President Clinton signed the "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement
Act of 1994" on September 13, 1994, P.L. 103-322.
- The bill includes a "safety valve" for defendants facing
mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases (title VIII). A judge may
sentence below the statutory minimum pursuant to the guidelines (to be
revised) if the defendant has no or minimal criminal history; did not use
or threaten violence or possess a weapon; is to be sentenced in a case
in which no one was injured; was not a leader or supervisor of others in
the offense; and makes a full disclosure to the government before sentencing
about the circumstances of the offense. The provision is not retroactive.
- The new death penalty can be applied to large-scale drug importers,
sellers, manufacturers or cultivators even if no one is killed in
the commission of the offense (title VI).
- The "three strikes and you're in for life" provision for
violent offenders treats a high-level drug offense like a foul ball --
one such conviction can be counted, but it can't be the third offense to
trigger the mandatory life sentence (title VII). (Other drug offenses
carry mandatory life imprisonment.)
- Eric E. Sterling prepared for the International City/County Management
Association a 19-page summary of the funding provisions of the crime bill
that would apply to local governments . This document also includes many
of the funding programs for private organizations, and for State governments.
If you would like a copy, please call The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation,