speight, Jr. of the United Planning Organization-Comprehensive Treatment Center
DEFENDING AMERICA'S MOST VULNERABLE: SAFE ACCESS TO DRUG TREATMENT AND CHILD PROTECTION ACT OF 2004
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TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2004
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism,
and Homeland Security
Committee on the Judiciary,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 4 p.m., in Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard Coble (Chair of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. COBLE. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security is holding a hearing today on H.R. 4547, the ''Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2004.''
The hearing will examine the problem of drug dealers preying on vulnerable individuals such as recovering addicts and minors.
Recent studies have revealed the growing problem of drug dealers targeting individuals as they are leaving drug treatment centers. A 2002 news article in the Washington Post highlighted this problem, which appears to be occurring on a daily basis just minutes from where we sit. More than 1,000 addicts attend drug treatment in Northeast Washington, receiving care at three public methadone centers in the area. Drug dealers operate out of a nearby McDonald's parking lot next to the largest meth treatment center in D.C., and within three blocks of two other treatment centers. According to the article, many addicts say the availability of drugs present daily temptations as they try to overcome psychological and physical addiction.
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The General Accounting Office investigators found that this is not the only city where this problem exists. Adult addicts are not the only victims of the drug dealers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that approximately 6 million children under the age of 18 were living with at least one parent who abused or was dependent upon alcohol or drugs in the year 2001. Studies have found that children of addicted parents are more likely to mimic their parents' behavior.
Even more troubling are cases in which parents knowingly expose children, including their own, to the seedy and dangerous world of drug trafficking, including the storage and distribution of drugs for profit in their own homes where small children may reside. H.R. 4547 addresses this issue by strengthening the laws regarding trafficking to minors and creating criminal penalties for individuals who traffic drugs near a drug treatment facility. The legislation examined today makes it unlawful to distribute drugs to a person enrolled in a drug treatment center or to distribute drugs within 1,000 feet of a drug treatment facility.
Now only recently the Supreme Court in Blakely v. Washington has cast doubt upon the continued viability of the Federal sentencing guidelines. While neither Congress nor the judiciary should react in haste without thoughtful consideration of the decision, it does seem clear that mandatory minimums may well take on added importance in assuring appropriate sentences for serious Federal crimes as a result of this Supreme Court's action.
I want to thank the four witnesses who will participate today and thank you for your being here. And with that, I conclude my opening statement and am pleased to recognize the distinguished gentleman from Virginia, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Mr. Bobby Scott.
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Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I am pleased to join you in convening this hearing on H.R. 4547. The bill purports to protect drug treatment patients, children and young adults from drug dealers. That is an excellent goal. However, the primary focus of the bill is an array of provisions increasing sentencing guideline ranges, adding new mandatory minimum sentences, and increasing existing sentences by at least fivefold to mandatory life without parole, three strikes and you're out and other provisions. The latter provision, three strikes and you're out, has been roundly discredited as being wasteful, racially discriminatory, sound-bite-based, and having no impact on reducing crime. In California, where it is broadly applied, it is now slated for a referendum to eliminate it.
Also, the bill provides for conspiracies and attempts to punish in the same manner as actualas those actually committing the crime. This will only increase the disparity in sentencing. With mandatory minimum sentencing, there is no way to distinguish between the major players and the bit players in a crime. One of the primary purposes in establishing the U.S. sentencing guidelines was to remove disparate treatment from like offenders. Giving unlike offenders the same sentence for a crime creates as much sentencing disparity as giving like offenders different sentences for the same crime.
Other provisions of the bill eliminate the drug quantity sentencing cap established by the Sentencing Commission, and strict application of the safety valve, and substantial assistance to the Government sentencing reduction provisions.
We have often cited the numerous studies and recommendations of researchers, the judicial branch, including the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and sentencing professionals, reflecting the problems created by the proliferation of mandatory minimum sentences. They are often cited as being wasteful as compared to alternative sentencing and alternatives such as drug treatment. They also disrupt the ability of the Sentencing Commission and the courts to apply an orderly, proportional, nondisparate sentencing system, and also they are found to be discriminatory against minorities and for transferring an inordinate amount of discretion from prosecutorsto prosecutors from the judges in an adversarial system.
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Our criminal justice system is an adversarial system which anticipates a balanced, vigorous prosecution and a balanced, vigorous defense with an impartial trier of fact determining guilt or innocence. It then envisions an impartial and learned judge, after having heard all the evidence and circumstances, to determine a just sentence. To assure uniform sentencing practices amongst the various courts and judges, and to guard against disparate treatment, we provide sentences to be bounded by sentencing guidelines developed by sentencing experts.
Unfortunately this bill ignores these goals and structurescontinues the recent trend in determining sentences up front through mandatory minimum sentences with virtually all discretion shifted to the prosecutor in the charge and plea bargain phase of the case.
Practically there is no reason to believe that 4547 will have an impact on crimes at which it is purportedly aimed. In its essence the bill simply increases the penalties for drug trafficking, yet the problem seems to be a law enforcement problem, not a sentencing problem.
With the GAO, the treatment centers and now the Judiciary Committee reporting illegal drug activity in and around drug treatment centers in specific detail, the question is why aren't the current stringent drug laws being enforced by local and Federal authorities rather than just being reported to us by the GAO and others? Adding more laws to the current ones that are not being enforced will be little assistance to the problem. The suggestion that current Federal illegal drug penalties are not severe enough to have the law enforcement officials incentivized to enforce them is unfounded because there are long prison terms now available for the drug offenders and the fact that they constitute a growing majority of offenders in the Federal system.
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Just as unfounded is the notion that the access to drugs by drug treatment patients and children will be significantly affected by having harsher penalties within a certain distance of drug treatment and other facilities and for drug crimes around children, even by parents. Studies of drug quantities, quality and price indicate that they are even more plentiful now in higher qualities and lower prices than before. Offenders generally have ready access to drugs in their neighborhoods. There is nothing to suggest that they obtained the drugs for which they are addicted near a drug treatment center. Moreover, having drug offenders who happen to violate the law within the inner edge of a prohibited zone and ones who violate the law a few feet away receiving disparate sentences makes no sense. Jailing parents or custodians of children for longer periods for drug activities in their presence and forcing children into foster care is of dubious benefit to the children.
In light of the implications of the recent Blakely v. Washington case for the sentencing guidelines system, we should not be passing more and possibly unconstitutional sentencing provisions until we have had a chance to review the decision and determine what changes in the law are necessary to meet constitutional muster.
So, Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses on these points and thank you for convening the hearing.
Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. COBLE. Our first witness today is Ms. Catherine O'Neil. Ms. O'Neil is the Associate Deputy Attorney General of the Office of the Deputy General at the Department of Justice. Her portfolio includes all issues relating to international and domestic drug policy, drug enforcement and money laundering. She serves as the Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program.
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Prior to serving in her current capacity, Ms. O'Neil was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia and received her B.A. From the University of Virginia, a master's in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and her law degree from the Harvard School of Law.
Our second witness today is Mr. Robert Cramer, the Managing Director of the Office of Special Investigations at the United States General Accounting Office. Mr. Cramer was an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of New York before he joined GAO in 2000. He also served as an assistant district attorney in New York County and was an attorney in private practice in New York City.
Mr. Cramer received his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College and his law degree from Notre Dame Law School.
Our third witness is Mr. Tyrone Patterson, program manager for the Model Treatment Program within the District of Columbia Department of Health. Mr. Patterson has over 1,000 years of substance abuse trainingand has over 1,000 yearshoursI know something didn't sound right. I accelerated your advancement in age1,000 hours of substance abuse training and has worked in the field as a counselor, supervisor counselor and program manager for 28 years. He is certified and registered for addiction counseling in the State of Maryland and is CSC certified and registered in the District of Columbia.
Mr. Patterson is the president of the Mitchellville Boys and Girls Club and has coached both adult and youth sports since 1968 in Prince George's County, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
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Our final witness, Mr. Frank O. Bowman, III, a professor at the Indiana School of Law at Indianapolis. Prior to serving in his current position, he served as an academic advisor to the Criminal Law Committee of the United States Judicial Conference and as a special counsel to the United States Sentencing Commission in Washington, D.C. He further served as a deputy district attorney for Denver, Colorado, and was Deputy Chief of the Southern Criminal Division in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Mr. Bowman was awarded his law degree from Harvard University.
It is the practice of the Subcommittee, lady and gentlemen, to swear in our witnesses who appear before us. So if you would please stand and raise your right hands.
Mr. COBLE. Let the record show that each of the witnesses answered in the affirmative, and you may be seated.
Folks, we are glad to have you all with us. We operate under the 5-minute rule here. You will not be administered 20 lashes if you violate that rule, but the light that appears before you on your table, when the amber light appears, that is your warning that 5 minutes is imminent. When the red light appears, the 5 minutes have elapsed. So if you will keep a sharp look on that, we will be appreciative of that.
We have your statements, and they have been examined and will be reexamined. And, Ms. O'Neil, we will start with you.
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TESTIMONY OF CATHERINE M. O'NEIL, ASSOCIATE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Ms. O'NEIL. Mr. Chairman, Representative Scott, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today.
Protecting vulnerable victims from drug dealing predators, particularly those who would exploit human weakness by preying on persons afflicted with drug addiction or on those who, because of their youth and immaturity, are particularly susceptible to influence is a laudable goal and one that the Department of Justice fully endorses. The act now under consideration focuses on the scourge of drug trafficking in some of its most base and dangerous forms, trafficking to minors or in places where they congregate, and trafficking in or near drug treatment centers.
Unfortunately, endangerment of children from exposure to drug activity, sales of drugs to children, and the use of minors in drug trafficking and the peddling of pharmaceuticals and other illicit drugs to drug treatment patients are all significant problems today. Too often law enforcement agents come upon children during raids and search warrants. We find thousands of children in methamphetamine laboratories, children being used as decoys or distributors for drug-smuggling operations, and children unable to attend school without being exposed to illegal drugs. And right here in D.C., we have seen open-air markets where heartless dealers driven only by their own greed have taken advantage of drug treatment patients, enticing them with illicit substances and undermining any progress these patients may have made on the road to recovery.
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The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously prosecuting drug trafficking in all of its egregious forms, whether it be a top-level, international narcotics supplier or street-level predator who tempts a child or an addict. The people who target their trafficking activity at those with the least ability to resist it are deserving of severe punishment, and that is why the Department stands firmly behind the overriding intent of this legislation, to increase penalties for those who would harm our children and those who are seeking to escape the cycle of addiction.
The Justice Department supports the mandatory minimum sentences in this bill. In a way sentencing guidelines cannot, mandatory minimum statutes provide a level of uniformity and predictability in sentencing. They deter certain types of criminal behavior determined by Congress to be so egregious as to merit these harsh penalties by clearly forewarning the offender and the public of the minimum potential consequences of committing such an offense. In drug cases, mandatory minimums are especially significant. Drug dealers by nature are risk takers. Lack of certainty in the consequences of engaging in certain egregious conduct does not effectively deter these risk takers because they can forever hold on to the hope of finding a lenient judge and getting a lenient sentence. The only possible deterrence for these dealers is to take away that cause for hope.
Equally importantly, mandatory minimum sentences are an indispensable tool for prosecutors. They provide the strongest incentive to defendants to cooperate against the others involved in their criminal activity. In drug cases, where the ultimate goal is to rid society of the entire trafficking enterprise, the offer of relief from a mandatory minimum sentence in exchange for truthful testimony allows the Government to move steadily and effectively up the chain of supply using lesser distributors to prosecute larger dealers, leaders and suppliers.
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For all of these reasons, we support the provisions of this legislation which address the plight of endangered children and addicts by punishing those who would exploit them.
I must reserve opinion in light of Blakely v. Washington, a Supreme Court case decided just 2 weeks ago, on those sections of the bill which propose to directly amend the sentencing guidelines. Nevertheless, I will say that the Department of Justice supports the concepts and policies behind those proposed amendments to the extent that the amendments seek to eliminate the mitigating role cap for drug traffickers, to ensure that the scope of accountability for coconspirator conduct is consistent with conspiracy law, and to confine the application of the so-called safety valve to cases where it is clearly warranted.
The Department has concerns with the proposed amendments to rule 11 regarding plea agreements, but we are looking forward to working with the Committee to alleviate those concerns.
Finally, while the Department agrees with the principle that in almost all circumstances a defendant who has been found guilty of an offense should be immediately detained, we cannot support the proposed amendment here on detention. By foreclosing the possibility of release for circumstances other than cooperation and thereby telegraphing a defendant's intention to assist the Government, this proposal would severely diminish the value of one of our most valuable investigative and prosecutorial tools.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This legislation will reduce the availability of illicit drugs to those afflicted with drug addictions and reduce the incidence of drug activity involving young people. The Attorney General has often observed that while children are but 25 percent of our population, they are 100 percent of our future. If there is any conduct which is deserving of the penalties set forth in this bill, it is the conduct at issue here. Drug trafficking to and through children diminishes the potential of our Nation and robs this country of its future, and it cannot be tolerated.
Thank you for this opportunity to share our views with you, and I will be pleased to answer any questions that the Subcommittee may have.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Ms. O'Neil.
[The prepared statement of Ms. O'Neil follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF CATHERINE M. O'NEIL
Mr. Chairman, Representative Scott, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today regarding the Justice Department' views on H.R. 4547, Defending America' Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2004.
Protecting vulnerable victims from drug dealing predators, particularly those who would exploit human weakness by preying on persons afflicted with addictions to drugs or on those who, because of their youth and immaturity, are particularly susceptible to influence, is a laudable goal and one the Department of Justice fully endorses. Last year, Congress made significant strides by enacting the PROTECT Act, a law that has proved effective in enabling law enforcement to pursue and to punish wrongdoers who threaten the youth of America.
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The Act now under consideration takes Congress'commendable efforts even further by focusing on the scourge of drug trafficking in some of its most base and dangerous forms: trafficking to minors or in places where they may congregate, and trafficking in or near drug treatment centers.
Endangerment of children through exposure to drug activity, sales of drugs to children, the use of minors in drug trafficking, and the peddling of pharmaceutical and other illicit drugs to drug treatment patients are all significant problems today. One need only consider the following few examples:
In 2003, 3,625 children were found in the approximately 9,000 methamphetamine laboratories seized nationwide. Of those, 1,040 children were physically present at the clandestine labs and 906 actually resided at the lab site premises. Forty-one children found were injured. Law enforcement referred 501 children to child protective services following the enforcement activity.
According to the BBC, a 12-year-old drug mule living in Nigeria swallowed 87 condoms full of heroin before boarding a flight from London to New York. He was offered $1,900 to make the trip.
In ''Operation Paris Express,'' an investigation led by the former U.S. Customs Service, agents learned that members of the targeted international drug trafficking organization specifically instructed couriers to use juveniles for smuggling trips to allay potential suspicions by U.S. Customs. On one smuggling trip, two couriers, posing as a couple, brought a mentally handicapped teenager with them while they carried 200,000 Ecstasy pills concealed in socks in their luggage.
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More recently, ''Operation Kids for Cover,'' an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation in Chicago and elsewhere, uncovered a cocaine smuggling group that ''rented'' infants to accompany couriers, many of whom were drug addicts themselves, who were transporting liquified cocaine in baby formula containers.
In Vermont, prosecutors convicted drug dealer, Michael Baker, for selling cocaine to, among others, high-schoolers. A sophomore honors student who got cocaine from Baker began using extensively and started referring friends from his peer group to Baker in exchange for drugs. This honors student never returned to high school for his junior year.
As reported in the Washington Post, between 2000 and 2002, more than 200 persons were arrested here in Washington, D.C., for distributing diverted prescription drugs and other illicit drugs in a parking lot that abuts one of D.C.'s largest methadone clinics and is within three blocks of several other treatment facilities. The dealers in that open air market took advantage of the drug treatment patientsenticing them with illicit substances and undermining any progress that had been made on their road to recovery.
The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously prosecuting drug trafficking in all of its egregious forms, whether it be a top-level international narcotics supplier or a street-level predator who tempts a child or an addict with the lure of intoxication or the promise of profit.
We have had some successes. Statistics maintained by the Department of Justice Executive Office for United States Attorneys indicate that, in the last two years alone, we have had over 400 convictions under Title 21, Sections 859, 860 and 861, of persons engaged in drug activity involving minors. Moreover, statistics maintained by the U.S. Sentencing Commission indicate that, between 1998 and 2002, approximately 300 defendants were sentenced annually under the guideline that provides for enhanced penalties for drug activity involving minors or in protected locations. But our tools are limited. And we have no specific weapon against those who distribute controlled substances within the vicinity of a drug treatment center.
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The people who would sink to the depths of inhumanity by targeting their trafficking activity at those with the least ability to resist such offers are deserving not only of our most pointed contempt, but, more importantly, of severe punishment. The Department of Justice cannot and will not tolerate this conduct in a free and safe America, and that is why the Department of Justice stands firmly behind the intent of this legislation to increase the punishment meted out to those who would harm us, our children, and those seeking to escape the cycle of addiction.
I would like to spend a few minutes talking specifically about mandatory minimum sentences and, in particular, the mandatory minimum sentence provisions of H.R. 4547.
