U.S. Attorney General To Ease Impact Of Harsh Drug Sentencing Laws
BY NICOLE FLATOW ON AUGUST 12, 2013
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce a major shift in prosecution of federal drug crimes Monday, recognizing the injustice of draconian mandatory minimum sentences, and anexploding federal prison population.
Holder will order all federal prosecutors to avert drug charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences for low-level offenders, by omitting the quantity of drugs when charges are filed, according to excerpts of the speech obtained by the New York Times. The measure, which would avert harsh sentences that start at five or ten years in prison regardless of an individual’s role in a drug offense and cannot be reduced by judges, is one of several Holder may announce today at an address to the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.
“Although incarceration has a role to play in our justice system, widespread incarceration at the federal, state and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable,” Holder’s speech says. “It imposes a significant economic burden — totaling $80 billion in 2010 alone — and it comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate.”