After an eight-year effort by the Obama Justice Department to weaken federal sentencing guidelines, Attorney Jeff Sessions is preparing to roll back the clock. Carrying through on President Trump’s promise to restore law and order to the country, the DOJ sent a letter this week to the nation’s 94 U.S. attorneys instructing them to “charge and pursue the most serious and readily provable offense” when prosecuting criminal suspects.
While the attorney general’s office can only make recommendations, the new guidelines are expected to have a big impact when it comes to federal prosecutions throughout the country. Under Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, prosecutors were encouraged to go in the other direction. The focus was on emptying prisons, pushing back on mass incarcerations, and handing out lighter sentences for drug offenses. These policies, driven by a racially-influenced agenda, met fierce resistance from hardliners like Sessions, who believes that criminals should be punished to the fullest extent of the law – regardless of the color of their skin.
“This policy affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency,” the DOJ said in the letter. “This policy fully utilizes the tools Congress has given us. By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.”
Under the previous administration, Attorney General Holder enacted what he termed the “smart on crime” initiative, which directed prosecutors to withhold information – such as the amount of drugs found in a suspect’s possession – if it would trigger mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Holder recommended that U.S. attorneys keep this information hidden as long as the suspect in question was not being charged with a violent offense and had no connections to a gang or a drug cartel.
“With an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter, and rehabilitate — not merely to warehouse and forget,” Holder said in 2013.
In the Sessions memo, prosecutors were instructed to disregard the Holder-era policies and instead “disclose to the sentencing court all facts that impact the sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimum sentences.”
The usual liberals are pitching a fit about the memo, claiming that Sessions will lead the country back into the “disastrous War on Drugs” age that led to overcrowded prisons in the first place.
If, however, a policy that does nothing more or less than to direct U.S. attorneys to FOLLOW THE LAW is so monstrous, then the onus is on Congress to change those laws and eliminate mandatory sentencing minimums. In the meantime, it’s really extraordinary to see how eager these activists are to see the federal government ignore congressional law.
Oh, but TRUMP is the lawless tyrant…right, right.