Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Sentencing for Drug-Related Offenses
- Published: June 27, 2014
- Written by Jayme Reisler & Pablo Ormachea
The law often struggles to keep up with rapidly evolving advances in science, and sentencing in drug and drug-related cases is no exception. As Judge Mark W. Bennett notes in a recent and refreshing Sentencing Opinion out of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, “the law still responds to drug abusers with punitive force, rather than preventive or therapeutic treatment.” Judge Bennett admirably reduced defendant Hendrickson’s incarceration to 31 months, which was 6 months fewer than the minimum according to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. However, the sentence leaves one wondering if this is truly a move towards rehabilitation for non-violent offenders who struggle with drug addiction.
Hendrickson, 23 years old, pleaded guilty to possession of stolen firearms. He stole the…