In a letter sent Tuesday to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate judiciary committees, 130 former federal prosecutors, federal judges, state attorneys general, and other former high-ranking law enforcement officials from across the country called on members of Congress to pass federal sentencing reform.
“Individuals most likely to receive a [federal] mandatory minimum sentence were street-level dealers, not serious and major drug dealers, kingpins, and importers,” the letter says. Of the 22,000 federal drug offenders sentenced last year, “only seven percent had a leadership role in the crime and 84 percent did not possess or use guns or weapons.”
The letter, released by The Constitution Project, highlights the skyrocketing costs of sentencing federal drug offenders to excessively harsh mandatory minimum sentences. “Over the past three decades, our spending on federal incarceration has increased 1,100 percent.” In just the last 10 years, federal incarceration and detention costs have doubled.
Read the full letter and see the full list of signatories below: