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40 Former Federal Law Enforcement Officials Have ‘Serious Concerns’ About Sentencing Reform

In a letter delivered to the leaders of the Senate, forty former federal law enforcement officials expressed their “serious concerns over the significant risks to public safety” that criminal sentencing reform legislation pending in the Congress presents.

The letter, signed by former Attorney Generals, as well as former White House drug czars, former FBI and DEA chiefs, United States Attorneys, and other high level former federal law enforcement officials was organized by the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys (NAAUSA).

“We, the undersigned, are former government officials who were responsible for the preservation of public safety and the pursuit of justice. We know firsthand the value of tough, mandatory minimum sentences. We especially recognize the value of penalties established against drug trafficking, as well as those by the Armed Career Criminal Act on felons in possession of a firearm. While we believe in the hope of rehabilitation, we also believe our current determinate sentencing structure strikes the right balance between Congressional direction in the establishment of sentencing levels and the preservation of public safety,” the former officials wrote in the letter.

The former officials, as well as NAAUSA and other law enforcement organizations, have been advocating against some of the changes Congress is pursuing in the areas of criminal justice and sentencing reform, including the provisions to reduce mandatory minimum sentences and other provisions included in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123).

The NAAUSA release was accompanied by the findings from a recent Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) poll that found 58% of Americans said that not enough was being done to combat drug trafficking, with less than half of that number, 30%, said too many traffickers were imprisoned for too long.

“The views of most Americans on criminal justice mirror those of the many government officials to whom they have entrusted the preservation of public safety,” said NAAUSA President Steve Cook.

Posted in General News


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