The hosts, Michael Kinsley and John Sununu
U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin, District of Columbia
Former Attorney General William Barr
Discussing the wisdom of mandatory minimum laws in drug cases...
KINSLEY: Are we getting folks that are being let off because the sentences are too
JUDGE SPORKIN: Absolutely. Every day in the District of Columbia. The juries
there who understand what's going on now are acquitting people that should be
And that's another problem that you have. And there's nothing you can do
about it. There's no appeal to that. And it's happening every single day.
Look at your conviction rate. It's way down in the District of Columbia.
BARR: Jury nullification is a problem in many jurisdictions.
KINSLEY: Well what are you going to do about it?
BARR: Well, I, I...
KINSLEY: Isn't it an inevitable thing if... (Everyone talking at once)
SUNUNU: Isn't the jury taking care of the concerns you've raised? Aren't they, as
representatives of the people, doing what you want to do?
SPORKIN: No, nobody here is saying that these people ought not to go to jail. But
two years, three years, not 15, not 20 years...