Some Mercy In The Drug War

It’s a start:

Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who in January signaled that more commutations were in the offing, echoed the theme of penalties “now recognized as unjust” last week, saying “older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today’s laws erode people’s confidence in our criminal justice system.” Accordingly, Cole said, the Justice Department will give special attention to clemency petitions from “non-violent, low-level offenders” who have served at least 10 years of a sentence that probably would have been shorter under current law, “do not have a significant criminal history,” have “demonstrated good conduct in prison,” and have no “significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs or cartels.”

For critics who want to say President Obama is once again abusing his power, this is one instance where he is acting well within the powers delegated to him.

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