Over the years, repeat drug offenders in Maryland have been faced with the prospect of being convicted and sentenced to mandatory minimum sentences of 10, 25 and, in some cases, 40 years without parole.
But that will change next year with the elimination of such sentences in the state.
For the most part, mandatory sentences will no longer be available as leverage for prosecutors as of Oct. 1, 2017. They were eliminated as part of the Justice Reinvestment Act passed by the Maryland General Assembly earlier this year.
"The overarching goal of this legislation is to reduce prison populations by reducing recidivism through additional treatment and therapeutic programs for nonviolent offenders," said Del. Brett Wilson, R-Washington, who is also an assistant state's attorney. "It is intended to be a self-funding program, paid for by savings realized by the reduced populations."