September 23, 2013
Last month Attorney General Eric Holder declared “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” For many, this was a welcome, although limited change of policy. To get around existing mandatory minimum laws, Holder instructed federal prosecutors to use discretion for non-violent drug offenders. By not listing the quantities of drugs, prosecutors can’t avoid the trigger mechanisms in mandatory minimum sentencing rules. This is definitely a good first step, but we need all mandatory minimum laws repealed. We should not remove the ability of a judge and jury to rule on the merits of each case.