US Justice Department orders tougher criminal punishments

Kamala Harris calls for Sessions to resign

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it clear on Friday that under his purview there is no such thing as a low-level drug offense.

"The policy is not tough on crime".

Holly Harris, head of the bipartisan sentencing reform organization U.S. Justice Action Network, said reform efforts have taken hold even in deep-red conservative states where Republicans dominate. The change would trigger longer prison sentences.

Even some law enforcement types joined in the criticism, with Law Enforcement Leaders, a group of about 200 current and former police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors, calling the Sessions memo "misguided".

The Justice Department's own data revealed just past year that, since I implemented Smart on Crime policies in 2013, prosecutors have used the discretion I gave them to focus on more serious drug cases.

Sessions seems to equate going easy on mandatory minimum sentences with "injustice". To avoid triggering mandatory minimums, Holder explicitly forbade prosecutors from reporting the quantity of drugs involved in cases with nonviolent offenders not affiliated with gangs or drug cartels.

In any event, the Holder Memo was a radical departure from the previously governing "Ashcroft Memo", named for its putative author George W. Bush-era Attorney General John Ashcroft, which demanded federal prosecutors must, in all criminal cases, charge the most serious offense they had a strong likelihood of proving beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. As far back as 2014, a strong majority of Americans have support nixing federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws related to the war on drugs.

The move swiftly drew outrage from progressives.

Ames Grawert, counsel at NYU law school's Brennan Center for Justice, said the new policy means "you're going to be triggering a mandatory minimum in nearly every drug case". "Not a return to the draconian policies that have already cost us too much".

Still, some prosecutors felt constrained by the Holder directive and expressed concern that they'd lose plea bargaining leverage - and a key inducement for cooperation - without the ability to more freely pursue mandatory minimum sentences.

On 12 May 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo to all federal prosecutors announcing a "sweeping" change to criminal justice policy.

Saunders added that the shift in policy could have especially risky ripple effects at a time when the state is dealing with a new sort of drug crisis. I am disturbed at the enthusiasm of the Attorney General and this Administration to reinstate and enforce a policy will have no redeeming aspects on the rehabilitation of the prison population nor will make our communities safer.

"There will be circumstances in which good judgement will lead a prosecutor to conclude that a strict application of the above charging policy is not warranted..."

Ms Chettiar said ignoring prosecutors' discretion and issuing blanket mandatory minimums is "what led to this mess of mass incarceration". On Friday, the billionaire Koch brothers came out against the harsh punishments, noting that "there are less costly and more effective ways to help low level offenders.other than incarceration". A former black colleague of his, J. Gerald Herbert, testified in front of Congress that Sessions called him "boy" and told him to "be careful what you say to white folks". The United States contains five percent of the world's population, but 25 percent of its prisoners, with roughly 2.2 million people now incarcerated in local jails or state/federal prisons, and we spend over $80 billion on incarceration each year. Now, as the attorney general reimposes the full severity of the laws Congress passed, the need to move is only greater.

Related:

  • Backed Syrian forces expect Raqqa assault soon, await weapons

    No newly authorised aid had been delivered yet, Hassan said , but he added that "I believe this support will arrive soon". An SDF commander, identified only as Abdelqader, declined to specify dates at a news conference, citing tactical reasons.
    BMW 8 Series Coupe teaser

    BMW 8 Series Coupe teaser

    The F30 BMW 3 Series has been enhanced with new, standard equipment as part of a sweeping update to the company's model line-up. But now things are different. "We are refreshing our entire product portfolio and strengthening the performance side".
    Former French PM Manuel Valls pledges allegiance to Emmanuel Macron's movement

    Former French PM Manuel Valls pledges allegiance to Emmanuel Macron's movement

    Addressing his supporters in the grand courtyard of the Louvre, Macron said he would defend France and Europe. No timetable was given for a possible meeting with Macron, who will take the oath of office on Sunday.
  • DeVos Greeted With Boos At College Commencement

    DeVos Greeted With Boos At College Commencement

    Jacari Harris, a junior and former student body president, told the Washington Post that the education secretary was " awesome ". That gives us profound understanding of the thousands of petitions signed calling for Jackson's resignation.
    Murray out in third round

    Murray out in third round

    David Goffin awaits the victor of that clash after the Belgian beat world number six Milos Raonic 64, 62. France s Kristina Mladenovic also reached the last four in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 over Sorana Cristea.

    Australia plans major spending plus surplus in 3 years

    Underlying inflation is stuck below the RBA's target band of 2-3 percent with wages crawling at their slowest pace on record. That measure alone is expected to raise an additional $8.2 billion of taxes in its first two and a half years in operation.
  • Man Utd guarantee: Arsenal and Tottenham can expect this from Mourinho - Carragher

    So it's an unfair fight, but we are going for it. "I think City will finish top four". I have to speak with them and see how they are and how they feel.
    Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive celebrates 25 years

    Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive celebrates 25 years

    The Edmonds Food Bank at United Methodist Church and the Westgate Chapel Food Bank together serve over 10,000 families per year. The United States Postal Service will partner with United Way again this year for the annual "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive .

    China presses South Korea on THAAD missile system

    The Thaad missile system, aimed at intercepting attacks from North Korea, was made operational in South Korea last week. While taking the oath of office Wednesday, Moon said he's open to visiting North Korea under the right conditions.
  • McIlroy to undergo test on troublesome back

    Speaking after the second round at the Players Championship on Friday, McIlroy acknowledged that he had aggravated his back. He just didn't expect to be punished like this. "There's just not really a moment where you can let up", Hughes said.
    Obama starts defining his new role in the age of Trump

    Obama starts defining his new role in the age of Trump

    Even after Yates' initial explanation on January 26, White House Counsel Donald McGahn didn't seem to get it. A spokesman for Flynn did not immediately return a request for comment when asked about the subpoenas.

    White House furious after being trolled with Russia Oval Office photos

    This is a man who has spent the last 24 hours being called "Nixonian" and proceeded to stage a photo-op with Henry Kissinger . Asked if Trump was trying to stay out of public view, she said it was just the "nature of the calendar this week".

Comments

Latest news

Erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming Kurds
Since we are partners as we are friends and friendly countries, you should deport him as soon as legal procedures are complete". The public reaction for this decision could have significant repercussions for the U.S.'s image and standing in the world.

Don't call me Caitlyn: Baby name plunges in popularity
Caitlyn Jenner has credited the " Caitlyn " inside her for winning her gold medal in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympic games. Jenner publicly revealed her transition in 2015 and has transformed herself into an activist for the transgender community.

Donald Trump and James Comey: A timeline
Press Secretary Sean Spicer says "there's no reason to believe he doesn't [have the president's full confidence] at this time". Trump's initial question apparently did not satisfy the president, the associates said.

US spacewalkers overcome glitch on 200th station outing
NASA completed its first ISS spacewalk on December 7, 1998, just 17 days after the space station first launched. As the spacewalk concluded, Whitson said it was "amazing" to have completed the station's 200th spacewalk.

New Ebola outbreak in DR Congo
That outbreak was not connected to the massive epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone that left thousands dead. That experience helped Congolese authorities respond effectively to an outbreak in 2014 that killed 49 people.

Justin Bieber surprises kids on school bus in India
On the second day of his stay in Mumbai , he is reportedly making a visit to the Gateway of India, Kala Ghoda and Mani Bhavan. The worldwide singer enthralled over 45,000 people during his performance at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai .

Tom Brady the latest star on Madden game cover
EA notes that more information on Madden NFL 18 will be shown at EA Play on June 10, including a "brand-new mode". Players that have appeared on the cover have found their careers shortened, or have found themselves injured.

China: 8 killed as 5.4-magnitude natural disaster hits Xinjiang
Wang Fuyou, Communist Party chief of the county, said the quake followed by frequent aftershocks was felt strongly. On March 27, An quake of 5.1 magnitude had jolted Yangbi County in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

NFL's wild opening round could yield more surprises on Day 2
Though the players are late round picks, don't think that means they're any less important than the people drafted before them. The first stunning move was the Bears trading with the 49ers to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2.

The Entire Internet Is Trolling President Trump Over 'Priming the Pump'
Merriam-Webster is continuing its tour of President Donald Trump's word usage. "It is OK, because it won't increase it for long". In its economic sense, the phrase originated during United States president Herbert Hoover's response to the Great Depression.

Ronald Koeman raises doubts over Ross Barkley's future at Everton
Next week we need an answer, if we go for a holiday, he will [either] accept a contract or we will sell the player. Koeman also discussed how much time Barkley has at his disposal before revealing his decision to Everton .

Foreign buyers hit with increased taxes and charges
Mr Bowen said his party was still dissecting the increase to the Medicare levy, which it is proposed will raise about $8 billion. So the Treasurer has delivered a budget that lifts the Medicare levy for all but the lowest income earners in two years' time.

Spurs overcome Leonard injury, Harden to beat Rockets in OT
Without star Kawhi Leonard , Green took over in the final minute with Spurs trailing by 1. "I just missed shots", Harden said. Despite both his ankle and knee bothering him, Leonard still led the way for San Antonio with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

If Lakers Keep Their Draft Pick, Don't Assume They Target Lonzo Ball
On the court, he's one of the most dynamic offensive playmakers in the 2017 NBA Draft as a lethal slasher and gifted facilitator. Philly is now projected to have the No. 4 overall pick, and will also get the Lakers' pick if it falls out of the top three.

Suspect in killing of Arkansas deputy captured
Mainhart was a five-year veteran of the Yell County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Bill Gilkey said. Negotiators are attempting to make contact with the individual during the hostage situation.

Other news