Attorney General Jeff Sessions has just made another controversial move. In a two-page briefing that was sent to the 94 U.S. attorney offices across the nation, he demanded federal prosecutors “seek the most serious criminal charges against suspects.”
Sessions wrote in the briefing, “This policy affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency. This policy fully utilizes the tools Congress has given us. By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial… sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.”
However, former Attorney General Eric Holder, who worked under President Obama, called the move “absurd and dumb on crime.”
He went on to slam the briefing, saying, “It is an ideologically-motivated, cookie-cutter approach that has only been proven to generate unfairly long sentences that are often applied indiscriminately and do little to improve public safety. These reversals will be both substantively and financially ruinous, setting the department back on a track to again spending one-third of its budget on incarcerating people rather than preventing, detecting or investigating crime.”
According to a January Pew Research Center analysis, prisoners in federal custody fell by 7,981 inmates from 2009-2015. However this move is expected to reverse the current trend.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill was also furious over the news. She said, “Attorney General Sessions has turned back the clock on our criminal justice system, ensuring it will continue to disproportionately punish black people, harming our communities and widening painful divides in our society.”
This is another questionable move from a member of the Trump Administration. The number of prisoners is expected to now rise, with this order seemingly targeting the poor and minorities.