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United States v. Bannister
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
786 F.Supp.2d 617 (2011)
The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted Damien Bannister, Darrell Bannister, and nine other gang members (defendants) on charges related to the gang's distribution of illegal drugs and illegal use of firearms. The defendants were all African American or Hispanic, poor, poorly educated, exposed as children to dysfunctional and abusive environments, addicted or habituated to substance abuse, and largely unable to find legal employment. The defendants' crimes significantly contributed to the misery and violence that plagued an urban public housing project. The federal district court jury convicted all 11 defendants. At sentencing, the judge prefaced his consideration of each defendant's individual role in the crimes, presentence report, and sentence with extended remarks on the correlation between long mandatory minimum prison sentences and criminal rehabilitation.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Weinstein, J.)
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