Monday, August 12, 2013

Holder Expected to Rein in Minimum Mandatory Sentencing

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Saying that "too many Americans go to many prison for far too long," the nation's top lawman is expected to announce today that he intends to make sweeping changes to criminal justice drug policy in an effort to reduce the ever-increasing federal prison population.

Attorney General Eric Holder will address the American Bar Association in San Francisco, and in his prepared remarks he is expected to curb what he considers "severe" drug-related minimum mandatory sentences which has contributed to the fact that the United States houses 25 percent of of the world's prisoners, yet only includes five percent of the world's population.

According to advance excerpts from his speech, Holder will say, "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."

Since the 1980s, when many tough-on-drugs bills were made law, the federal prision population has grown some 800 percent. Now, according to Justice Department officials, federal prisons are about 40 percent over capacity.

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