Connecting the Dots

August 15, 2013

This week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued new directives to his U.S. attorneys in the field to use prosecutorial discretion and stop pursuing low-level drug possession cases that carry high minimum mandatory prison sentences. While state prison populations are finally slowly going down, the federal prison system continues to grow with non-violent drug convictions. Also this week, Judge Shira Scheindlin, a federal district judge in New York, ruled that New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy was clearly biased in stopping black and Latino people out of proportion to the initial behaviors that made police instigate their searches. Thousands of innocent young black and Latino men were being prejudged by the police, losing their Constitutional rights and liberties based more on their race than on evidence.

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