Skip to comments.Federal prosecutors balk at Holder push to reduce drug sentences
Posted on 03/21/2014 7:01:47 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
Federal prosecutors are at odds with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder over whether mandatory minimum sentences -- a key part of the government's so-called war on drugs -- should be rolled back.
Congress approved many of those harsh penalties in the 1980s. Under the guidelines, a dealer busted with 1,000 marijuana plants, for example, or large amounts of certain narcotics, could face five, 10, even 20 years behind bars. As a result, prosecutors say, drug crime has gone down.
But now Holder is leading the charge to overhaul mandatory minimums.
Amid exploding incarceration rates, and allegations that long prison sentences have unfairly hurt low-income and minority communities, Holder is calling on Congress to pass the so-called Smarter Sentencing Act.
"Such legislation could ultimately save our country billions of dollars in prison costs while keeping us safe," Holder said. It would cut minimum sentences in half for many drug crimes, and give judges -- as opposed to prosecutors -- more leeway in sentencing offenders.
But many who've helped put serious drug dealers away disagree.
In a sharply worded letter to Holder, the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys wrote "we consider the current federal mandatory minimum sentence framework as well-constructed and well worth preserving."
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Just one time, we should totally empty the prisons and see how that works out. Those of us that survived could mop up. It would be several hundred years before such an idea would be brought up again.
VA didn’t have mandatory sentences and it worked much better than the Federal system. I am probably Holder’s biggest non-fan, but I’d fire every single U.S. Atty that did not comply.