Chuck Grassley SLAMS Jeff Sessions For Failing To Support Sentencing Reform

November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter Wednesday after the AG wrote a letter calling the Republican’s sentencing reform bill a “grave error.”

Grassley’s Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act is co-sponsored with most of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee – which Grassley chairs – including several Democrats. It aims to cut mandatory minimum sentences to reduce prison time for non-violent repeat drug offenders and cut the three strikes rule, reducing overall prison population.

Sessions, however, has long been an advocate of “tough on crime” legislation, and has encouraged the severity of mandatory minimums as attorney general. Advocates of softer sentences on both sides of the aisle hoped Sessions’ recently-announced support for prison reform would leak into the front of the justice system. Sessions’ Wednesday letter puts those hopes to rest.

“In recent years, convicted drug traffickers and other violent criminals have received significant sentencing breaks from the federal courts and the United States Sentencing Commission,” Sessions wrote to Grassley. “Passing this legislation to further reduce sentences for drug traffickers in the midst of the worst drug crisis in our nation’s history would make it more difficult to achieve our goals and have potentially dire consequences.”

Sessions’ letter comes one day before Grassley’s bill was scheduled for markup in the Judiciary Committee, where it has widespread support.

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