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Holder goes after mandatory federal drug sentences



Published: Mon, August 12, 2013 @ 10:05 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder announced a major shift today in federal sentencing policies, targeting long mandatory terms that he said have flooded the nation's prisons with low-level drug offenders and diverted crime-fighting dollars that could be far better spent.

If Holder's policies are implemented aggressively, they could mark one of the most-significant changes in the way the federal criminal justice system handles drug cases since the government declared a war on drugs in the 1980s

As a first step, Holder has instructed federal prosecutors to stop charging many nonviolent drug defendants with offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences. His next step will be working with a bipartisan group in Congress to give judges greater discretion in sentencing.

"We will start by fundamentally rethinking the notion of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes," Holder told the American Bar Association in San Francisco.


Comments

1AllCapsGrandpa(12 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

THE JUDGES SHOULD HAVE MORE LEEWAY WHEN IT COMES TO SENTENCING INSTEAD OF HAVING TO GIVE MANDATORY MINIMUMS, WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO KEEP ALL THESE PEOPLE IN PRISON FOR SUCH A LONG TIME

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2DwightK(1256 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

If people aren't dangerous, why are we locking them up? We can't afford to keep someone who isn't dangerous in prison. Getting rid of mandatory minimums doesn't mean these criminals go without punishment.

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3walter_sobchak(1910 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

We didn't, as a country, get to this point because judges were being to hard on criminals. Mandatory sentences were imposed on federal judges by the people, through their representatives, because some judges were soft-pedalling drug offenses. Major drug traffickers and violent felons were receiving minimal sentences, getting out, and continuing their lives of vicious crime on people and their families by extension. Since federal judges are appointed for life and never subjuect to a vote of the people once in place, Congress decided that uniform sentence rules were necessary. Now, AG Holder, in a typical high-handed and borderline illegal manner, impose Obama's liberal will on the people by simply charging at a lower level. This administration constantly ignores the rule of law in our country and does what it pleases.

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4AllCapsGrandpa(12 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

AND THERE IS A FLIP SIDE TO THAT, WHICH IS WHEN THERE IS LEGITIMATE REASON FOR A REDUCED SENTENCE THE JUDGE HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO GIVE THE MANDATORY MINIMUM

IF JUDGES ARE CORRUPT THEY NEED TO BE BOOTED OUT OF THE COURTROOM

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