The Justice Department supports mandatory minimum sentences in appropriate circumstances. In a way sentencing guidelines cannot, mandatory minimum statutes provide a level of uniformity and predictability in sentencing. They deter certain types of criminal behavior determined by Congress to be sufficiently egregious as to merit harsh penalties by clearly forewarning the potential offender and the public at large of the minimum potential consequences of committing such an offense. And mandatory minimum sentences can also incapacitate dangerous offenders for long periods of time, thereby increasing public safety. Equally importantly, mandatory minimum sentences provide an indispensable tool for prosecutors, because they provide the strongest incentive to defendants to cooperate against the others who were involved in their criminal activity.
In drug cases, where the ultimate goal is to rid society of the entire trafficking enterprise, mandatory minimum statutes are especially significant. Unlike a bank robbery, for which a bank teller or an ordinary citizen could be a critical witness, typically in drug cases the only witnesses are drug users and/or other drug traffickers. The offer of relief from a mandatory minimum sentence in exchange for truthful testimony allows the Government to move steadily and effectively up the chain of supply, using the lesser distributors to prosecute the more serious dealers and their leaders and suppliers.
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The Department thinks that mandatory minimum sentences are needed in appropriate circumstances, and we support the specific mandatory minimum sentences proposed in H.R. 4547. These sentences are entirely appropriate in light of the plight of drug-endangered children throughout this country.
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS WITHIN H.R. 4547
I would now like to turn to some specific provisions within the proposed legislation that the Department of Justice finds particularly noteworthy and offer some comments which might prove useful as the Committee continues to consider this bill.
Before doing so, however, I must reserve opinion, in light of Blakely v. Washingtona Supreme Court case decided just two weeks agoon those sections of the bill which propose to directly amend the sentencing guidelines, Having reserved opinion on the particular language of these sections, I will say that the Department of Justice supports the concepts and policies behind the proposed legislative amendments.
Section 3 : Fairness in sentencing: assuring traffickers in large quantities of drugs receive appropriate sentences and denying double sentencing benefits
The Department of Justice favors eliminating the guidelines offense level limitation that applies to drug traffickers who play a mitigating role in the offense. We believe that there is no need for such an offense level ''cap'' and that the federal statutes and the otherwise applicable sentencing guidelines appropriately allow for the consideration of aggravating and mitigating factors. Moreover, we believe that, in most cases, the controlled substance quantity is an important measure of the dangers presented by that offense because, even without other aggravating factors, the distribution of a larger quantity of a controlled substance results in greater potential for greater societal harm than the distribution of a smaller quantity of that substance.
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We acknowledge that the Sentencing Commission has undertaken to lessen the impact of this offense level cap. Pursuant to proposed guidelines amendments submitted to Congress and published in the Federal Register in May of this year, the Commission would apply a higher cap to the initially higher offense levels. For the reasons set forth above, however, we do not believe that this proposal sufficiently addresses our concern that the significance of drug quantity be adequately taken into account and the defendant not receive multiple benefits based on his lesser role in the offense.
Section 5: Conforming guideline sentencing to conspiracy law
We agree that the scope of accountability for co-conspirator conduct under the sentencing guidelines should be coextensive with such accountability for purposes of criminal liability generally. We also agree that a conspirator can be held accountable for acts of co-conspirators, in addition to his own conduct. Defendants, therefore, should be accountable for all conduct occurring during the course of the conspiracy that was reasonably foreseeable and in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Section 6: Assuring limitation on applicability of statutory minimums to persons who have done everything they can to assist the Government
We strongly support the proposed amendment to 18 U.S.C. §3553(f), insofar as it would require Government certification that the defendant has timely met the full disclosure requirement for the safety valve exemption from certain mandatory minimum sentences.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We certainly understand the concerns that prompted this proposal. Our prosecutors rightfully complain that courts often settle for minimal, bare-bones confessional disclosures and, in some cases, continue sentencing hearings to afford a defendant successive tries at meeting even this low standard. The Department of Justice thus is aware that some courts and defendants have too liberally construed the safety valve and have applied it in circumstances that were clearly unwarranted and where no beneficial information was conveyed. For these reasons, we strongly support the prosecutor certification requirement.
Requiring courts to rely on the Government's assessment as to whether a defendant's disclosure has been truthful and complete would effectively address the problems prosecutors have encountered with respect to application of the safety valve.
Section 9: Assuring judicial authority consistent with law in sentencings
The Department has a number of concerns with regard to the proposed amendments to Rule 11. Notably, we have been working with Committee staff to alleviate such concerns and look forward to continuing this dialogue.
Section 10: Mandatory detention of persons convicted of serious drug trafficking offenses and crimes of violence
The Department agrees with the principle that, in almost all circumstances, a defendant who has been found guilty should be immediately detained. We also acknowledge that the circumstances in which release pending sentencing or appeal is necessary are extremely limited. Nevertheless, we cannot support this proposal to the extent it requires Government certification as to a defendant's cooperation and precludes release pending appeal. Even with sealed pleadings, a defendant's intention to cooperate would be much more apparent under this provision, and this likely would have an adverse impact on a defendant's willingness to cooperate, on the value of the cooperation, and on the safety of the defendant. By foreclosing the possibility of release for circumstances other than cooperation and, thereby, telegraphing a defendant's intention to assist the Government, this proposal would severely diminish the value of one of our most useful investigative and prosecutorial tools. Moreover, this is a tool that we employ not simply post-conviction but, sometimes, pending appeal as well. A prosecutor should not be prohibited from seeking release after sentencing, if the particular circumstances of the case so warrant.
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We again thank you for this opportunity to share our views. I will be pleased to answer any questions the members of the Subcommittee may have.
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Cramer.
TESTIMONY OF ROBERT J. CRAMER, SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR, UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Mr. CRAMER. I am pleased to be here today to summarize the results of our investigation of street narcotics sales in the vicinity of certain drug rehabilitation clinics. Special Agent George Ogilvie, the principal investigator in this work, is here with me today. To obtain an overview of the problem, Agent Ogilvie and other criminal investigators from the Office of Special Investigations at GAO conducted physical surveillance of five clinics in the District of Columbia. We found a significant amount of illegal drug trafficking takes place around these clinics. In fact, patients frequently must navigate their way through a virtual bazaar of illegal drug dealing when they enter and exit the clinics.
During our visits to the clinics, investigators observed many of the typical patterns of activity on nearby streets that indicate that drug trafficking is taking place and were actually solicited to buy drugs. Groups of individuals were loitering in the vicinity of the clinics. People driving vehicles would circle the locations where these groups congregated, slowing down to speak with people on the street. The investigators observed people from the street groups repeatedly entering and exiting vehicles that pulled up to them, meeting other people on the street and engaging in hand-to-hand contact, or walking away with them to complete a sale at another location.
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Some of the drug dealers were very brazen about their activities. For instance, on three occasions, dealers outside clinics asked one of our investigators if he wanted to buy drugs. There were numerous occasions when our investigators observed people exchange cash for a small bag or other objects that were too small for us to see.
One particular clinic is located in an isolated area near a bus stop. We learned from local police officials that the bus stop is known as a place in which illegal drug activity frequently takes place. We viewed a videotape made by local police of a drug transaction that took place at the bus stop in which an undercover officer purchased narcotics. The officer made the purchase from someone who, while appearing to be waiting for a bus, sold drugs to the officer from a bag that she carried. When our investigators observed the bus stop, approximately 8 to 10 people were seated there and appeared to be waiting for the bus. When a bus pulled up, however, none of the people who were sitting there got on board. As the investigators continued to watch, they observed other people approach the individuals who were seated at the bus stop, engage in conversation, followed by hand-to-hand contact, and then walk away.
Adjacent to another clinic is a McDonald's restaurant. Local police detectives reported that the area surrounding the restaurant and clinic is a magnet for persons seeking to buy and sell narcotics. As a result, Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies cooperate in investigating illegal drug sales in the area. On repeated visits to this location, our investigators observed that individuals who stood outside the restaurant were approached by others, engaged in hand-to-hand exchanges with them.
In our interviews of personnel at three clinics, they confirmed that there is extensive illegal drug activity in the vicinity of their clinics. A director at one clinic reported that it is especially difficult for these patients who are struggling with addiction to resist the temptations offered by the drug dealers who confront them on a daily basis outside the clinic.
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In conclusion, patients who seek treatment must navigate their way to and from the clinics in an environment in which illegal sales of narcotics are daily occurrences. The efforts of patients who are seeking rehabilitation and the clinic professionals who serve them are significantly undermined by the criminal activity that surrounds them.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared statement, and I would be pleased to respond to any questions that you or other Members of the Subcommittee may have.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Cramer.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Cramer follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ROBERT J. CRAMER
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Mr. COBLE. We have been joined by the distinguished gentleman from Ohio Mr. Chabot.
And I now I recognize our 1,000-year-old witness Mr. Patterson. I apologize for that mistake.
