The Champion

June 2017 , Page 10 

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NACDL News: Attorney General Sessions Issues Retrograde Charging Policy; Seeks Return to 20th Century’s So-Called ‘War on Drugs’ and the Age of Mass Incarceration

By Ivan J. Dominguez, Ezra Dunkle-Polier, and Alexandra Funk

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On May 12, the Washington Post made public the May 10, 2017, Sessions Memo regarding Department of Justice charging and sentencing policy issued to more than 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys and all assistant attorneys general. The policy represents a dramatic departure from the previous policy, which called for prosecutors in all cases to “individually evaluate the unique facts and circumstances and select charges and seek sentences that are fair and proportional based upon this individualized assessment.”

The new policy declared by Attorney General Jeff Sessions recites that “it is a core principle that prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” and that “[a]ny inconsistent previous policy of the Department of Justice relating to these matters is rescinded,” pointing specifically to Department Policy on Charging Mandatory Minimum Sentences and Recidivist Enhancements in Certain Drug Cases (August 12, 2013), often referred to a
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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
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