Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is now a private citizen, which means she can speak freely about Trump’s administration. And as a private citizen, she just RIPPED into Jeff Sessions and his hard-line stance on criminal justice.
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Sally Yates railed against Jeff Sessions’ rollbacks of Obama-era criminal justice reforms. Drawing on her 27-year background in the Justice Department, she focuses on mandatory minimum sentences in particular.
These sentencing guidelines, which Obama AG Eric Holder put in place, reduced sentencing for non-violent drug offenders. Sessions almost immediately targeted these guidelines once he started as Attorney General.
“Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled back the clock to the 1980s,” Yates wrote, “reinstating the harsh, indiscriminate use of mandatory minimum drug sentences imposed at the height of the crack epidemic.”
“Sessions attempted to justify his directive in a Post op-ed last weekend, stoking fear by claiming that as a result of then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Smart on Crime policy, the United States is gripped by a rising epidemic of violent crime that can only be cured by putting more drug offenders in jail for more time,” she continued. “That argument just isn’t supported by the facts.”
Sally Yates is exactly right. Sessions is creating and enforcing laws based on incorrect assumptions and data that just doesn’t exist. He’s still fighting the failed war on drugs, which we know punishes poor people and people of color, and does absolutely nothing to reduce drug use.
As Yates says in her op-ed, “part of the problem with harsh mandatory-minimum laws passed a generation ago is that they use the weight of the drugs involved in the offense as a proxy for seriousness of the crime—to the exclusion of virtually all other considerations.”
Under Sessions, we’ll see more low-level drug couriers thrown in jail, taking police, court, and prison resources away from prosecuting the worst, most violent criminals. These policies waste time and resources while needlessly ruining lives.
We’ve seen, over and over, that mandatory minimums don’t help reduce crime. Instead, they create crowded, unsafe prisons filled with people who pose no threat to public safety.
But Sessions wants you to believe that violent drug dealers are waiting out on every corner to hurt you and your family. His policy is based on fear and misinformation.
Sally Yates isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and we want her message to go out loud and clear. Share this story on Facebook and keep Jeff Sessions accountable!