(National Sentinel) Law Enforcement: Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday instructed all 94 U.S. attorneys to seek the most serious charges against most criminal suspects, reversing a long-standing policy implemented during the Obama administration.
As reported by Fox News, the decision will trigger more mandatory minimum sentences and likely result in sending more people to prison for longer terms:
Officials 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.
Holder, 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.
During the Holder years, it was the policy of the Justice Department and President Obama to lessen sentences – and in many cases not even seek federal charges – primarily against minorities, as they believed the justice system unfairly singled out black men in particular.
So essentially, “Smart on Crime” was a mere euphemism for affirmative action law enforcement.
Critics of the Holder approach say it “convoluted the process,” and left prosecutors applying the law unevenly, which they said “is not Justice.”
Sessions says the get tougher approach was necessary due to a spike in major, violent crime across the country, a claim that is supported by statistics.