This is something I never thought I would see coming out of Washington and especially the Department of Justice. The secretary goes on to say: “We must face the reality that, as it stands, our system is, in too many ways, broken,” Holder said. “And with an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and to rehabilitate — not merely to warehouse and to forget.”
Drug crimes, many of them nonviolent, account for nearly half of those offenders. The policies come with a big price tag: Incarceration from mandatory minimum sentencing cost $80 billion just in 2010, he added.
Holder pointed out, as have many critics of the U.S.’ not-unjustified claim to high moral standing, that the U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of its prisoners.
Holder has ordered federal prosecutors to omit listing the quantities of drugs found on a first-time, nonviolent offender. He’s told them not to charge suspects with offenses that carry automatic mandatory minimums. Those and other criteria leave sentencing where it should have been all along: at the discretion of the judge….’