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US will consider shortening sentences for harsh, outdated drug laws

23
Apr
2014

The US Justice Department is beginning a big initiative to commute the sentences of some inmates serving drug convictions with overly long sentences. Announced this morning, the initiative will allow non-violent inmates who have served at least 10 years of a long drug sentence that would have been shorter if given today to apply for their sentences to be reduced by the president. Some [defendants], simply because of the operation of sentencing laws on the books at the time, received substantial sentences that are disproportionate to what they would receive today, deputy attorney general James Cole said at a press conference announcing the initiative. Even the sentencing judges in many of these cases expressed regret at the time at having to impose such harsh sentences.

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