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Posted May 12, 2017 08:42 am CDT
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday ordered federal prosecutors to file the most serious, readily provable charges possible against offenders, reversing a policy that had softened sentences for low-level drug offenders.
Sessions’ memo rescinds a 2013 policy enacted by former Attorney General Eric Holder that told prosecutors to avoid charging lower-level drug defendants with offenses that could trigger long minimum sentences, report the Washington Post, The Associated Press and Politico.
Prosecutors should also disclose to the court all factors that impact sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences, Sessions’ memo said.
Sessions said there could be exceptions to the harsh charging policy, and in such cases prosecutors should get the approval of the U.S. attorney, the assistant attorney general or a designated supervisor.
“This policy affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency,” Sessions wrote.
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