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Monday, August 12, 2013

BIG NEWS in criminal justice policy

Every once in a while, there is a day like this:

Holder calls for scaled-back mandatory minimum sentences

Draconian. Excessive. Counterproductive.

These are the words from the top law enforcement official in the United States about one facet of the drug war.

The Justice Department will no longer pursue mandatory minimum sentences for "certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders," Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

Holder told the American Bar Association's House of Delegates in San Francisco that the United States should not stop being tough on crime, but he noted that while the nation is "coldly efficient" in jailing criminals, it "cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate" its way to becoming safer.
Racially biased. Unreasonable. Unconstitutional.
That is how a federal judge characterized New York City PD's stop and frisk policy.
A federal judge ruled Monday that the New York Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy violates the Constitution, in part by unlawfully targeting blacks and Latinos.
Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, ruling on a class-action lawsuit, wrote that the policy violated plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights barring unreasonable searches, finding that police made at least 200,000
stops from 2004 to June 2012 without reasonable suspicion.
She also found evidence of racial profiling, violating plaintiffs' 14th Amendment rights guaranteeing equal protection.
So today is an amazing day in criminal justice policy news.

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