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The Boston Globe


Derrick Z. Jackson

Easing the drug laws

Mandatory minimum sentencing has been a form of American apartheid

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks in measured, even tones, which understates his message even on momentous occasions. Such was the case Monday when he announced that federal prosecutors would no longer use mandatory minimum laws for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders.

“Let’s be honest,” Holder told the American Bar Association. “Some of the enforcement priorities that we have set have had a destabilizing effect on . . . particular communities, largely poor and of color. And applied inappropriately, they are ultimately counterproductive.”

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