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Drug Crimes and Minimum Mandatory Sentences

Eric Holder, United States Attorney General, has announced that the Justice Department will make sweeping changes to minimum mandatory sentences as applied to low level and non-violent drug offenders

As a member of the defense community I am hopeful that there will be a large shift in policies at the local levels and that sentences in these cases will immediately be affected by the sweeping changes.

I think the general public would be shocked by the amount of time that many federal offenders are serving in Federal Prison on low level, non-violent, drug trafficking crimes. This reform is being applauded by people on both sides of the political aisle.

Our Federal Government is in a budget crisis and yet we are spending billions of dollars to incarcerate people that would much likely do better and be more successful if given rehabilitation. Many of these offenders are addicts themselves. Many of these individuals are used by the larger cartels to be couriers in the drug trade.

We can all agree that drugs are bad. We can all agree that we do not want them distributed in our neighborhoods. However, there also has to be some connection between the crime and the time that is spent incarcerated.

Huffington Post article

 Holder wrote, “We must ensure that our most severe mandatory minimum penalties are reserved for serious, high-level, or violent drug traffickers,”

 

Cara Tangaro, Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

 

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