Sessions Orders Return To Tough Drug War Policies
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Sessions Orders Return To Tough Drug War Policies
Posted by CN Staff on May 12, 2017 at 07:46:18 PT
By Joseph Tanfani
Source: Los Angeles Times
Washington, D.C. -- Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has ordered federal prosecutors to return to tough policies against drug abusers, ending a push by the Obama administration to clear prisons of lower-level criminals serving long, mandatory minimum sentences. He rescinded two policy memos signed by a predecessor, former Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., that told prosecutors to be cautious in their use of methods that can produce dramatically harsher jail terms.In a memo released Friday, Sessions instructed Justice Department lawyers to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense." By definition, he added, the most serious offenses “carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.”
Sessions long has been aggressive on drug crimes, starting in 1975 when he became a federal prosecutor, and later when he served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama from 1981 to 1993.During his four terms in the Senate, Sessions supported a law that reduced the difference in sentences for crack cocaine and the powdered form of the drug, a disparity that had disproportionately penalized African Americans.But Sessions has strongly condemned marijuana use, and helped block a 2016 bill that would have eased federal sentencing for using it.With the rise of federal mandatory sentencing laws in the 1980s and 1990s, judges were stripped of much of their discretion on how to sentence drug users.Decisions made by prosecutors often effectively determine how long offenders will spend in prison.For example, if federal prosecutors include the amount of drugs in their written charges, that can trigger a mandatory minimum sentence.They also have the discretion to file motions for so-called sentence “enhancements,” which can effectively double drug sentences for repeat offenders.Some prosecutors use these tough tools as a hammer in plea negotiations, or to force offenders to cooperate.Starting in 2013, Holder instructed federal prosecutors to use that power more sparingly and to reserve the toughest charges for high-level traffickers and violent criminals.“As a nation, we are coldly efficient in our incarceration efforts,” Holder said in a speech decrying the growth in America’s prison population.The Obama-era policies led to a sharp decline in the number of drug offenders hit with mandatory minimum sentences, from 62% in 2013 to 44% last year, according to U.S. Sentencing Commission data compiled by a sentencing reform group, Families Against Mandatory Minimums.“Those numbers will go up when you are telling prosecutors to charge the harshest crimes they can get,” said Molly Gill, FAMM’s director of federal legislative affairs.“It’s really ironic,” she added. "Jeff Sessions touts himself as a champion of public safety, and they want to waste taxpayers’ money on people who aren’t that much of a threat.”Gill said the crackdown ordered by Sessions and President Trump probably signals an end to efforts in Congress to reduce mandatory sentences.“I think right now that’s probably dead,” she said.In his memo, Sessions said prosecutors must disclose “all facts” relevant to a sentence, like drug amounts. He canceled a Holder policy that said prosecutors should not use sentencing enhancement motions to coerce guilty pleas.If prosecutors decide to deviate from the tough policies, they have to get a supervisor’s approval, Sessions said. Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein will be responsible for overseeing the new guidelines.“Our responsibility is to fulfill our role in a way that accords with the law, advances public safety, and promotes respect for our legal system,” Sessions’ memo says, saying his goal is to “fully utilize the tools Congress has given us.”Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Author: Joseph TanfaniPublished: May 12, 2017Copyright: 2017 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Justice Archives 
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on May 14, 2017 at 11:31:29 PT
Happy Mother's Day! 
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on May 14, 2017 at 08:01:13 PT
Happy Mother's Day!
Can cannabis turn back the aging process?
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Comment #28 posted by HempWorld on May 13, 2017 at 18:53:32 PT
Back to 1973 or 1937...
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Comment #27 posted by The GCW on May 13, 2017 at 18:50:51 PT
& that's keepin' it short!
You don't want the long...
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Comment #26 posted by The GCW on May 13, 2017 at 18:49:43 PT
I have too much to say but it all boils down to pointing out 2 things.Trump and his Goons make Me want to puke. Vomit. Heave. Flush all toilets...&As far as cannabis is concerned, anyone who want to use the God-given plant has always done so and this vomit of a person and his choice of people to represent him are never going to stop that.Never have, never will.Cannabis ALWAYS WINS.Losers always lose.-0-And anyway, this news doesn't effect cannabis laws as it pertains to responsible adults who want to use the beneficial plant in locations which have passed various forms of legalization.Further,Additional states are in the process of ending cannabis prohibition. Bad gas is not going to stop that. We're not waiting on rational people in Washington D.C.We're movin' on!-0-It would be perfectly fine for this wad of a person to tell the train to stop and then go lay down on the tracks.
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on May 13, 2017 at 11:17:23 PT
Hat tip to DdC posting at DrugWarRant.
Senator Kamala Harris has asked for the Attorney General's resignation because of lying about Russian connections during the campaign. And the plot thickens.
