Les Grossman

Published on Aug 12, 2013

AG Holder Address the ABA on Prison Sentences

Attorney General Eric Holder addresses the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco where he is expected to discuss drug offenses and prison sentencing. Founded in 1878, the national association of lawyers includes 410,000 members.

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This  coming  from  an Administration  that  raids and  prosecutes LEGAL Marijuana  Dispensaries  in States  where  Marijuana  has  been  LEGALIZED! 

While  totally  at  peace  with the  concept of   gun  running ro drug dealers  via the DEA.

How   hypocritical  can  you  get ?

~Desert Rose~

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Holder seeks to avert mandatory minimum sentences for some low-level drug offenders

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Monday that low-level, nonviolent drug offenders with no ties to gangs or large-scale drug organizations will no longer be charged with offenses that impose severe mandatory sentences.The new Justice Department policy is part of a comprehensive prison reform package that Holder unveiled in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco. He also introduced a policy to reduce sentences for elderly, nonviolent inmates and find alternatives to prison for nonviolent criminals.

Graphic

Drug offenses account for 17%, or nearly one in five, of those in state prisons, according to national incarceration data.

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Drug offenses account for 17%, or nearly one in five, of those in state prisons, according to national incarceration data.

Justice Department lawyers have worked for months on the proposals, which Holder wants to make the cornerstone of the rest of his tenure.

“We must face the reality that, as it stands, our system is, in too many ways, broken,” Holder said. “And with an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and to rehabilitate — not merely to warehouse and to forget.”

“A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities,” Holder said Monday. (Excerpts of his ­prepared remarks were provided Sunday to The Washington Post.) He added that “many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems rather than alleviate them.”

It is clear that “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” Holder said. “We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation,” he added later in the speech.

Holder is calling for a change in Justice Department policies to reserve the most severe penalties for drug offenses for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers. He has directed his 94 U.S. attorneys across the country to develop specific, locally tailored guidelines for determining when federal charges should be filed and when they should not.

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Holder’s move on mandatory minimums a boon to Rand Paul

Monday’s announcement that Attorney General Eric Holder will seek to get rid of mandatory minimum sentences for some low-level drug offenders could soon create some interesting bedfellows.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gestures as he speaks at a forum on immigration organized by the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

Reforming mandatory minimums is an issue that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been pushing (no pun intended) for a while now — including during an appearance at historically black Howard University earlier this year.

A Paul staffer said the potential 2016 presidential candidate, who has already proposed a bill giving judges more leeway in sentencing drug offenders below the mandatory minimums, will work with the Obama administration on the issue.

“This is already a bipartisan issue, led in the Senate by Sens. Paul, [Patrick] Leahy, [Mike] Lee and [Richard] Durbin,” said the staffer, granted anonymity to discuss strategy. “Senator Paul believes strongly in this issue and that we must find a solution. He is pleased to work with all who agree and want to push forward.”

The aide also said that there has been contact between Paul and the administration.

Update 1:17 p.m.: Paul has released the following statement: “I look forward to working with them to advance my bipartisan legislation, the Justice Safety Valve Act, to permanently restore justice and preserve judicial discretion in federal cases. … The Administration’s involvement in this bipartisan issue is a welcome development. Now the hard work begins to change the law to permanently address this injustice.”

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