Your DUI Pro
Weekends & Evening Appointments Available 24 Hours

Free Consultation 701-746-4107

Toll Free 877-387-3524

Jeff Sessions requiring prosecutors to trigger mandatory minimums

With the number of people incarcerated in the U.S. at unprecedented rates, largely due to long sentences for drug offenders, the trend had been to try to reduce those sentences -- at least for low-level, nonviolent offenders. That was the purpose of a 2013 policy memo by then-Attorney General Eric Holder.

In that memo, Holder recommended that federal prosecutors omit the quantity of drugs when preparing sentencing memoranda for these low-level offenders. The point of doing that was to avoid triggering mandatory minimum sentences under the federal sentencing guidelines. The quantity of drugs involved in a criminal incident acts as a multiplier under those guidelines.

"Long sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenses do not promote public safety, deterrence, and rehabilitation," Holder wrote in the memo.

Lacking the quantity of drugs prompted sentencing judges to avoid the mandatory minimums and sentence the defendant using more traditional standards of justice and proportionality. Federal judges already have the power to overrule mandatory minimum sentences -- omitting the drug quantity simply raised the issue.

Sessions' memo directly reverses that policy. He has ordered all US Attorneys to disclose the quantity of drugs involved or seek "supervisory approval" from the Justice Department.

Mandatory-minimum drug sentences are really harsh

Whatever you may think of drug users, you should know that our federal drug sentences are really harsh. They can quite easily result in life behind bars, even for low-level offenders, and there is unfairness that is associated with race. Crack cocaine, which is primarily used by blacks, results in sentences 18 times as long as those for powder cocaine, primarily used by whites.

If you are arrested for even a low-level drug crime, you need an attorney. Now is not the time to plead guilty and hope everything will be all right.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Need Answers Now? Contact Us Immediately.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Contact Information

Dusek Law
712 Demers Avenue
East Grand Forks, MN 56721

Toll Free: 877-387-3524
Phone: 701-746-4107
Phone: 218-773-6934
Fax: 218-793-0013
East Grand Forks Law Office Map


Dusek Law Mobile App

Install the mobile application on your smart phone today!

  • National College for DUI Defense | MCMXCV | GENERAL MEMBER
  • Premier DUI - American Association Attorneys
  • NACDL - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • state Bar Association of North Dakota
  • Minnesota state Bar Association

Method of Payment

VISA , Master Card , Discover Network