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AG Sessions Pledges Redoubled War on Drugs

14 May 2017

"By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry he most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences".

"We know that drugs and crime go hand-in-hand", Sessions said in a Friday speech. "And I trust our prosecutors in the field to make good judgments", Sessions said.

"It's frustrating that Washington is not looking to the states as the laboratories of democracy", she said. Prosecutors will have to receive approval from a US attorney or assistant attorney general if they want to charge a lesser offense, according to the memo.

"It ruined families and took away a large number of African-American men from their communities at their prime working years", said Georgetown law professor Paul Butler, who was a federal prosecutor during the 1990s.

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He is essentially reversing a 2013 memo from previous Attorney General Eric Holder, which advised federal prosecutors not to adhere to "mandatory minimums" for less serious crimes.

Sklansky, a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, disagreed. However, those exceptions have to obtain approval from top supervisors with documented reasoning so that that Justice Department can keep tabs on the handling of those cases. While in the New Jersey state legislature, I found that harsh mandatory minimum sentences do nothing to deter or lessen crime and fills prisons with nonviolent offenders at a great cost to taxpayers. The idea is to do away with vague sentencing recommendations that vary across the country.

Sessions also removed limits Holder placed on the use of sentencing enhancement, giving prosecutors the ability to seek harsher sentences in cases based on prior convictions. "We are talking about a kilogram of heroin-that is 10,000 doses, five kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 kilograms of marijuana". In the past, prosecutors could refrain from declaring the whole amount to the court so as not to trigger the mandatory minimum. However, the federal prison population is expected to grow under Sessions' watch, considering both his battle against drug offenses and the Trump administration's immigration crackdown.

In a speech on Friday, Sessions highlighted the rapidly increasing crime rates in USA cities and pointed to drugs as the main cause.

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As with immigration enforcement, the administration is taking the view that it will follow the law. This policy utilizes the tools Congress has given us.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will brief the full U.S. Senate next week on the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, according to a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "It is dumb on crime", Holder said in a statement.

The former federal prosecutor who tried cases during the height of the crack epidemic directed his 5,000-plus assistant USA attorneys to zero in on drug traffickers.

On Capitol Hill Friday reaction was mixed. Whether or not this is the case, the change will affect everyone and make it very hard for drug users to get clean after being imprisoned and incurring a record that will affect all future employment, housing and education.

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But Sessions has said a spike in violence in some big cities shows the need for a return to tougher tactics.

AG Sessions Pledges Redoubled War on Drugs