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April 24, 2012

To:      State and Local League Presidents
From:   LWVUS Board of Directors

Re:       Notice of Intent to Propose Concurrence at Convention 2012

On the convention floor at Convention 2012 in Washington, D.C., LWVUS will be recommending adoption by concurrence on the floor of convention with the following LWV of the District of Columbia positions on sentencing: 
  1. The LWVUS believes alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized, taking into consideration the circumstances and nature of the crime. 
  2. The LWVUS opposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.

The following information is being sent in compliance with LWVUS Bylaws, Article XII, Sec. 2. Program (c):

Arguments that support alternatives to imprisonment:

Arguments that oppose alternatives to imprisonment:

Arguments that oppose mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses:

Arguments that support mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses:

Rationale for using Convention concurrence to adopt these positions:

Concurrence at Convention is a valid method of developing new League positions and over the years it has been used to adopt new positions ranging from the Violence Prevention position in 1994 to Marriage Equality in 2010. It is particularly useful for issues that are easily understood and where traditional local-League based studies could be expected to reach the same conclusion as the proposed concurrence. The League’s Bylaws provide the authority for the adoption of positions by concurrence.

Background information can be found at:

The LWV District of Columbia website

Alternatives to Incarceration Fact Sheet

“Understanding federal mandatory minimums and guidelines”

SpeakOut.com--Should Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws Be Repealed?


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