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US backs less jail time for small-time traffickers

A drug dealer prepares cocaine for street sale in Bogota, on September 20, 2013The Obama administration on Thursday endorsed a proposal that would effectively knock nearly a year off the average sentence for small-time drug dealers in the United States. Testifying before the US Sentencing Commission, which set out the proposal in January, Attorney General Eric Holder said the most serious drug traffickers would still face the toughest penalities once the changes are enacted. “And it would help to rein in federal prison spending while focusing limited resources on the most serious threats to public safety,” he added. The Sentencing Commission, which sets sentencing guidelines for federal judges, is canvassing opinions on its proposal that the average sentence for drug dealers be reduced from the current 62 months to 51 months.

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