US prosecutors told to push for more, harsher punishments

US prosecutors told to push for more, harsher punishments

Now, if prosecutors wish to pursue lesser charges for these low-level crimes, they will need to obtain approval for the exception from a USA attorney, assistant attorney general or another supervisor. "They deserve to be unhandcuffed and not micromanaged from Washington", Sessions said.

As more public officials at all levels of government (municipal, state, and federal) come out in support of cannabis legalization, confidence can be built back up to record levels for cannabis stock investors. Her words were famously read - and interrupted - on the Senate floor during the Senate confirmation hearings for Sessions in January.

AG Sessions tells prosecutors to seek. Social justice advocates and experts, with the support of communities and lawmakers nationwide, have growing consensus that we can not afford policies that are economically disastrous and ineffective.

Citing overcrowding in prisons and overspending by taxpayers, Holder had announced the policy change claiming that "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason".

The Sessions memo is a reversal of Obama-era policies on low-level drug crimes. He says the drug epidemic should be treated as a health crisis, not a "lock 'em up and throw away the key" problem.

Under the Obama-era policy, defendants who didn't belong to large drug trafficking organizations qualified to be charged with crimes that didn't carry long mandatory minimum sentences.

"We favor a different approach which requires changing some of the existing federal laws", Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden said in a statement.

Sessions said federal judges and prosecutors will now be un-handcuffed and not micro-managed, as he's directing them to pursue and charge suspects with the most serious offenses they can prove. Sessions' new guidelines specifically reverses a 2013 memo from former Attorney General Eric Holder that called for prosecutors to consider a defendant's personal history when charging them.

"I agree with Attorney General Sessions that law enforcement should side with the victims of crime rather than its perpetrators", he said in a statement. For instance, if a nonviolent drug courier was caught with cocaine, the prosecutors could choose not to count the kilos, especially if counting up the kilos would lead to decades of prison time under federal rules.

"In recent years the Department of Justice had achieved a substantial population reduction in its overcrowded prison system", Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, said in a statement.

This new policy is likely to be a boon for private prisons, reported The Washington Post.

All in all, it's safe to say Sessions' memo directing a renewed pursuit of mandatory sentences introduces a bad new policy.

Sessions expressed support in general terms for drug treatment and prevention programs, but he emphasized that "criminal enforcement is crucial to stopping the violent transnational cartels that smuggle drugs across our borders, and the thugs and gangs who bring this poison into our communities".

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