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Targeting the AG: Sessions' War on Drugs Draws Bipartisan Fire

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Author: Jeff Powers
Created: 17 May, 2017
Updated: 21 November, 2022
1 min read

The public outcry in Washington over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ order last week directing federal prosecutors to charge defendants with the most serious crimes possible is growing.

This week, a bipartisan group of Senators, Rand Paul (R-KY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jeff Merkley(D-OR) have reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act in response to Sessions’ order. Paul highlighted this effort on Twitter Tuesday evening, calling Congress to "come together in a bipartisan way."

https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/864664489534398465

https://twitter.com/RandPaul/status/864838567356506112

The bipartisan legislation gives federal judges the ability to impose sentences below the mandatory minimums when appropriate.

Representatives Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) have also introduced a companion bill in the House.

Senator Rand Paul was quick to criticize Sessions’ order last week. In an op-ed Paul noted that the directive would "accentuate the injustice in our criminal justice system. Mandatory minimum sentences disproportionally affect minorities and low-income communities, while doing little to keep us safe and turning mistakes into tragedies.”

In a speech last Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by Congress, plain and simple, if you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully blind to your misconduct.”

IVN published a piece on this issue earlier in the week highlighting the efforts of Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D).

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Image Source: Flickr.com / Rand Paul

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