Thanks to a U.S. Sentencing Commission decision to lighten sentences for non-violent drug offenses, thousands of inmates will go free early in November. The policy change dates back to last year, when the commission voted unanimously to retroactively apply new federal sentencing guidelines to those already serving time. It's part of an effort on both the left and right to reduce the country's massive prison population, and refocus the system on violent offenders rather than low-level dealers.
But as November fast approaches, some high-level Republican lawmakers are decrying that decision, claiming that it will result in the release of inmates with “violent criminal histories.”
On Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch protesting the move, and requesting “detailed information” on all federal inmates who will be released.
The letter alleges that the group of 10,000 inmates who will obtain early release “includes inmates with violent criminal histories, who have committed crimes involving assault, firearms, sodomy, and even murder."
It's their second letter of protest on this topic--they lament that the first was "unfortunately...ignored."
A Wednesday report from The Hill notes that President Obama, who recently made a push for prison reform, has been trying to win Grassley over to his side, to no avail. Grassley has fiercely opposed the bipartisan Smarter Sentencing Act, which would reform federal sentencing for drug crimes.
(h/t Daily Caller)