Mandatory minimums are beloved by prosecutors for their supposed ability to give prosecutors leverage to get a defendant to plead guilty. But what happens when the prosecutor's got the plea in the bag ... and then finds out he can't get around the mandatory minimum -- even though he wants to?
Here's an interesting case in which that apparently happened.
The defendant: Scott Bloch, a former lawyer in the George W. Bush administration who pled guilty to misdemeanor contempt of Congress -- a crime that, yes, actually carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one month. Even the prosecutors in the case didn't want to give it to him -- they actually asked the judge not to apply it and argued that applying it wasn't necessary. (Read all about it in the court's order.)
Before Bloch, the contempt of Congress statute had only been used twice ... and both cases resulted in sentences of probation. Bloch got the mandatory minimum. Any takers on a bet that there'll be an appeal?