The Eric Holder Justice Department continues to make good on its promise to clamp down on mandatory sentencing.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Thursday expanded its effort to curtail severe penalties for low-level federal drug offenses, ordering prosecutors to refile charges against defendants in pending cases and strip out any references to specific quantities of illicit substances that would trigger mandatory minimum sentencing laws. [...]
The policy applies to defendants who meet four criteria: their offense did not involve violence, the use of a weapon, or selling drugs to minors; they are not leaders of a criminal organization; they have no significant ties to large-scale gangs or drug trafficking organizations; and they have no significant criminal histories.
This is a far bigger deal than anyone in the media is going to give it credit for. And it’s unprecedented. In the past the status quo has been to push for harsher sentencing, not lesser.