Smarter Sentencing

Post Date: August 13, 2013

(New York Times Editorial) –You know a transformational moment has arrived when the attorney general of the United States makes a highly anticipated speech on a politically combustible topic and there is virtually no opposition to be heard. 

That describes the general reaction to Eric Holder Jr.’s announcement on Monday that he was ordering “a fundamentally new approach” in the federal prosecution of many lower-level drug offenders. What once would have elicited cries of “soft on crime” now drew mostly nods of agreement. As Mr. Holder said, it’s “well past time” to take concrete steps to end the nation’s four-decade incarceration binge — the result of harsh sentencing laws enacted in response to increased violent crime in the late 1960s and 1970s.  Read more…