U.S. Attorney General Announces Feds Will Stop Prosecuting Some Drug Offenses Immediately.

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” – Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at ABA 2013 conference in San Francisco.  Photo by ABA.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at ABA 2013 conference in San Francisco. Photo by ABA.

In his address to the American Bar Association’s annual conference in San Francisco, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Federal government will no longer pursue mandatory minimums in cases involving certain low-level, non-violent drug offenses.

The change is effective immediately.

He also took on racial disparities in our criminal justice system, prison overcrowding and the unsustainable funding model that exists as a result of incarcerating more of our citizens than any other country in the world.

This marks the most significant shift in U.S. sentencing reform since the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

See CNN’s story about this major development here.

The announcement has brought praise from both the political left and the right.  Read this post from Time Magazine about how conservatives and liberals are reacting to this important step toward much needed criminal justice reform.

Holder’s speech came on the same day a Federal judge overturned New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” practices. Read this New York Times piece about how these two distinct and important developments could transform the way our country approaches criminal justice.

Relevant reading: 

You can read the transcript of Holder’s entire speech here.

The Department of Justice has named this new package of criminal justice reforms “Smart on Crime.” You can read the proposal here.

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