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THE AG HOLDER initiative on MANDATORY MINIMUM DRUG SENTENCES is WELCOME…BUT need a COMMISSION to RECOMMEND COMMUTATIONS and PARDONS for PAST OFFENDERS!

I am pleased with the recent announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder to stop using mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent drug offenders:

The Justice Department will no longer pursue mandatory minimum sentences for certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday, noting the nation is “coldly efficient in jailing criminals,” but that it “cannot prosecute or incarcerate” its way to becoming safer.

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” Holder told the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates in San Francisco.

Now there is a fair amount of psychobabble in AG Holder’s announcement (links between poverty and crime for example) but I support this initiative.  But it must include some sort of temporary commission that could review past cases and recommend commutation and/or pardons in some cases to President Obama.  There also should be better indigent defense services.  In this Commonwealth, we should have a state-wide public defender system and a state-wide appellate defender system.

Both Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis support curbs on over-criminalization.  Here is Cuccinelli’s speech to CPAC cited at the Right on Crime site.  The Attorney General cited his attempts to improve the actual innocence laws in this speech.

Sarvis has called for a legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of others for consenting adults.  He also opposes over-criminalization.

I could not find anything from Democrat Terry McAuliffe on the issue.

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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