Holder endorses proposed drug sentencing changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sentencing guidelines could be eased for certain nonviolent drug traffickers under a proposal that now has the backing of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder says the change would rein in bloated federal prison costs and create a fairer criminal justice system.

Holder is scheduled to appear Thursday before the U.S. Sentencing Commission, where he is expected to formally announce his support for the proposal.

It's part of a broader push for new federal sentencing policies, including his directive to prosecutors in August to stop charging many nonviolent drug defendants with offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences.

In excerpts of his testimony, Holder says overreliance on prison time "is not just financially unsustainable, it comes with human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate."

The commission is not expected to vote on the proposed change until at least April.


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327-v-36-(Ross Simpson, AP correspondent)--On Thursday Attorney General Eric Holder is planning to endorse a proposal that would result in shorter prison sentences for certain non-violent drug traffickers. AP correspondent Ross Simpson reports. (12 Mar 2014)

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328-c-14-(Ross Simpson, AP correspondent)-"mandatory minimum sentences"-AP correspondent Ross Simpson reports a U.S. Sentencing Commission proposal to shorten some drug sentences is going to be supported by Attorney General Eric Holder. (12 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *328 (03/12/14)££ 00:14 "mandatory minimum sentences"

329-c-13-(Ross Simpson, AP correspondent)-"newly proposed ranges"-AP correspondent Ross Simpson reports changes in sentencing policies are not expected to come about overnight. (12 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *329 (03/12/14)££ 00:13 "newly proposed ranges"

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