Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mandatory Minimums (HBO)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mandatory Minimums (HBO)

Mandatory minimums require fixed prison sentences for certain crimes. John Oliver explains why we treat some turkeys better than most low-level offenders.

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20 Responses

  1. Pedro Fernandez says:

    Powerful, we can’t let the noise stop.

  2. teddybruscie says:

    It wasn’t a mistake. There’s a reason why 74% of mandatory minimums affects
    Black and Hispanic. The drug war and felony disenfranchisement laws have a
    long standing racist history. The system was designed like this.

  3. Le Kanraposte says:

    These prisoners are the private prison’s CASH COWS. It’s depressing, but
    they prisons will lobby the shit out of the government so they’ll keep
    these absurd minimum sentences.

  4. VeryUnfriendlySpoon says:

    I’m calling it, John spent too much time on Tumblr and became a feminist.

  5. Beamers Beamer says:

    Don’t forget the 3 strikes you are out. People doing 25 years for minor
    offenses, thrown in the system, children thrown in the system they grow up
    victims of this corrupt system.

  6. surfingsuicune says:

    So, is the so-called “Tough on Crime” era responsible for the precipitous
    decrease in violent crime in the U.S. since the mid ’90s?

  7. Elemental2 says:

    The problem isn’t just that it’s mandatory. It’s massively over the top. A
    life sentence for jay walking isn’t that much more absurd.

  8. Mark Hinterthuer says:

    America, home of the unjustly imprisoned and the cowards who put them there

  9. Hoang Hiep says:

    Wow this is just uber fucked-up…

  10. dingdingdingdiiiiing says:

    Every time I hear about some ridiculous law that makes no sense it turns
    out it passed during Nixon, Reagan or Bush administration. The prison
    industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United
    States and its investors are on Wall Street. There’s ins and outs, in goes:
    plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, private
    prisons; out goes: 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts,
    bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens.
    Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for
    equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove
    assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of
    headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane
    parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising
    seeing-eye dogs for blind people.

    To retort: prison system is industry and laws and penalties are just a way
    of hiring new workforce/consumer. The tougher the laws, the larger the
    population so a smart investor would seek to toughen the laws. Capitalism.

  11. Sami R says:

    For those who want to know more on this subject there is a documentary
    called ”How to Make Money Selling Drugs” it has a lot of detailed and
    shocking facts about war on drugs and the history behind it.

  12. Ronin Dave says:

    The war on drugs has killed and ruined more lives than the drugs themselves

  13. Grzegorz Hotała says:

    Unfortunately, a lot of metarial is a plea for sympathy for criminals
    because they have kids they would like to see grow up. That doesn’t work
    for me, I don’t think it should work for anyone and luckily it’s not how
    justice system operates. John strikes out this time, trying to support a
    valid case – lower mandatory minimums – with a badly mismatched material.

  14. a11m0n says:

    Presidents used to pardon a lot more people. The president needs to have a
    full time staff looking at cases where innocent people might have been
    convicted and then make recommendations to the president.

  15. Moon and back says:

    The war on drugs has/had absolutely nothing to do with drugs. Every aspect
    of the legal system has become broken due to privatized prisons. This
    bullshit is all just a terrible side effect to one of the single worst
    things to happen in America’s history: Privatized. Fucking. Prisons.

  16. Aledjna says:


  17. Corey Lindgren says:

    Child molestation 5-10 years. Ten kilos of cocaine possible life without
    parole…..seems legit.

  18. blitzace97 says:

    Mandatory minimums were a mistake? Try the entire drug war. 

  19. J XD says:

    In Singapore 3 oz gives you a death sentence.

  20. Misha Lagovsky says:

    Life without parole in such cases is so weird. It doesn’t help the public
    in anyway because it doesn’t get enough media attention (not that a case
    like that should). It costs a shit load. It does not deter. And it doesn’t
    make the inmate a better person.