Whether the quantity of drugs involved in a crime must be decided by the jury before it can be the basis for a mandatory minimum sentence.
The Court has with increasing frequency in recent years insisted on the jury’s essential role in resolving factual issues related to sentencing. A decade ago, the Court ruled that any fact that increases the maximum penalty for a crime must be found by the jury. The issue in this case is whether the same rule should apply to any fact that triggers a mandatory minimum sentence. The ACLU argues that it should in an amicus brief submitted jointly with The Sentencing Project.