Quantcast
Connect with us

Justice Dept. approves sentence-reduction program for low-level drug offenders

Published

on

Washington (AFP) – Tens of thousands of U.S. federal prisoners convicted of small-time drug offenses will be able to seek sentence reductions under a new reform.

“This is a milestone in the effort to make more efficient use of our law enforcement resources and to ease the burden on our overcrowded prison system,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has long encouraged the reduction of sentences for minor drug offenses, on Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to allow prison reductions for already-convicted and imprisoned inmates, in a move that is expected to affect some 46,000 convicts.

The move follows on the heels of the commission’s approval of a reduction in sentences for future defendants several months prior.

“In the interest of fairness, it makes sense to apply changes to the sentencing guidelines retroactively,” Holder said in a statement.

“At my direction, the Bureau of Prisons will begin notifying federal inmates of the opportunity to apply for a reduction in sentence immediately,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

A one-year implementation delay, however, will allow judges to assess who is eligible for the reductions.

Human Rights Watch welcomed the decision, which it said “will give 46,000 federal inmates serving unnecessarily long sentences for drug offenses a chance to seek sentence reductions.”

HRW’s U.S. advocacy director Antonio Ginatta hailed what she called “an important step away from the disproportionate punishment and racial disparities that have plagued federal drug sentencing for decades.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Nearly half of the 216,000 convicts now in federal prisons are doing time for drug-related crimes, in a country that spends $80 billion a year to lock up a staggering one-quarter of all the world’s prisoners.

In August, Holder called the minimum jail terms under which they are sentenced “counterproductive” while noting the need to stay strict but be smarter about fighting crime.

And he warned that, while the total US population had increased by about a third since 1980, the prison population has soared by 800 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition, he also aimed to bring sentences for possession of crack cocaine in line with those for powdered cocaine. Sentences for crack possession have been stiffer, and disproportionately meted out to African Americans.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump encourages China to take advantage of Jay Powell and Fed: They ‘don’t have a clue’

Published

on

President Donald Trump launched a new attack against his own Federal Reserve chairman in a pair of Monday morning tweets.

The president has been publicly pressuring Fed chairman Jerome Powell to lower interest rates in hopes of staving off a recession, but the Trump appointee has so far resisted his calls.

"Producer prices in China shrank most in 3 years due to China’s big devaluation of their currency, coupled with monetary stimulus," Trump tweeted. "Federal Reserve not watching? Will Fed ever get into the game? Dollar strongest EVER! Really bad for exports. No Inflation...Highest Interest Rates..."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Internet pummels Trump for frantic demand to investigate Obama instead: ‘This is not the tweet of an innocent man’

Published

on

President Donald Trump jealously raged against Barack Obama's post-presidency business deals, which includes a production agreement with Netflix -- and other social media users ridiculed his apparent envy.

Trump questioned that deal and others in a pair of tweets complaining about an impeachment inquiry launched against him last week by the House Judiciary Committee, and he suggested Congress look at Obama's business since he left the White House.

....work that way. I have a better idea. Look at the Obama Book Deal, or the ridiculous Netflix deal. Then look at all the deals made by the Dems in Congress, the “Congressional Slush Fund,” and lastly the IG Reports. Take a look at them. Those investigations would be over FAST!

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Is the Trump administration squelching a whistleblower — and a major scandal?

Published

on

America's system of government has always worked on the honor system. With so few Senate-confirmed Cabinet and federal agency heads, and so many “acting” officials working in the Trump administration, people who are constantly forced to audition for permanent positions are now under tremendous pressure to protect a president hellbent on breaking every norm of good governance. Now a new possible political scandal could be brewing in the Trump administration that tests the loyalty of these “acting” officials — pitting their allegiance to the nation against their desire to impress their boss.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image