Federal prosecutors will no longer seek mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, part of a broad new effort to focus on violent crimes and national security while reducing the nation's gigantic prison population, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.
Addressing the American Bar Association's annual meeting in a city and state that long have had some of the nation's most liberal drug enforcement policies, Holder described a sea change in federal law enforcement strategy that marks a significant turn away from the all-out "war on drugs" of the past 40 years.
Holder said charges against dealers who aren't tied to large criminal organizations won't detail how much drugs they were caught with. Without that information, judges can't impose the five- or 10-year mandatory minimum prison terms enacted by Congress in the 1980s.
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