The right thing isn't always the legal thing, as many moralists venturing inside a courtroom will discover.
Mandatory minimums mean a judge must sometimes hand down a stiff sentence. The law is the law and it has left no choice, unsavory as it might have been.
But there is another way, another last line of defense: Pin all your hopes on the jury ignoring the law, agreeing with you that you've been wronged, and bailing you out.
Sounds crazy, but the practice — jury nullification — is real. And it does work: Last week, a 59-year old Rastafarian was cleared of felony marijuana possession charges after the jury decided it just wasn't right to penalize him.