Don’t Sentence Non-Violent Offenders to Years in Prison

Target: Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the U.S.

Goal: Do not enforce mandatory minimum sentencing and require prosecutors to charge the most serious provable offense in every case.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave new instructions for the charging of federal criminal cases that “prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense….The most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.” This ties the hands of the judges and forces them to sentence people to much longer times in prison than they normally would, even for completely non-violent offenses.

The New York University School of Law Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan institute, said, “The Trump administration is returning to archaic and deeply flawed policies. Sessions is leaving little to no room for prosecutors to use their judgment and determine what criminal charges best fit the crime.” This approach is what resulted in the issue of mass incarceration, which exploded prison populations, threatened public safety, and cost taxpayers billions. Demand that Sessions relax these overly strict measures and allow prosecutors to responsibly do their jobs.


Dear Attorney General Sessions,

The move to require prosecutors of federal cases to charge the most serious offense, which comes along with a mandatory minimum sentence, is a dangerous and irresponsible approach to justice. It ties the hands of judges and prosecutors and prevents them from doing their jobs effectively.

In addition, this approach is what resulted in mass incarcerations that had an array of negative effects. Public safety was threatened, prisons’ resources were stretched, and it cost the taxpayers billions of dollars. I urge you to rethink this new rule and do not force judges and prosecutors to obey such strict sentencing guidelines.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Rich Mitchell

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