Federal prosecutors have been ordered by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions go after the maximum punishments allowable for all drug offenses. This move breaks the policies of the Justice Department under the Obama administration, which sought to reduce the amount of low-level drug crimes and ease sentencing.
Sessions’ memo to federal prosecutors was distributed on May 10, and made public on May 12, reports NBC News. It urges prosecutors to “file the most serious, readily provable” charges with maximum punishments. Mandatory minimum sentences were also included in that statement.
Sessions said that it, “Affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency.”
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder’s 2013 policy “Smart on Crime” will essentially be reversed with Sessions’ ignorant and archaic approach to drug policy. Under Holder’s policy, prosecutors weren’t reporting how much of a drug was found during a non-violent crime arrest where a minimum mandatory sentence would be imposed. Sessions’ policy, on the other hand, wants to know how much of each drug is found and wants maximum penalties sought.
The change maintains consistency with the Justice Department’s responsibility “to fulfill our role in a way that accords with the law, advances public safety, and promotes respect for our legal system,” according to Sessions.