WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said Thursday that he has directed federal prosecutors across America to review and possibly refile charges in ongoing drug cases so that low-level, nonviolent offenders will not face severe mandatory sentences.
The policy change will be applied to suspects in drug cases who have been charged but not yet tried, as well as to individuals who have been convicted but not yet sentenced. The directive does not affect offenders already sentenced or serving time in prison.
As part of a sweeping new policy shift, Holder announced last month that, in future drug cases, low-level, nonviolent suspects would no longer be charged with offenses that impose severe mandatory sentences. The new directive marked an expansion of that effort, ordering U.S. attorneys to apply the policy retroactively.