August 12, 2013

I FAVOR THIS POLICY. NOT SURE ABOUT IMPLEMENTING IT VIA EXECUTIVE FIAT: Justice Dept. Seeks to Curtail Stiff Drug Sentences. “In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration will move on Monday to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses.” On the other hand, prosecutors have a lot of discretion. But can you validly indict somebody for possessing an illegal substance without saying how much? I guess so. . . .

The other question: What took them so long to address this problem, which I’ve been blogging about for years? Here’s a hint: “The policy changes appear to be part of Mr. Holder’s effort, before he eventually steps down, to bolster his image and legacy. Turmoil over the Congressional investigation into the botched Operation Fast and Furious gun trafficking case ensnared him in the Obama administration’s first term, and more recently, controversy has flared over the department’s aggressive tactics in leak investigations.”

By the way, Fast and Furious wasn’t “botched,” except to the extent that they got caught.

UPDATE: Related: Obama DOJ Also to Back Mandatory Minimum Reform Bill “Similar” to Rand Paul’s.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, there’s a change: Holder’s Mandatory Minimum Announcement Finally Uses Executive Power To Expand Liberty. If I were President, I could think of a lot more places to do that. . . .

MORE: Congress, Not DOJ, Should Address Minimum Sentences.

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