Attorney General Changes Drug-Sentencing Policy

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Attorney General Eric Holder directed the Justice Department to stop imposing mandatory minimum sentences for some low-level drug offenders, Monday.

“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 said.

The idea is part of a plan to reduce over-crowding in Federal prisons and save billions in tax dollars. Incarcerating offenders cost American taxpayers roughly $80 billion in 2010.

“There’s been so many people affected by minimum mandatory sentences and the lengthy sentences that Federal court imposes,” attorney Bethany Phillips said.

Phillips is a Hartford based defense attorney who deals with State and Federal courts. Drug crimes will decrease under Holder’s proposal, she argued.

“What will help them is helping them find jobs. Not bringing them into a part of a revolving door where they’re in court and out of court,” Phillips said.

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