TESTIMONY OF TYRONE V. PATTERSON, MANAGER OF THE MODEL TREATMENT CENTER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Mr. PATTERSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of Congress and the Subcommittee, colleagues, and concerned advocates and Members of the Committee. My name is Tyrone Patterson, and I am the program manager of Model Treatment at 1300 First Street Northeast. I have been the manager since 1991. As indicated in my bio. I have been involved in drug treatment for the last 28 years, but I have been affected by drug abuse for the last 52 years because I have lived in Washington, D.C., all my life.
Just starting outand I am going to go away from my textstarting out as a counselor many, many years ago, we saw drug dealing in the many clinics we had in the city at that time, but being a counselor, there is only so much you can do. But I said after so many years, if I could get in a position to make an impact and make a difference, that I would do something about it.
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In 1991, I became a manager and started to do something about it after seeing it for so long, seeing my loved ones, friends, family, virtually come through a minefield of drug dealers reaching my clinic. And right now I look out my window, and I have a great big window, picture window, that I can see blocks and blocks away. And I can seeactually see patients who are confronted on a daily basis as they come to the clinic and as they leave. This makes me very angry, and it has made me more determined to get more involved not just calling the police or calling my superiors, but me actually going out on that corner and confronting drug dealers who know me, who know me from being in the treatment programs for so many years. But sometimes they don't go, they don't move, because I don't know all of them. And at times it is disheartening to see our folks that we work with relapse over and over again because the temptation is so great.
Now, I am not a legislator. I guess I was brought here to put a human face on what we go through every day, but I am here representing our patients who struggle with this disease every day of their life. And when we can get them in the program and start that process of rebuilding their lives and doing things that we take for granted, like family outings, going to graduations, picnics, taking our families to the ballgames and going out on a date; believe it or not, things that we take for granted that we have done all our lives that these folks don't do anymore because their life is centered around drug abuse and the drug culture.
I was undecided whether or not I should appear today, because I am not a politician. I am notI don't understand the law totally, but I know that this will help in some way to let the drug dealers know that they cannot take advantage of the most vulnerable people that we have, and that is our people who are seeking treatment. I am determined not to let it happen whether you pass this bill or not. But I do think that the people who do sell drugsand I said it in my testimonythat it should be a provision that the people who are selling just because they need it to maintain their own habit or just to be able to take care of their own humanly needs, there needs to be a provision in there that they receive treatment, that they are offered treatment.
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I think that is very important. I think that is what is being talked about all over this country, that treatment does work versus prison. But we have to offer it to them. We have to give them that option.
Today I buried a very close friend of mine, who, after 45 years, succumbed to drug addiction and died, and we buried him today. I looked at him in that casket, and I tried to save his life on four, five different occasions by getting him into treatment and exposed to treatment, but I couldn't save him. I could not save him. I couldn't save him from what has took control of his life all these years. And it has affected his family, the people who love him. It affected what he wanted to be, because he was a good artist. And he is not the only one that we have seen, a life that has been destroyed by drug addiction.
I could stay up here really all day long and tell you about some of the stories, but I want to tell you one story what it means to really complete treatment. I had one gentleman after 25 years complete treatment, and he was off for 90 days, and he came back to talk to me after 90 days being in recovery and he was free of all drugs. And he said, Mr. Patterson, this has been the best 90 days of my life in the past 25 years, and I just wanted to thank you and your staff for providing what you did for me in this program. One week later he passed. That really hurt me. And I thought about it. But what he was telling methe reason he came back at this particular time was to say thank you, thank you for looking out for him and his best interests.
This is what we see every everyday. This is what my staff sees. And there is so much I can tell you that 5 minutes is not really long to tell the story because I have 28 years of stories. But I am so glad and very humble to be here. All the patients that know I was going to be here, they are excited that I am getting an opportunity to tell their story, and hopefully I can tell more after this hearing is over if you want to ask some more questions and even come by the clinic. I will be glad to have you come by, and you can look out my picture window. Thank you again.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Patterson follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF TYRONE PATTERSON
Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, distinguished Members of Congress and this Subcommittee, colleagues and concerned advocates and members of the community. My name is Tyrone Patterson, Program Manager for the Model Treatment Program located at 1300 First Street, NE in Washington, D.C.only blocks away from Capitol Hill. I am testifying today on behalf of the District of Columbia government and Mayor Anthony Williams.
Through our Model Treatment Program, the Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA) within the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) provides comprehensive opioid treatment, methadone medication, counseling, group education and case management activities for over three hundred patients. In addition, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities accredits the District's Model Treatment Program.
I have worked in drug treatment for twenty-eight years, including twenty-two years in Model Treatment and serving as its Program Manager since 1991.
It gives me great pleasure to testify before you today. Two years ago, when the Washington Post first interviewed me, I did not imagine that this issue would reach so far and impact so many. For that, I am truly grateful and honored. Beyond the fact that today marks my first time ever before a convened body of Congress, I remain extremely passionate and personally involved in the issues presented before us.
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I take my job very personally. I view it with a great sense of commitment and determination because it is so much more than just a jobit is a daily matter of life and death. I am in the business of saving lives. What we do in Model Treatment is save human beings from the negative and destructive grips of drug addiction. It is a struggle defined by spiritual and emotional skirmishes, trenches and body bags. We are on the front line of a great war and I take that responsibility very seriously. I also take great comfort in the fact that, each day, I am doing what's best to serve the common good and the community entrusting us to do just that. At Model Treatment, we do more than serve and treat addictswe protect communities, families and children who are greatly impacted by substance abuse and addiction.
It is heartening to know that I am on the right side of that battlefield.
But, I also lead a troubled and worried lifea life burdened by the valley of shadow and death that I must travel through each day. Although I draw immense satisfaction from the good work that I am engaged in, I cannot help but be troubled. Each day brings with it uncertainty because of what we do and who we help.
There is this notiona stigma, in factthat drug addiction is a behavioral problem caused by bad habits, personal sin and irresponsibility. I am here to tell you today that such a notion could be further from the truth.
Drug addiction is a disease and a debilitating dysfunction of the brain. There are people that we help, treat and counsel for addiction who believe that what they are doing is actually NORMAL. In some instances, many are convinced, after so many years, that addiction is an acceptable way of lifethat it becomes a normal routine. This belief is so ingrained that many become removed from what we take for granted. Many live in a completely different world. To the full-blown, fully engaged addict, priorities dramatically shift for the worse. Some lose focus of activities that were once important in their life: raising a family, taking a vacation, buying a house or reading a good book. Sadly, addiction becomes their sole purpose in life.
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This is a great challenge we face head on at Model Treatment.
To many addicts, NORMALCY consists of the next high. This mindset runs deeper for those individuals that have lived with their disease for twenty or thirty years. Many addicts have not witnessed or experienced another way of life. Model Treatment is critical because we show addicts an alternative.
People, particularly those defeated by addiction, must have access to different choices. If not, they can't understand what it's like to not be an addict. Hence, it becomes a battle for the soul since many are unaware of any other life or completely forget the life they once had. At Model Treatment, we engage addicts with a positive alternative and the potential for substantive and positive outcomes.
Treatment by itself is a tough and arduous road. But, imagine being treated and looking forward to it, taking that first major step, and then forced to walk through a virtual minefield of temptation and addiction right outside the Program doors. Imagine being preyed upon by dealers only moments after you've made that critical first decision to seek treatment and create positive change in your life.
Sometimes we win these battles. But, many other times, we don't win. Too many of our patients relapse as soon as they leave Model Treatment, finding themselves bombarded with opportunities to regress due to the overwhelming presence of drug dealers.
It has been a severe and continuing problem for many years. Dealers traffic numerous illegal and addicting substances to our clients soon after they have undergone treatment. Each day, I survey this activity right below my office window, an anxious anthill of criminal motives, unabated, in a McDonald's parking lot and the corner of First and New York Avenues, NE. It is a sight that depresses and angers me.
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Fortunately, it has improved over the past several years due to coordinated planning and response with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). It still presents a pressing challenge, but we have found ways to fight back.
Over the years, our vigilance and determination, in partnership with the MPD, has actually diminished much of this activity. Increased police presence and increased arrests, coupled by my own personal and sometimes dangerous confrontations with dealers, have dealt a major blow to the dark industry plaguing our patients. In addition, we have taken the dramatic, but highly useful, step of opening Model Treatment an hour earlier. We now open at 6:00 a.m. and begin medicating clients with methadone at 6:30 a.m. Many of our group sessions take place at 5:30 a.m. Clients have admitted that new hours are too early for dealers who, we find, are too tired or too lazy to wake up that early! It may seem too simple to be that effective, but it works.
You would be amazed to see how treatment works, because when it takes hold on an addict, they become alive. It's as though they're taking a breath of fresh air for the first time in their life. Suddenly, they view their addiction and the dealers much differently. We help them realize what made them vulnerable in the first place. They view the dealer negatively because they recognize that such a life has no positive influence or outcome.
