When Eric Holder announced new policies to reduce harsh prison sentences for non-violent offenders in August, an unusual pol had his back.
Calling mandatory minimums "one of the most unjust federal policies of our time," Sen. Rand Paul heralded the Obama administration’s move, arguing that reform should be a “bipartisan issue.” read more
Attorney General Eric Holder unveiled new policies on Monday to address the low-level, nonviolent offenses that he argued keep too many Americans locked away “for no truly good law enforcement reason." Drug laws and mandatory minimums have driven a 700% spike in the prison population over the past few decades, leading many states to literally run out of jails. The result is an unusual problem with a controversial solution. read more
The sequester is often described as an “across the board” spending cut--a term that implies shared sacrifice. For the criminal justice system, however, the cuts are one-sided. According to estimates from around the country, the sequester is hitting public defenders and courts far harder than prosecutors.
In his unusual address about race relations after the George Zimmerman trial, President Obama recounted personal experiences when people thought he was dangerous, or a criminal, because of his skin color. He was describing a social form of racial profiling, of reactions to him based solely--instantaneously--on his race. The official practice, while widely condemned, actually remains legal under federal law and in about 25 states. read more