Holder plan would ease mandatory stiff sentences for some drug offenders


Chicago Tribune

The Justice Department plans to change how it prosecutes some non-violent drug offenders, so they would no longer face mandatory minimum prison sentences, in an overhaul of federal prison policy that Attorney General Eric Holder will unveil on Monday.

Holder will outline the status of a broad, ongoing project intended to improve Justice Department sentencing policies across the country in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco.

"I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department's charging policies so that certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels, will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences," Holder is expected to say, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks provided by the Justice Department.


The United States imprisons a higher percentage of its population than other large countries, largely because of anti-drug laws passed in the 1980s and 1990s.

Holder will also reveal a plan to create a slate of local guidelines to determine if cases should be subject to federal charges.

The attorney general will point to the bipartisan backing of such goals in Congress, where there is "legislation aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minimums to certain drug offenders."

Conservative groups with leaders including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have called for changing U.S. crime and prison policies, Justice Department officials note. Support from conservatives has come in part because of the enormous bite that prison costs take out of state budgets.

The bipartisan backing could be important because the Obama administration will need Republican support for any major changes in Congress.

More recently, as crime rates have dropped sharply in most major urban areas, public demand for lengthy prison terms has waned, and both liberal and conservative states have changed their laws to incarcerate fewer people

Congress has moved more slowly than state legislatures. But conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats have both called for pulling back on the use of mandatory minimum prison terms.

cont at
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-holder-drug-sentencing-20130811,0,1978815.story
 

Comments

missmeyet?;11754497 said:
Now if the states follow through on the same plan and eliminate some of their minimum mandatories
I'm sure some states will dig their heels simply because he is their antichrist.
 
Eric Holder is not a good person. Not only has he been tougher on MMJ than Bush's AG, but he's also an inside man for the financial industry. Before he became the AG, he was a defense attorney for bankers, and he has made sure that virtually none of them have been prosecuted for the economic collapse they caused in 2008.
 
Lugoj, nothing personal. Actually, I shouldn't have quoted you, as I meant my comment to be a general response to the thread. Editing now.

Care;11754996 said:
This should be on the front page IMO.
I agree. Even though I suspect that this is little more than rhetoric, it's currently the most prominent news story in the US.
 
23536;11755014 said:
Lugoj, nothing personal. Actually, I shouldn't have quoted you, as I meant my comment to be a general response to the thread. Editing now.



I agree. Even though I suspect that this is little more than rhetoric, it's currently the most prominent news story in the US.
Fair enough! deleted my post lol
 
Baby steps are betting than nothing, right? Mandatory minimums are easily among the most draconian drug laws in the western world. I'd love to see them gone for good.

It appears that over the past couple of years we're slowly but surely chipping away on all fronts of this war. And it feels good to finally see some progress.
 
Its a start.. Why are governments so fast to implement snap decision crackpot legislature but so painfully ungodly slow at changing their mistakes.
 
they don't want to seem incompetent/admit they were wrong...? it would take away our confidence in them, whatever there is.
 
23536;11755014 said:
I agree. Even though I suspect that this is little more than rhetoric, it's currently the most prominent news story in the US.
When the attorney general comes out and publicly says something like this it is more than rhetoric, it means the administration is actively considering it.
 
Care;11756214 said:
When the attorney general comes out and publicly says something like this it is more than rhetoric, it means the administration is actively considering it.
They spoke really magnanimously a couple of years ago about reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powder, and now crack is still eighteen times as illegal as powder. We really need to set the bar higher for our leaders. For instance, if they admit that such sentences are unjust, why not release those that are already serving mandatory minimums.

At the very least, the media should ask them why the standard isn't applied retroactively. But the media seems to be too busy praising Obama and Holder's supposed sensibility and equanimity.
 
We really need to set the bar higher for our leaders.
Right now, it is about 3 feet (90 cm) under the ground, just under the earthworms and beetles.
If we could actually get it uncovered, it would be astounding.

At the very least, the media should ask them why the standard isn't applied retroactively. But the media seems to be too busy praising Obama and Holder's supposed sensibility and equanimity.
Absolutely. But their sensitivity is not retroactive.
 
WASHINGTON — In a sign of growing disenchantment with the war on drugs, conservatives joined Democrats and reform advocates Monday in praising Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.'s declaration that it was time to rethink get-tough policies that have tied the hands of judges and swollen the populations of federal prisons.

The nation's top law enforcement officer, decrying the "moral and human costs" of mass incarceration, said he would instruct federal prosecutors to change the way they charge some drug offenders to avoid triggering "mandatory minimum" sentencing laws.

The federal prison population has exploded even as populations in state prisons have declined steadily.

"The course we are on is far from sustainable," Holder said, speaking to the American Bar Assn. in San Francisco. "As the so-called war on drugs enters its fifth decade, we need to ask whether it, and the approaches that comprise it, have been truly effective."

Holder also said the department would increase efforts to find alternatives to incarceration and to smooth the compassionate release of severely ill prisoners who were no longer a threat to the public.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-holder-crime-20130813,0,530140.story

It looks like this is really happening guys!

crimsonjunk;11756791 said:
This is like putting aband aid on a gunshot wound.
Gotta start somewhere.
 
23536;11756252 said:
They spoke really magnanimously a couple of years ago about reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powder, and now crack is still eighteen times as illegal as powder. We really need to set the bar higher for our leaders. For instance, if they admit that such sentences are unjust, why not release those that are already serving mandatory minimums.

At the very least, the media should ask them why the standard isn't applied retroactively. But the media seems to be too busy praising Obama and Holder's supposed sensibility and equanimity.
I like this thought.
 
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