Sentencing commission to review drug dealer prison time

Days after attorney general vows change to War on Drugs, commission may go even further

Published August 16, 2013 3:00PM (EDT)


The U.S. Sentencing Commission has voted to review federal sentences handed down to drug dealers, just days after Attorney General Eric Holder announced coming reforms to drug policy.

According to the Guardian, the Sentencing Commission's policy plan "potentially goes far further than the Department of Justice can in lowering sentences." Via the Guardian:

In a statement issued after its meeting, the commission noted that drug offenders account for nearly half of all federal inmates, and that "an adjustment to the drug quantity tables in the sentencing guidelines could have a significant impact on sentence lengths and prison populations."

"With a growing crisis in federal prison populations and budgets, it is timely and important for us to examine mandatory minimum penalties and drug sentences, which contribute significantly to the federal prison population," added Judge Patti Saris, chair of the commission.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Department Of Justice Drug Dealers Eric Holder Sentencing U.s. Sentencing Commission War On Drugs