Sessions Tells Prosecutors to Seek Harsher Punishments
Sessions Tells Prosecutors to Seek Harsher Punishments
16 May, 2017, 17:20
"We will do all that we can to keep you safe and promote public support for honorable officers in your risky work", Sessions said. "This is a key part of President Trump's promise to keep America safe", Sessions said.
The Sessions memo provides an out for prosecutors, with a few warnings.
"The murder rate has surged 10 percent nationwide".
During his speech there, Sessions once again brought up "drug cartels" and "street gangs", saying that "drugs and crime go hand-in-hand". The memo included specific instructions for prosecutors to file charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences whenever possible.
Obama changed the policy to reduce the number of people behind stuck behind bars for long periods of time for committing low level drug crimes. Attorney General Sessions' directive to federal prosecutors raises suspicion of his desire to fill these facilities by any means necessary - an incentive that, in the past, incarcerated an entire generation in a disparate way.
Sessions' memo says there could be exceptions, but those cases must be approved by a US attorney, assistant attorney general or other supervisor, and the reasons documented in writing.
Both companies' stocks plummeted after former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced last August that the Justice Department was planning to phase out its use of private prisons. That effort really ramped up in the late 1980s with the introduction of mandatory minimums for drug crimes, and peaked with the Clinton-era 1994 crime bill that established further harsh sentences and funneled billions into the nation's prisons.
"If you are a drug trafficker", he said, "we will not look the other way". "This policy fully utilizes the tools Congress has given us".
The two-page memo, released to the public Friday morning, requires federal prosecutors to pursue the toughest possible charges and sentences against suspects.
"Congress has to act now and serve as a check on the egregious behavior of Sessions' Justice Department", said Collins. Sessions later praised the city as having "done some great things in criminal justice" and said his disagreement with city leaders was primarily over the issue of New York's "sanctuary-city policies".
"Decades of experience shows we can not arrest and incarcerate our way out of America's drug problem", Brett Tolman, the former United States attorney of Utah, said in a statement.
The directive abolishes guidance by Sessions' Democratic predecessor, Eric Holder, who said prosecutors could in some cases omit drug quantities from charging documents so as to not generate long sentences.
Jeff Sessions' push for long mandatory minimums will destroy people, families and communities.
Sessions told the nation's USA attorneys in a memo to pursue the most serious charges possible against most suspects. It's always been expected from the former prosecutor who has made fighting violent crime the Justice Department's priority.
Sessions' opposite, "tough on crime" attitude, which he has espoused since the beginning of his tenure, is being widely compared to the 1970s "War on Drugs" that wreaked havoc on minority communities in previous decades. But Sessions has said a spike in violence in some big cities shows the need for a return to tougher tactics.
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