U.S. to expand clemency criteria for drug offenders

U.S. Attorney General Holder testifies about his FY2015 budget request at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Justice Department will widen the criteria it uses to decide which drug offenders to recommend to the president for clemency, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Monday. The department expects thousands of drug offenders currently serving time to be eligible for reduced sentences under the new clemency guidelines and it will prepare to review an influx of applications, Holder said in a video address. The Justice Department will now recommend more candidates for the president’s consideration. “There are still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime,” Holder said in his address.

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