facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

White House seeks candidates for clemency in drug cases

Jan. 30, 2014 at 3:39 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The Obama administration is seeking inmates imprisoned for drug offenses as candidates for clemency, a U.S. Department of Justice official said Thursday.

Speaking at a New York State Bar Association event in New York, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole explained the unprecedented step of curtailing penalties in low-level drug cases, and of encouraging defense lawyers to recommend inmates who the president could release from prison, the New York Times reported.

Recent tougher sentencing laws resulted in disparities in sentencing, with offenses for crack cocaine possession receiving more severe penalties than for powder cocaine.

The laws led to an 800 percent increase in the number of prisoners in the United States, the newspaper noted.

"There are more low-level non-violent drug offenders who remain in prison, and who would likely have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of precisely the same offenses today. This is not fair, and harms our criminal justice system," Cole said.

Topics: Barack Obama
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program The FBI announces completion of facial recognition program
2
Identical twin linked to 2004 rapes by new DNA test Identical twin linked to 2004 rapes by new DNA test
3
U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks U.S. Air Force orders more RQ-4 Global Hawks
4
New York state may legalize recreational marijuana by next year New York state may legalize recreational marijuana by next year
5
Man suspected of killing woman sets himself on fire on Ohio highway Man suspected of killing woman sets himself on fire on Ohio highway
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback