Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office sent out a letter late Thursday to the nation’s federal prosecutors instructing them to pursue the most serious charges possible against most criminal suspects.
The move will send more people to prison and for much longer terms by triggering mandatory minimum sentences.
at the Department of Justice said the new guidelines are a direct
rebuttal of policies implemented under President Obama’s attorney
general, Eric Holder.
The memo is already being referred to as
“the Sessions Memo.” The 94 U.S. attorneys were instructed in the memo
to “charge and pursue the most serious and readily provable offense.”
These cases often carry the longest sentences.The memo
also brings back into effect mandatory minimum sentences, which are
expected to increase prosecutions and the prison population.
who served under the Obama administration, implemented the “Smart on
Crime” drug sentencing policy that focused on not incarcerating people
who committed low level non-violent crimes.
administration used the “Smart on Crime” policy to combat what they
believed was a high number of prosecutions of non-violent drug
offenders. DOJ officials call it a “false narrative” and say unless a
gun is involved, most of those cases aren’t charged period.