President Obama signed legislation four years ago to reduce “unfair disparities” in drug sentences, but even so, “there are still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime,” Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday.
Because of when these drug offenders were sentenced, they will spend more time in prison than they would if they were sentenced today.
“This is simply not right,” Holder said.
Holder says the White House wants to consider many more clemency applications — “to restore a degree of justice, fairness, and proportionality for deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety.”
Holder announced that the Justice Department will release new clemency guidelines later this week:
“Once these reforms go into effect, we expect to receive thousands of additional applications for clemency. And we at the Department of Justice will meet this need by assigning potentially dozens of lawyers — with backgrounds in both prosecution and defense — to review applications and provide the rigorous scrutiny that all clemency applications require.”