Treatment works because we actually show them that addiction and the dealing outside the Program walls are barriers. I routinely invite clients into my office to look outside and watch the dealers stalk their prey. This vivid display of unadulterated addiction actually angers, offends and saddens every client who witnesses it. We tell them: ''This is what you look like.'' They respond shamed and embarrassed, but they are also motivated to do something about it.
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As a result of our efforts, the patients themselves are telling dealers not to traffic around their Model Treatment Program. Patients routinely volunteer information about drug sales occurring around the entire block, including information about illegal and discrete trafficking within the McDonalds. The increased police presence and joint surveillance have been so aggressive that dealers find other ways by which they can sell their product.
Ultimately, I want my people to feel safe and protected when entering Model Treatment. I'm also concerned that drug trafficking around our Program actually heightens the stigma attached to addicts and the places that treat them. It negates the good work that we do. This should, instead, be a peaceful and serene location where patients are undeterred in their quest for recovery and a better way of life. The comfort comes from the fact that I know the dealers and they know I'll call the police and have them chased away or locked up.
In principle, H.R. 4547 directly addresses the problem by imposing penalties severe enough to make the dealer think twice. It brings with it grave consequences for the dealers and sends a stern message that we desperately need in our fight to save lives.
My only concern is that H.R. 4547 lacks a provision that allows treatment for dealers that are addicts. There are some addicts so desperate for a hit that they will resort to dealing and endangering other addicts in order to get money for the next high. They are not really driven by profit; they too are struggling with a disease that has left them without options and no place to go. They feel the only way to survive is the next hit. The next hit, therefore, is obtained by gaining funds from drug sales. They do not recognize their faults because they are afflicted with this terrible disease, and they need treatment. In this case, I ask this body to consider an additional provision that balances increased penalties with opportunities for treatment. Such flexibility in this law would also address the concerns of advocates who have launched a nationwide movement favoring treatment over punishment.
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If the culture of substance abuse is pervasive and right at your doorstep, it makes the war many times harder to fight. This is why H.R. 4547 has the potential to serve as a useful and effective resource in that fight. Model Treatment is an oasis of help in a desert of hopelessness. Yet, our oasis is surrounded by adversaries we confront daily. We need the necessary tools to help our clients reach that oasis safely and undeterred.
Thank you, again, Mr. Chairman for this opportunity to testify before you today. I am available to answer any questions and look forward to working closely with this Subcommittee.
Mr. COBLE. You say you bring a human face to this, and you say you are not a legislator. Your human face, day in day out, is just as important and perhaps more so than legislating it, and thank you for bringing the human face to us.
Mr. Bowman, good to have you with us. Recognize you for 5 minutes.
TESTIMONY OF FRANK O. BOWMAN, III, J.D., M. DALE PALMER PROFESSOR OF LAW, INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
Mr. BOWMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Scott and Members of the Subcommittee. It is an honor to appear before you.
I am now a teacher, but for roughly 13 years, I was a prosecutor, Federal and State. For 7 years, I was an Assistant United States Attorney in Miami, Florida. I prosecuted many drug cases, and I have helped to send many drug traffickers to prison for lengthy terms.
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And becoming a teacher has not made me a wimp. I believe Federal prosecution is an important component of American antidrug efforts. I have no qualms about sending significant drug dealers to prison for significant periods. Nonetheless, the bill before you, H.R. 4547, seems to me ill advised, particularly at this moment in the history of Federal criminal justice. I have submitted extended written remarks explaining my position, and my oral presentation attempts to distill those written remarks into a couple of basic points.
First, as you all know, on June 24, the Supreme Court decided Blakely v. Washington. The Court, in an opinion by Justice Scalia, found the Washington State sentencing guidelines unconstitutional. And for reasons I explain in detail in my written statement, Blakely almost certainly applies to the Federal sentencing guidelines, rendering them unconstitutional. As of last night at least five or six Federal district court judges have found Blakely applicable to the guidelines, including noted conservative scholar and Utah district judge Paul Cassell. I expect that this trickle of opinions invalidating the current regime is going to grow to a flood over the next few weeks.
The result of Blakely has been chaos and paralysis throughout the Federal criminal system. Every criminal case resulting in conviction must, of course, have a sentencing, but because of Blakely, Federal prosecutors and judges simply don't know how to proceed. No definitive guidance will issue from the Supreme Court for months, and when that guidance comes, it may come in the form of an opinion voiding the guidelines and leaving the other branches to pick up the pieces.
For this reason alone, today seems an inauspicious time to consider legislation which would materially alter statutes and guidelines governing the sentencing of the roughly 40 percent of all Federal defendants convicted of drug crimes. Several of my academic colleagues who have seen copies of this bill suggest that H.R. 4547 amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the deck of the Titanic, and they may not, at least in the short term, be far wrong. And thus I would strongly suggest that at a minimum, consideration of this bill be deferred and that this Committee direct its immense talents to preventing the ship of Federal sentencing law from slipping below the waves. I propose in my written remarks a simple statutory fix which might bring the guidelines into conformity with Blakely.
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My second point, however, is even if we were not in the midst of the Blakely earthquake, this bill should not be enacted. Virtually all of the bill's provisions are subject to some criticism. I'm going to focus on only two: Its mandatory minimum sentence provisions and its rollback of existing guidelines rules mitigating sentences for first-time and low-level drug offenders.
As you know, the very idea of mandatory minimum sentences, particularly quantity-based drug sentences, has long been subject to criticism. For myself, I don't necessarily oppose mandatory sentences in principle so long as such sentences meet certain common-sense preconditions. Among these are that mandatory sentences be narrowly targeted at offenders that deserve them, and that the sentences not be disproportionate to the offense.
The mandatory sentences in this bill fail to meet these common-sense preconditions. Sections 2 and 4 of the bill create what I call proximity provisions; that is, in the name of protecting children and of recovering drug addicts from drug dealers, which are certainly laudable goals, they impose 5- and 10-year minimum mandatory sentences on virtually every Federal drug crime regardless of drug type or amount committed within 1,000 feet of a long list of public and private facilities. The result, as indicated in my report, is to impose 5-year minimum mandatory sentences on virtually every Federal drug offense committed in an urban area in this country.
That result is objectionable for at least three reasons. It is widely overinclusive. It imposes high minimum mandatory sentences on literally thousands of defendants whose activities pose no threat to children or to recovering drug addicts. It is irrational in that it creates huge sentencing disparities between identically situated defendants based on the fortuity of their distance from a swimming pool, library or video arcade. And finally, if actually enforced, it would exacerbate racial and economic disparities in drug sentencing by imposing dramatically higher sentences on drug transactions in urban areas which are disproportionately inhabited by minorities and the poor.
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Section 2 of the bill is directed to deterring the sale of drugs to children by imposing mandatory sentences on persons who distribute to minors and young adults. While that, too, is a laudable objective, the actual language of the bill would impose 5- and 10-year mandatory sentences on young adults who sell or exchange personal use quantities of drugs to one another. For these and other reasons, which the passage of my time precludes me from getting to at the moment, it seems to me that this bill is primarily simply unnecessary.
It seems to me that there is very little public request for a drug bill of this kind. Certainly there is no request for it from the Federal judiciary, none from the defense bar, none from the broader public. And I must say that, at least among line Federal prosecutors, I can think of none of them, or certainly very, very few, who would think that a drug bill of this type was necessary for them to do their important work.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bowman follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF FRANK O. BOWMAN, III
Mr. COBLE. With two of us here, I think time will permit for a second round of questioning. Ms. O'Neil, we impose the 5 minutes against us, too, so if you could make your answers terse, we would appreciate that.
Mr. Patterson in his testimony, Ms. O'Neil, indicated that there are some traffickers who are feeding their own habit by selling drugs. Are there different ways of addressing low-level offenders in the District of Columbia that allow the option of the treatment first prior to sentencing, A; B, are there treatment options available for traffickers who are sentenced to an active Federal prison sentence; and how is the decision made with regard to sentencing someone to an active prison sentence versus drug court?
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Ms. O'NEIL. Mr. Chairman, as you just alluded to, there are several ways to deal with drug traffickers. And though I am not an expert in the State system, I have practiced my entire career in the Federal system, I am aware here in Washington, D.C., that they do have a drug court program, and that is a system whereby you are able to, in lieu of prison time, move a person into a treatment program that has very specific limits, goals and targets for the person that they must complete. They do extensive treatment, they have retraining efforts, and they are constantly monitored by the court. And if they fail to complete their treatment successfully, then they actually go into a more incarceration program, a prison program.
Drug courts can be very successful. As I said, since I am not an expert of the State system or the D.C. System, I don't know what exact processes are used by the District of Columbia or other States to decide whether they will recommend candidates for the particular drug court programs at issue.