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on May 13, 2017 at 10:47:25 PT
I have always considered myself conservative in my politics, until the last few years. My politics haven't changed, but I'm certainly not standing up with a lot of folks that call themselves conservative in the last few years. No way.
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on May 13, 2017 at 10:02:40 PT
Comment 19 Thanks, John Tyler
That's a good article, and it leads to other good articles.
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Comment #22 posted by rchandar on May 13, 2017 at 09:12:12 PT:
For may not remember Reagan, then. Even Obama liked him.I did like the comment on Sanders. It's not really possible to choose Democrat or GOP. In his first presidency--on live TV, he said, 'get tough on drugs'. Later, pot is 'a waste of time'. But I would choose Kamala Platt to be Attorney General, if I could. These things aren't solved by Sessions: what worries you is that he's out of focus. So we're afraid of him focusing.But a GOP presidency is a GOP presidency. We don't have the votes to impeach anybody. If we can use Congress and contest the DoJ, more power to you.The Dems missed a huge chance in the confirmation vote. I admit they sweetened him a lot. Protesting never accomplished much in changing drug policy. All that means is that there are a lot of drug addicts. But Obama wasn't our friend at all, it was Eric Holder, and aggressive lobbying and cases, that slightly changed that.You will have some case making with Republicans, they aren't all against weed. Many of them don't like Trump, point. Is weed liberal? Many pothead are conservative. Even High Times made that point in 93. Happy Smoking.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on May 13, 2017 at 08:35:52 PT
Are the wealthiest dispensaries and growers
in legal states already being raided, arrested, and robbed?No matter what has been said or when... what he's "Announcing" today is a threat and it sounds like he's threatening people that have been, for one reason or another, left alone by the feds for awhile.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on May 13, 2017 at 08:17:23 PT
I think Sessions is lying.
We keep up with the law and the news here. When did any part of the last administration... through memos or anything cut any slack to major drug dealers and traffickers?I don't think that happened as he's implying. The only thing any "Slacking in prosecution and enforcement" was about... was about medical and legal. (I keep listening to his video over and over... really trying to understand exactly what he is saying. Like ..."If you are a drug trafficker.... plain and simple...". Plain and simple means a lot in that statement. He means ... no matter what. He means if you're growing commercial... anywhere... no matter what your excuse or defense is... he's coming after you. Oh my. People be careful.)
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Comment #19 posted by John Tyler on May 13, 2017 at 08:04:06 PT
Country music loves to serenade cannabis
The country folk love cannabis.
This is what I thought. The country music scene is adopting cannabis in a big way.
Country music loves to serenade cannabis and does it more than any other genre.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on May 13, 2017 at 07:55:26 PT
Oh my!
I've raised and helped raised many children. I know children and people pretty well. I can see a lot by watching. At least I think I do... and I'm usually right. Watching the video with this article, I see a man so delighted to make these announcements and get started on his pet project that he is nearly squirming with delight.He's getting rid of all the federal prosecutors that don't bear down hard on people for using or smuggling these consumables.He seems to be an evil, angry, bitter, and dangerous man and has an extraordinary agenda to deliver people he dislikes into poverty and the prison system.Good judgement? Morals?That fifty two thousand deaths from drug overdose happened because of marijuana? Did that even have from illegal heroin and cocaine? I think some of those people died from taking a drug just as their doctor prescribed. It was just prescribed wrong or taken wrong. I think it often has something to do with fentanyl with something else that combined to poison someone. But these are deaths that happened because of prescribed drugs that didn't go well, not things that have anything to do with Session's job.Sessions really LOVES prosecutors. So much so, it seems like it could be immoral. Is that kind of like loving the hangman a bit unnaturally? Wanting to let him do his job... well... and a lot? They do not "Deserve" to be "Handcuffed"? Wow. He wants unfettered prosecutorial power in the land of liberty.We'll pay for more undercover thugs. We'll pay for more innocent people to be harmed. We will have an increase, again, in "Collateral damage"... total innocents and children. Sad. It's so sad. AG Sessions orders tougher prison sentences as the 'right and moral thing to do'
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on May 13, 2017 at 07:21:07 PT
Eeegads... another picture of hatred personified.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on May 12, 2017 at 19:58:37 PT
Sam Adams
That makes sense!
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Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on May 12, 2017 at 18:52:10 PT
Follow the money
this is very simple, it doesn't have much to do with Jeff Sessions. This is happening because the private prison corporations paid a lot of money to the Trump family. 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 12, 2017 at 15:31:59 PT
I sure hope so and soon before he gets us in war.
