Attorney General Jeff Sessions is moving to return the U.S. to the “war on drugs” era of regarding drug prosecutions. Sessions does this at a time when the opioid crisis is impacting white families and driving drug overdose deaths. If history is a guide, any uptick in prosecutions is likely to impact black and brown communities.
The move is a surprise to no one with basic knowledge of the career of Jeff Sessions who is a former federal prosecutor from a state (Alabama) that is a leader in the U.S. and in the world in putting humans in cages.
Sessions says the change, “affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency.”
The memo requests that prosecutors go after, “the most serious, readily provable” charges that carry the most punishment, and mandatory minimum sentences.
The move comes at a time when violent crime is at its lowest point in the U.S. since the 1960s. Both President Trump and Attorney General Sessions have repeated that there is a “spike” in crime in the U.S. but their claims are without evidence or substantiation.