With regard to the Federal court system, we offer a number of programs through the Federal Bureau of Prisons for Federal inmates who are incarcerated for drug offenses and for other sentences. They are able to get drug abuse education where they receive information about alcohol, drugs and the physical, social and psychological impact of their addiction. Fifty of the BOP institutions in the country offer what is known as the residential drug abuse treatment program. This is a program that is designed to provide inmates with very intensive 500 hours of drug abuse treatment, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week for 9 months. We find that the likely use of drugs after completing this program is severely diminished.
We also have informal group therapy within the Bureau of Prisons and what is called a transitional drug abuse treatment program, which provides the general population with information about drug treatment and effective transition from the prison institution to the community.
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Mr. COBLE. Thank you.
Mr. Cramer, you may not know the answer to this, but I am interested in knowing what comes first, the trafficker or the treatment center? Do your studies reflect on that?
Mr. CRAMER. No. Our study doesn't really reach that question.
Mr. COBLE. I was just thinking aloud now whether the need is in the X section of the city, so we will locate the center here, as opposed to traffickers already there, or after the center is located and the traffickers are attracted to the center and the vulnerable activity that is forthcoming.
Let me ask you this: Were there instances where you observed children involved or being exposed to these drug-trafficking activities?
Mr. CRAMER. During our observations that we were there many, many times, we did not actually see children among the groups of people who wereappeared to be selling drugs. We did not make observations of that kind ourselves.
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Patterson, I am going to get to you on my next round, but let me put this question to Mr. Bowman. Given the Blakely decisionand it has recently been handed down, and I have not read itwhat other choice does Congress have besides mandatory minimums if we wish to ensure that these individuals who are preying on America's most vulnerable receive active sentences?
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Mr. BOWMAN. Mr. Chairman, I believe there is a way to essentially restore the viability of the Federal sentencing guidelines with a relatively simple statutory fix, which is outlined in my written remarks, but it is a little too complicated to talk about in this short period of time.
I would go beyond that, however, and I think to respond to what I take to be a more particular question, the difficulty that I see in general with much of this bill is simply its overbreadth. No one can argue with the objective here that is preventing sale of drugs to children, preying on addicts. But it would be simple, I think, to draft statutory provisions that are narrowly directed at those who do those activities, who actually sell to addicts, who actually sell to children, rather than drafting what we have here, a bill which imposes 5- and 10-year minimum mandatory sentences on virtually everybody who commits a drug crime in an urban area.
Mr. COBLE. I see my time has expired.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. O'Neil, you said some nice things about drug courts and how effective they are. Of course, this is a Federal bill in the Federal system. Is there anything in the bill that makes an activity that is legal now illegal, or all the activities in the bill already illegal?
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Ms. O'NEIL. Well, certainly drug trafficking is illegal, period. What the bill does effectively is to increase the penalties for conduct when it is in its most egregious forms, either involving addicts or children.
Mr. SCOTT. There is nothing in here that has any diversionthere is no diversion possibility. If you go to court under this and get prosecuted under this, then you get the increased sentence; is that what I understand?
Ms. O'NEIL. You will get the increased sentence, although like all other mandatory minimum provisions, offenders who are subject to mandatory minimums have the opportunity to cooperate, for example, and to provide information about the other individuals who were involved in the activity and to be relieved from those mandatory minimum sentences. And that is, of course, a very important aspect of this bill, because it is one of the ways that we are most effective in drug enforcement, by obtaining information from individuals involved in drug activity.
Mr. SCOTT. Has the Department of Justice suggested draconian penalties for securities fraud and other things where life without parole and those kinds of things would be available unless you told everything you knew?
Ms. O'NEIL. The Department of Justice enforces the laws that Congress passes, and we believe it is up to Congress to determine what is egregious. And if securities fraud were determined to be sufficiently egregious, then we would seek mandatory minimums. We would enforce them, and we would encourage people to cooperate.
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Mr. SCOTT. Are you testifying in favor of the legislation?
Ms. O'NEIL. In favor of a number of the provisions in the legislation, yes.
Mr. SCOTT. Are you testifying against any of the provisions in the bill?
Ms. O'NEIL. As I have put forth in the written remarks that I have submitted, we do have some concerns with certain provisions of the bill, and we are hoping that we will have the opportunity to work more fully with the Committee to address some of those concerns and those provisions.
Mr. SCOTT. You indicated the mandatory minimums were good in appropriate cases. Are you aware of any case in which the Department of Justice has testified against mandatory minimums; this Department of Justice and this Administration has testified against any mandatory minimums?
Ms. O'NEIL. I am not aware of all of the people who have testified on behalf of the Department of Justice.
Mr. SCOTT. In terms of the age in dealing with children, is the age of the defendant a relevant factor; that is, if a person is 17, is it relevant whether the defendant is 17 or 18?
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Ms. O'NEIL. With regard to what is proposed in the legislation or with regard to the general impact of drug trafficking?
Mr. SCOTT. In the imposition of mandatory minimums, if you deal to somebody who is 17 years old, does it matter whether the person who is dealing is 40 years old or 17 or 18 himself?
Ms. O'NEIL. With regard to this legislation, there are some distinctions made with regard to individuals over 21 who deal to individuals who are under the age of 18, and in those cases have more harsh mandatory minimums.
Mr. SCOTT. If you are in a fraternity or a sorority, for personal use going back and forth, the seniors in college would be at severe risk if they are dealing with freshman fraternity members.
Ms. O'NEIL. That would be the case, and they ought to know better.
Mr. SCOTT. Do you know how much this bill will cost to implement?
Ms. O'NEIL. I do not. I would be happy to try to obtain that information, but I don't have that information.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SCOTT. You are testifying in favor of the bill, and you don't know how much it is going to cost?
Ms. O'NEIL. I personally don't know how much it would cost.
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Bowman, you indicated that there were areas that the legislation might cover, a significant area of a particular city. Do you have any charts to demonstrate that?
Mr. BOWMAN. Yes, I do. If we could have the Power Point, please?
Essentiallyif we go to the second slide, please. Next slide. Next slide. Next slide.
What this slide shows is a chart of the city of New Haven, Connecticut. Turns out that several years ago, Connecticut had a series of laws not dissimilar from the one being suggested here today in that these laws created minimum mandatory sentences for drug sales and other transactions within 1,500 feet of a variety of facilities involving children and schools and so forth. As part of the Connecticut Legislature's consideration of these bills and their minimum mandatory effect, they had their legislative research office proceed to map all the areas of New Haven and other Connecticut cities where the law would actually apply. This is a map of New Haven, Connecticut, and as you can see, the Connecticut legislation would have covered virtually the entire city of New Haven. I am told by reliable sources that it covers the entire city of New Haven except the Yale golf course and a swamp.
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Now, this Connecticut legislation is dissimilar from the Federal legislation being proposed here today in that the circle around the affected area is somewhat larger, 1,500 feet rather than 1,000. The Federal legislation is dissimilar from the Connecticut legislation in that the list of protected facilities is much, much, much longer. So this map that you see in front of you is, I think, at least a reasonably fair approximation visually of the effect of this legislation in any major American city. And everywhere in which you see one of those circles, any drug transaction, any quantity or amount except marijuana transactions less than 5 grams would draw a minimum mandatory penalty under this legislation of 5 years.
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Chabot was coming back. Let us have a second round.
Mr. Patterson, we oftentimes hear that drug trafficking is a nonviolent offense. I am sure you probably heard that. You have seen it up close. As you say, you are the human face. You have seen what drugs and drug addiction can do to victims, destroying lives or disrupting families. I suspectstrike that. I shouldn't speak for you. Let me ask you, do you conclude that drug trafficking is, in fact, a violent offense? And how about sharing some observations with the Subcommittee.
Mr. PATTERSON. Mr. Chairman, in the sense of how you are phrasing that as far as a violent offense, it is a violent offense to the person who is using. The problems that they experience after becoming addicted with the loss of their families, loss of their goals and loss of who they are, the purpose of trying to get a chance to experience things that we experience every day, in that sense, yes, I think it isyou could phrase it that way. I don't know if I would phrase it that way, but it does have a damaging effect on all of us because it affects our communities. It affects the people we love. You have to excuse me. I am reflecting on my friend who passed.
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Mr. COBLE. Let me ask you this: We live in a very violent era now, as you know. And you mentioned about your picture window that affords you a very advantageous vantage point to observe various activities that go on. I hope you have not been targeted for any threat or anything along that line. Have you been? Or if you want to decline to answer that, you may do so as well.
Mr. PATTERSON. I have gotten angry looks, but other than that, not directly. I guess it is because of my association with so many people in the District, being involved with families, and at some point in time, drug traffickers have been in one of our programs over the 28 years I have been involved. I have worked in three different programs, so I even know them or know their families or have been in some kind of contact with them.
Mr. COBLE. Well, you, probably more than anybody in this hearing room, know the drastic and terrible effects of drugs. I started to say, when Mr. Scott and I were young, but since I'm about two decades older than he, that would not be appropriate. But when I was a youngster, I guess smoking a cigarette or consuming a bottle of beer was about the closest thing to what would be drugs today. Someone asked me the other day if I ever did drugs. Well, I did not do drugs; they weren't available.
But I thinkwell, I'm going to get to that. They weren't available. But Mr. Scott wanted to know, would I have if I could. I would like to think that I would not have. I think I would have had the requisite discipline to have avoided that. But, you know, that's easy for me to sit here and conclude that. But I appreciate you all being here, folks.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I want to recognize Mr. Scott for another round, for his second round.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you.
Mr. Cramer, one of the things we want to look at is how the provisions in the bill will actually reduce the illegal activities. Sometimes it will state a problem and then present a bill without connecting how the bill will actually deal with the problem. Were there any activities that you saw that we are complaining about that are legal now that would now bewould be illegal under the bill? Or is everything that you saw that we are complaining of already illegal?
Mr. CRAMER. I haven't done a complete study of the bill in preparation for this hearing, so I can't speak with any authority to the actual provisions of the bill. Of course, all of the illegal drug trafficking that we saw would certainly be illegal today.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, if it's illegal and they are prosecuted and convicted and get the time that is presently available, is the problem that people are getting out too soon?
Mr. CRAMER. Well, some might argue that.
Mr. SCOTT. But you didn't see any of that? That's not your testimony?
Mr. CRAMER. No, that is not my testimony. You know, we have come here today basically to provide the Committee with the information about our observations.
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Mr. SCOTT. And that you saw the drug activity going on?
Mr. CRAMER. Yes.
Mr. SCOTT. And without any suggestion that the passage of the bill will make that any more or less likely?
Mr. CRAMER. I'm not speaking to that issue, sir.
Mr. SCOTT. Okay. Mr. Patterson, you know, we have choices to make in how we deal with problems. Is it your opinion that there would be less drug use going on, less drug use going on if we spent money jailing people longer or if we gave you more funding for drug treatment?
Mr. CRAMER. Well, let me just say this. It would act as a deterrent fromas a deterrent from drug dealers being able to sell drugs in front of my program or in awithin a thousand feet.
Mr. SCOTT. Wait a minute. They can't do that now legally; can they?
Mr. PATTERSON. What's that?
Mr. SCOTT. Sell drugs within a thousand feet.
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Mr. PATTERSON. Well, yes. But what happens is
Mr. SCOTT. And what's the penalty for them selling drugs right now within a thousand feet of your facility?
Mr. PATTERSON. I'm not sure what the D.C. Law states.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, this isn't going to change D.C. Law.
Mr. PATTERSON. Or the Maryland law.
Mr. SCOTT. Or the Federal law. Now, after we pass it, are people going to know?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes, we will, because we will get the word out.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, you didn't get the word out the last time we passed the bill.
Mr. PATTERSON. What? About
Mr. SCOTT. What the penalty is.
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes, we did. But when you are addicted or when you are out there selling drugs for profit, they don't read these bills, they don't really understand what's going on.
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Mr. SCOTT. You are absolutely right.
Let me ask you. If you hadif we had, you know, one person going from 5 to 10 years would cost about $100,000. If we took one person off the street instead of for 5 years for 10 years, left everything the same, that would cost us about $100,000. Would we be better off spending that $100,000 in drug treatment?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes, of course. I mean, any more money that
Mr. SCOTT. Of course?
Mr. PATTERSON. Of course, any more money that you can give us to treat people who have the disease of addiction would always bewe would be grateful for. But I can't answer that law, whether or not providing a maximum minimum provided in this bill would have an effect. I can't tell you that. I don't know whether or not, you know, that.
Mr. SCOTT. Do you have a waiting list for services?
Mr. PATTERSON. No.
Mr. SCOTT. Anybody that wants treatment can get it now?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes.
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Mr. SCOTT. And are you able to treat people aswhat kind of recidivism rate do you have? When people come to you, how successful are you?
Mr. PATTERSON. I don't have that figure. I guess we could give that back to you later.
Let me just say this. You know, I'm not really familiar with all the legislation, and I'm just here to put a human face on what we see every day. I don't know whether or not the bill would have a major effect or not because I don'tbecause that's something that's on a broader picture.
But what I do know is what I see. And I see my folks, after they receive treatment, after they receive hope, walk out my doorright outside my door on aand are almost accosted by the drug dealers as they leave my facility.
Mr. SCOTT. That's illegal now. Right?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes, it is.
Mr. SCOTT. It will be illegal after this bill passes.
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes, it is. But I can only address what it does to my patients and how it affects them. And let me just say this, my patients, what we have talked about, this bill and what it would do, a lot of them are in favor of having this bill pass because it will give them an opportunity to come to the clinic and instead of going through a mine field
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Mr. SCOTT. Wait a minute. And if it's illegal now, what assurance do we have that it's going to bewhat is the penalty for those drug dealers dealing right in front of your facility today? They are facing 5 years mandatory minimum. If the police would come arrest them and prosecute them, they would be gone for 5 years right now.
Mr. PATTERSON. Well, I can't answer that. I cannot answer that.
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Goodlatte, does the distinguished gentleman from Virginia have a question, Bob?
You are recognized.
Mr. GOODLATTE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your holding this hearing.
Mr. Patterson, will all the drug treatment in the world be effective if drug traffickers prey on people coming out of these clinics or waiting early in the morning to get their treatment to go into the clinic? We have had this issue come up in my own hometown. The question is, will these facilities work if they are a magnet for the drug traffickers who know that that's a place that they can go to find people to buy drugs and will entice them to get the real thing rather than the substitute that's being offered by the drug clinics trying to wean them away from the hard core drugs?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes, I'm in agreement with that. What we have done at Model Treatment, we started opening up an hour early. That has made a difference, because many drug dealers are not up at that early in the morning. We open up at 6:30 and start medicating at 6:30. It has increased much upon the police presence in our area.
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But, again, I'm talking about the person who doesn't really look at all that. All they know is that when they come out of my facility, people are pushing thatall the drugs that they sellright up into their face. The temptation is great, especially when you are just coming into a facility, especially when you start to receive the benefits of the treatment, of somebody caring for you.
Mr. GOODLATTE. You want to keep those other people away from them.
Mr. PATTERSON. Absolutely. I mean, you have got to realize that people have been doing this for 20 and 30 years. They don't know any other life. And when they see that drug dealer right outside the door once they come out of treatment, it'sit's disheartening to me to have to see them have to go through that every single day.
Now, I don't know whether or not the law is going to make a difference in that or not. I just don't know. But at least I don't have to see that drug dealer. And once the word gets out, that drug dealer is going to know that he cannot sell drugs in front of my facility. He is going to know that he is going to get stiffer penalties if he sells drugs outside my facility.
Mr. GOODLATTE. Thank you.
Ms. O'Neil, do you believe that this legislation will help deter drug traffickers who choose to use children to deliver drugs because of the perception that children will receive lesser sentences?
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Ms. O'NEIL. I do believe that this bill will have an impact on people who choose to use children for several reasons. Number one, as you noted, there is a perception among drug trafficking organizations, or actually a knowledge, that a number of juveniles do not get prosecuted, particularly in the Federal system. And so, for particular reasons, they will use youngsters and juveniles in connection with their drug trafficking activity.
They also know that juveniles make very good decoys. If they have an infant traveling with them while they smuggle drugs, they are much more likely to get through Customs quicker or to draw less attention than if they do not. And right now, it's a win-win for the drug dealer. The drug dealer can entice the juvenile to become involved in the trafficking activity with the suggestion that they won't receive stiff penalties, and there is no additional penalty for the trafficker who employs him. The penalty is a minimal one, and to a large extent, the traffickers believe that that is not going to have any major impact on them. This legislation will change that perception.
Mr. GOODLATTE. As a former U.S. attorney, have you seen many cases where children are exposed to drug manufacturing or dealing inside their own homes? Besides the danger of these children becoming addicts themselves, what other dangers does this activity pose to children?
Ms. O'NEIL. I am sad to say, I guess, that I have during my career as an Assistant United States Attorney seen several examples of children being involved in drug trafficking. While I was in Georgiathough it was not a case I prosecuted personallywe had a methamphetamine laboratory in north Georgia explode. An infant was living there with its parents, and when the lab exploded, the infant was left to burn in the laboratory. The child subsequently died. That is probably one of the most extreme examples of a child being involved.
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But the Drug-Endangered Children's Program has numerous other examples of raids and arrests where they have recovered children crawling around in the floors of methamphetamine laboratories with their toys scattered next to the dangerous chemicals that are being used. So that is a very severe problem.
