Published in Democracy Now
The commission that issues sentencing guidelines to federal judges has unanimously voted to consider softening its framework for drug offenses.
The panel voted to work with Congress to reduce the “severity and scope” of mandatory minimum sentences and said it would assess its own guidelines regarding prison terms based on certain amounts of drugs.
In a statement, the commission said, “Drug offenders account for nearly half of all federal inmates, and an adjustment to the Drug Quantity Tables in the sentencing guidelines could have a significant impact on sentence lengths and prison populations.”
Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a major shift on sentencing this week, including instructing federal prosecutors to sidestep mandatory minimums for some drug offenses.