AG Holder has taken a step — now let’s see sentencing reforms in Mass.

The Globe’s editorial on the US attorney general’s new drug prosecution policy (“Holder’s move on sentences gets a duly respectful hearing,” Aug. 16) hails the good news that congressional support for reform of mandatory minimum sentences transcends party lines. But please don’t forget that we need the same common-sense reforms here in Massachusetts.

We shouldn’t be wasting state money on sentences that don’t fit the crime, especially for addicts who may instead need treatment. Some mandatory minimum sentences were reduced in 2012, which was a step in the right direction. But legislators on both sides of the aisle acknowledged the need to do more.


The governor and the Legislature now need to finish the job by repealing mandatory minimums altogether. Courts could then distinguish between drug offenders who are a threat to public safety and those who aren’t, and sentence them accordingly.

Barbara J. Dougan

Massachusetts project director

Families Against

Mandatory Minimums


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