Jeff Sessions Demands Prosecutors Seek Most Severe Sentences For All Crimes

Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes opening remarks during a Drug Enforcement Administration 360 Heroin and Opioid Response Summit at the University of Charleston Thursday

U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions has issued a memo to federal prosecutors around the country, directing them to seek harsher penalties for low-level offenses-bringing back the type of policy that contributed to the ballooning mass- incarceration system in the United States. And, they say, the Justice Department's re-embrace of charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences will hamstring judges from making decisions rooted in the facts of a case, as opposed to preset minimums widely blamed for mass incarceration. "The Department of Justice should be committed to acquiring the resources it needs to perform and complete a thorough and aggressive investigation into this Administration's ties to Russian Federation, inclusive of the Attorney General, instead of trying to refill our prisons on the backs of vulnerable communities". One of the big factors in why so many individuals serving time in federal prison were convicted on drug charges is because they pled down from more serious charges, such as armed robbery or even murder, in relation to the drug offense.

Udi Ofer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Campaign for Smart Justice, said Sessions is pushing federal prosecutors to repeat a failed experiment: the war on drugs. But with the FBI investigating Russian meddling in last year's election and possible ties to the Trump campaign, Sessions promised to keep his distance. And we know this because it has been widely recognized as a awful old policy.

Sessions' memo, dated on Wednesday, rescinds the Obama-era policy, saying federal prosecutors must now get approval from a supervisor if they want to bring charges or seek sentences that are milder than the strictest options available in a case.

Paul has pushed for reforms to the criminal justice system, including reduction of mandatory minimum sentences on drug crimes, expungement of felony records and restoration of voting rights, though the proposals haven't garnered enough support to get a floor vote. The Judiciary panel advanced that measure in 2015 on a 15-5 vote.

The Obama policies had led to a sharp decline in the number of those charged with drug crimes who were given mandatory minimum sentences, from 62 percent in 2013 to 44 percent in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sessions however, is working to punish and imprison offenders to the fullest extent possible and working to include minimum mandatory sentences.




Now, despite years of progress, some drug policy experts are anxious that the shift in DOJ priorities could signal a return to that bygone era of draconian laws and strict enforcement.

As the are now showing, Sessions and his Justice Department are not interest in that level of common-sense and forgiveness. "The policy announced today is not tough on crime", Holder said. "It is of the utmost importance to enforce the law fairly and consistently".

Under 21 U.S.C. ยง 851, prosecutors can request a harsher sentence for some federal crimes if they can demonstrate that the defendant has prior convictions that suggest a tendency toward recidivism.

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

Holder predicted Sessions' directive will be "substantively and financially ruinous" and will force the agency to revert to the days of spending "one third of its budget in incarcerating people, rather than preventing, detecting or investigating crime". The memo was an attempt at mercy in order to lessen the long-term consequences for non-violent, low-level drug offenders. "This will help law enforcement do our jobs better".

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Equipment water leak shortens spacewalk by 2 US astronauts
May 13, 2017 - 10:15
However, due to the delay at the beginning of the mission, some of the secondary tasks of the spacewalk might have to be canceled. During preparations earlier in the morning, water leaked from the connection point between an umbilical hose and Fischer's suit.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Brazil ends Zika virus public health emergency
May 13, 2017 - 10:15
From January through mid-April, the Health Ministry recorded 95 percent fewer cases than during the same period previous year . Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby's head is smaller than expected when compared to those of the same sex and age.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 25th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
May 13, 2017 - 10:05
Local letter carriers will again help Stamp Out Hunger as they collect non-perishable foods for the Salvation Army on Saturday. Food Drive comes at a time when the holiday food drive donations have been depleted from the shelves of the food bank.

Real Madrid in Champions League final despite defeat
May 12, 2017 - 04:33
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insisted he was not downhearted by Atletico's superb start. Karim Benzema in action against Atletico in the Champions League .

Xi, Moon agree denuclearising North Korea 'common goal': Seoul
May 12, 2017 - 03:50
And yesterday, he said he would have "serious discussions with the USA and China for the resolution of issues related to Thaad". Nonetheless, aside from wanting to restore normal relations and trade with North Korea, Moon wants to have the same with China.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Red Sox: Chris Sale will not be suspended
May 12, 2017 - 03:50
Manfred said some of the animosity may have been generated because the Red Sox and Orioles met seven times in the last two weeks. It's the fourth longest (by a position player) in Major League Baseball history and the longest in Orioles' history.

Pentagon chief, Turkish PM meet after decision to arm Kurds
May 12, 2017 - 03:46
Turkey has urged the United States to reverse a decision to arm Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Syria. It was the first time the US has attacked Syrian forces in the six-year civil war.

State police: 3 dead, including deputy, in rural Arkansas
May 12, 2017 - 03:44
An earlier version of this story was corrected to show the deaths happened about 65 miles west of Little Rock, not 170 miles west. The ASP said Bowden had been holed up inside the home since at least 10 a.m. and SWAT officers had been negotiating with him.

Nigeria negotiating with Boko Haram for more Chibok releases
May 12, 2017 - 03:42
Details of the negotiations that resulted in the release of the girls have not been disclosed by the federal government. Two other girls were found separately, in addition to those who escaped on the night of their abduction.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jordan Spieth thinks two missed cuts at The Players are a 'fluke'
May 12, 2017 - 03:41
No golfer has repeated at THE PLAYERS, and Australian Jason Day is +2200 to become the first. "There's just more guys in the mix". Finally, we'll look at a number of lineups and strategies for making DraftKings picks for The PLAYERS to allow you to choose.

Spurs overcome Leonard injury, Harden to beat Rockets in OT
May 12, 2017 - 03:39
Leonard initially said he wasn't sure if he was able to play, but obviously he got the all clear to say he could later on. The fourth quarter continued the back, and forth game, and regulation play proved not to be enough for this contest.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Andy Murray beaten again as he goes down in Madrid
May 12, 2017 - 03:35
Women's defending champ Simona Halep has crushed American Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semis. He surrendered his serve in the seventh game, giving the 20-year-old Coric three break points.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Greece's Demy into Eurovision final for 2017
May 12, 2017 - 03:32
And she giggled: "I might just wear trousers on the night". "I'm really lucky and I'm really happy for today and for all the support".

Labor's budget reply 'class war'
May 12, 2017 - 03:30
The opposition leader was at pains to counter the widespread observation in commentary that this was "a Labor budget". The crackdown would reportedly raise $1.8 billion over a decade and would affect less than 1 per cent of taxpayers.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Guess Who the World's Richest Rapper Is
May 12, 2017 - 03:28
Let's begin with the list first: As earlier mentioned, Diddy stands atop all with a jaw-dropping net worth $820 million. This year, rappers Diddy, Jay Z and Drake appear on Forbes' Top Five Wealthiest Hip-Hop Artists list .