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August 12, 2013

AG Holder to announce new charging policies to avoid some drug mandatories

As reported in this Reuters piece (and in lots of other articles this morning), the "Justice Department plans to change how it prosecutes some non-violent drug offenders, so they would no longer face mandatory minimum prison sentences, in an overhaul of federal prison policy that Attorney General Eric Holder will unveil on Monday." Here is more:

Holder will outline the status of a broad, ongoing project intended to improve Justice Department sentencing policies across the country in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco.

"I have mandated a modification of the Justice Department's charging policies so that 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," Holder is expected to say, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks provided by the Justice Department....

Holder will also reveal a plan to create a slate of local guidelines to determine if cases should be subject to federal charges. The attorney general will point to the bipartisan backing of such goals in Congress, where there is "legislation aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minimums to certain drug offenders."

The bipartisan backing could be important because the Obama administration will need Republican support for any major changes in Congress. Holder is expected to say that laws like these could save the United States billions of dollars.

The attorney general will also announce an updated plan for considering release for "inmates facing extraordinary or compelling circumstances - and who pose no threat to the public."

August 12, 2013 at 09:15 AM | Permalink


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The overall effect will be minimal. If Young on the next major thread couln not avoid the ACCA effect with Holders changes, his entire effort is a shame. Hopefully it will help at least a chosen few.

Pretty much I feel that when Holder and members of Congress orders Pizza, the should order 2 of them. One for each face....

Posted by: MidWest Guy | Aug 12, 2013 9:37:25 AM

About time.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Aug 12, 2013 9:41:28 AM

Not much new here from what Doug reported last week about what the AG would say.

N.B. I have found over my years inside the Beltway that you need to listen for what you're NOT hearing.

What are we not hearing from Mr. Holder?

We're not hearing any endorsement for either the Leahy/Paul Justice Safety Valve bill to eliminate MM's, or for the Durbin/Lee bill to scale them back.

And that is the big news from today's speech. My guess is the liberals will be furious, even while maintaining an enthusiastic façade.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 12, 2013 9:47:16 AM

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