In addition, I have personally worked on investigations where we have found children at the time of a search warrant or at the time of an arrest of their parent in the proximity of drugs, drug paraphernalia, guns, because those are all tools of the trade.
We have also had a case in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program that I am involved with, an operation that was done called Kids for Cover, where they used infants to smuggle liquefied cocaine into the country. They carried the cocaine in the infant baby formula cans, the same identical baby formula cans they used to feed the infants. And had they made a mistake, it would have been dreadful for the child.
In addition, I am aware that, in one case, the courier who had an infant with her was an addict herself and left the child in the arms of a stranger while that courier went to get her own heroin fix.
So these are very serious problems, and unfortunately, this is the type of conduct that we must deal with, and it's the type of conduct that we are happy this bill will address.
Mr. GOODLATTE. Thank you.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. COBLE. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Scott has one last question.
Let me mention one subject very quickly to the professor, and then I will recognize Bobby.
Professor, alluding to your diagram of New Haven, the various sectors of New Haven. If you could shut down the trafficking in one or more of those sectors, that appears to me to be a good purpose and been served. Would you not agree?
Mr. BOWMAN. That assumes, of course, that passage of a bill that would impose minimum mandatory penalties on the entire city would achieve the targeted result that you are attempting to achieve. I mean, that, I suppose, Mr. Chairman, is the difficulty that I have with the entire tenor of this hearing, with the greatest respect to my fellow witnesses.
It's all very well to talk about drug dealers preying on drug addicts. It's all very well to talk about children who are affected by drug trafficking. Those things are terrible. And itbut it would be and is quite easyfirst of all, all those things are already illegal. But if you want to enhance the penalties, it would be quite easy for this Committee to draft and forward to Congress, as a whole, targeted provisions that deal with those evils. But that is not what this bill does.
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I am a great admirer of Justice Scalia, Mr. Chairman, who doesn't think much of congressional intent. Justice Scalia says to all of us, ''Look at what the legislation says.'' And the legislation that you propose or that is proposed before this Committee is not focused on the conceded ills which the other witnesses have talked about here. The legislation that this Committee is considering would throw a net over every urban area and every drug transaction in this country involving urban areas regardless of whether those transactions had the slightest thing to do with drug treatment, the slightest thing to do with children. And that, Mr. Chairman, it seems to me is what's wrong with this legislation.
Mr. COBLE. Thank you, sir.
I recognize Mr. Scott for his final question.
Mr. SCOTT. Thank you.
Ms. O'Neil, dealing with children is already illegal now. What is the additional penalty for dealing with children?
Ms. O'NEIL. Well, what this does is increases the mandatory minimum that exists for some of the
Mr. SCOTT. What is the present penalty for dealing with children?
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. O'NEIL. For some of the statutes there is a 1-year mandatory minimum sentence.
Mr. SCOTT. Wait a minute. What is the penalty?
Ms. O'NEIL. Well, the penalty would be driven by the quantity of drugs that is involved. So it's impossible to determine
Mr. SCOTT. Is it not twice the normal sentence with a 1-year minimum?
Ms. O'NEIL. That's correct.
Mr. SCOTT. Twice the normal penalty with the 1-year minimum?
Ms. O'NEIL. Right. Which would be driven by the quantity involved in the offense.
Mr. SCOTT. Twice the normal penalty for dealing with children.
Ms. O'NEIL. But that would be the maximum penalty. That would not be the penalty imposed necessarily under the sentencing guidelines.
Mr. SCOTT. Twice the maximum penalty.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. O'NEIL. That's right.
Mr. SCOTT. Okay. And you are not enforcing the law with that. Why would we expect you to enforce the law if we passed the bill?
Ms. O'NEIL. Well, Mr. Scott, with all due respect, we are enforcing the law. The Justice Department has had a number of successful cases
Mr. SCOTT. Mr. Patterson says that people, right outside his door every day, that people can't leave his facility without running into drug dealers.
Ms. O'NEIL. The difference is that when you set mandatory minimum sentences, you send a clear message that this is important, this is egregious conduct, this is conduct that will not be tolerated. What that translates to
Mr. SCOTT. Are there not minimums now?
Ms. O'NEIL. But they are very weak mandatory minimums. As I said in my opening statement, what we have are people involved in the drug business who are risk takers. Going to jail is a cost of doing business. The potential, perhaps, of a 1-year mandatory minimum is a cost of doing business which a number of these drug dealers are willing
Mr. SCOTT. You're talking about deterrent effect. I'm talking about enforcement of the law. Are you more likely to enforce the law if this bill passes than you are now?
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Ms. O'NEIL. We enforce all of the laws. But as I said, this sends a clear message that this is a priority for Congress and for the American people, and we will treat it as such.
Mr. SCOTT. Are you more likely to enforce the law if this bill passes than you are now? And I think I'm hearing, no, you are going to enforce it the same way.
Ms. O'NEIL. What we will do is that, there may be cases where it becomes appropriate to make use ofmore appropriate to make use of this particular statute than it is currently.
Mr. SCOTT. Well, this is a sentencing statute. It's not an allocation of resource statute. Are you going to allocate more resources to Mr. Patterson's front door if this bill passes than you are now?
Ms. O'NEIL. I personally can't decide how the resources will be allocated. But I can tell you, as I said, that, by sending a clear message, that this is important and that this is conduct that we are going to take very seriously, our resources tend to follow those crimes.
Mr. SCOTT. We can send you a message with a resolution. We don't have to change the statute.
Let me ask Mr. Bowman a question. Do you have any evidence that increasing penalties has a significant deterrent effect on crime? And a follow-up question: Can you talk about the overbreadth in terms of how this bill deals with young people, college students, fraternity and sorority members? But the deterrent effect. If you increase the penalty, what kind of deterrent effect, if it's already a 5-year mandatory minimum, what deterrent effect would a 10-year mandatory minimum have on theon behavior if there is no increased enforcement?
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Mr. BOWMAN. Well, if there is no increased enforcement, I think the likely additional deterrent effect is nearly zero. But even if there were increased enforcement, I think it depends on the additional increment of punishment.
One of the points that strikes me about Mr. Patterson's situation is that, I presume, though I certainly do not know, that one of the substances which is which is regularly trafficked in front of his door is crack cocaine. And if that is true, the mere possession of 5 grams of that substance already draws a 5-year minimum mandatory penalty. It seems a little hard to understand how creating an additional 5-year minimum mandatory for essentially the same conduct is going to do much.
Now, with respect to the question of the effect on children and minors, one of the significant provisions of this proposed bill is that it's at least titled as being directed at the sale of drugs by adults to children. But in fact, once again, if we, with Justice Scalia, actually look at the text of the bill, what we find is something rather more striking.
Could we have thecould I have the PowerPoint once again? Could younext slide.
Mr. COBLE. Mr. Bowman, if you can sort of accelerate? Because I was supposed to be somewhere 5 minutes ago.
Mr. BOWMAN. Mr. Chairman, I will be finished inif you can give me 30 seconds.
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All right. Keep going. Another. Another. Another. Another. Okay.
This is what I call rush time at the Delta House. Imagine a sororitythis is a little facetious, Mr. Chairman. I hope you will forgive a little facetiousness on a serious topic. But let's assume a college sorority in which Muffy, an 18-year-old freshman, sells 6 grams of marijuana, three or four marijuana cigarettes to Sally, who is a 20-year-old junior. Under this law, Muffy's mandatory minimum sentence would be 5 years. If we assume Buffy, a 21-year-old senior, were to sell one tab of a party drug, Ecstasy, to Missy who happens to be 17 years old at the time, she is a freshman, Buffy, the 21-year-old, draws a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years.
Next slide, please.
And if it were to happen that Buffy just happened to have some kind of felony, prior felony drug conviction, like, for example, felony possession of marijuanaif she sold that one tab of Ecstasy to Missy, the 17-year-old, Buffy's mandatory sentence under this bill would be life imprisonment without parole. She goes out of prison in a box.
Now, that, I think, is overbroad legislation.
Mr. COBLE. Okay. I think we are about to wrap up here, folks. I think it has been a good hearing.
Ms. O'Neil, for my information, is there currently additional penalties outside drug treatment centers?
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Ms. O'NEIL. No. The penalties that I was addressing for Mr. Scott's question involved various penalties involving distribution to minors. We have no additional penalty for distribution within the vicinity of a drug treatment center.
Mr. COBLE. Folks, we appreciate you all being here.
Mr. SCOTT. I ask unanimous consent that a letter from the ABA opposing the mandatory minimums and this particular legislation in particular be introduced for the record.
[The information referred to follows in the Appendix:]
Mr. COBLE. Without object. And I want to thank each of you for being here, folks. We may be visiting with you again.
The record, by the way, will be open for 1 week, 7 days.
This concludes the legislative hearing on H.R. 4547, the ''Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2004.'' Thank you again for your cooperation. The Subcommittee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:23 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
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Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
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