U.S. Prosecutors Told to Push for More, Harsher Punishments

May 15, 2017
The Seattle Times

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is directing federal prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges possible against the vast majority of suspects, a reversal of Obama-era policies that is sure to send more people to prison and for much longer terms.

The move has long been expected from Sessions, a former federal prosecutor who cut his teeth during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic and who has promised to make combating violence and drugs the Justice Department’s top priority.

RELATED: Jeff Sessions Suggests No Crackdown for Legal Marijuana (03/17)

“This policy affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency,” Sessions wrote in a memo sent Thursday night to U.S. attorneys and made public early Friday.

Advocates quickly criticized the move as a revival of the worst aspects of the drug war, which subjected nonviolent, lower-level offenders to unfairly harsh sentences that disproportionately hurt minority communities.

Read more.