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Comment #13 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 12, 2017 at 14:56:54 PT
As the trump disaster continues 
Place your bets:
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 12, 2017 at 14:47:34 PT
I agree. I believe more like Bernie Sanders then anyone.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 12, 2017 at 14:32:47 PT
God Like
It's almost like people like Trump feel Godlike and that is scary.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 12, 2017 at 14:30:58 PT
I understand what you meant. The only emotion I feel about Session is extreme sadness for those that it will hurt like so many have been hurt under Bush. Something is wrong with Trump. His ego is unbelievable. Dictators are like he is. It almost reminds me of the movie the God Father. No conscience just total loyalty or else.
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Comment #9 posted by Vincent on May 12, 2017 at 14:28:25 PT:
"Democrats have a problem in that they think everybody shares their values".Well, doesn't every group believe that the public shares their values? God knows, but the Republicans make it a "litmus test" over, ahem, "values". As a Socialist, I believe that my values are the correct ones...making the rich pay their fair share in taxes; Socialized Medicine; Legalized Marijuana; legalized Prostitution, gambling, etc.; Sexual get the idea. There's nothing wrong with those "values", in my opinion.
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Comment #8 posted by rchandar on May 12, 2017 at 13:48:08 PT:
Ok. Noted. I will try to.
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Comment #7 posted by BGreen on May 12, 2017 at 12:27:49 PT
I don't remember saying all that, rchandar
You're putting words in my mouth with a tone I don't particularly like. I'm sorry if you disagree with me but I didn't attack you or even respond to anything you posted.I hope you have a better day than the one you are trying to give to me.Bud
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Comment #6 posted by rchandar on May 12, 2017 at 11:23:37 PT
I think that's a la la land interpretation that presumes that older people are 'desperate'. I disagree: Kultur is a part of every Presidency, and you're saying that older people do not deserve to experience this world, or that they're worthless simply because they don't have the concept of 'love' that you claim to have. I think your concept of love is a self-reflection that you expect us to buy simply because it suits you personally. If you saw your students killed by the Taliban, you would stop promoting the idea that we are inferior humans who don't deserve 'love' like you do.Democrats have a problem in that they think everybody shares their values. If you want change, get the amendment passed and try to get Sessions fired.
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Comment #5 posted by BGreen on May 12, 2017 at 10:54:09 PT
This is the last gasp of a dying ideology
Things are being massively shaken up right now which, on the surface, seems kind of freaky (to say the least.) But as f'd up as the system these people have created is, there is nothing but an earthquake-sized shakeup that will restore the balance that needs to exist in any life form and environment.Hang on because it is only going to get freakier. It has to happen. The system of lies, anger and hatred is being replaced by the peace, love and happiness that we've been offering all along. The angry are getting angrier as they observe all of the stuff that used to work no longer work. It is freaking the hell out of them. They are desperate and that's why their mistakes are getting so blatantly obvious.I have never felt more relaxed about life, liberty and the pursuit of cannabis than now. It's not a fight nor competition with us. Their greed and lack of love is a guaranteed suicide in this universe of love.Bud
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Comment #4 posted by rchandar on May 12, 2017 at 10:13:00 PT:
I disagree. Obama was not sympathetic with a lot of us: he was very cruel. I was attacked several times by terrorists: he didn't care about us.I got arrested under Clinton, but I voted for Hillary. Hillary said drug use 'was a disease'. I think the time has come to ignore Mr. Session's procedural steps to justify his power and pass Rohrbacher's bill, while there are enough GOPS to get it passed.
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Comment #3 posted by rchandar on May 12, 2017 at 10:07:25 PT:
He's said he won't go after the Cole Memo. Any lobbying with Sessions should state the obvious: criminalize weed, turn it over to crooks.And could someone tell me why Rohrbacher's bill hasn't been attempted yet? That's not a Republican conspiracy because he himself is a Republican. 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on May 12, 2017 at 09:51:54 PT
I seriously doubt it.
"... Advances public safety, and promotes respect for our legal system".The harsher the reprisals, the greater the dangers. Hammering down in the Great War on Drugs did not help. It made it worse. The hammer of the law? Hammer down on the citizenry? It does not work. It did not work. Not in the past. Not right now. Not in the future. Not ever.Unjust laws. Mr. Sessions... cannabis prohibition is unjust.And wars... all those wars. Why do some people love war? It's not right to love war. It's not right to lust, and long after it, and want it. It's not right to glorify it and instigate it. War is not a good human goal. So here they are again. The lovers of war and the "Tools' of authority. Gearing up. Getting ready. Ready to kill. Ready to destroy someone in the name of their god...Law... it's practice and enforcement. Unjust or not. It's the Law... whatever it is... it's the Law.Stricter enforcement and longer sentences will not help. Help, I fear, is not the goal. Law enforcement. Boots on the ground. War is the goal.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 12, 2017 at 07:47:33 PT
I can't believe all the good Obama did and allowed change to happen could all be done away with under this administration.
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