When government sets out to solve a problem it created, things often get much worse. This week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will keep nonviolent small-scale drug sellers who have no links to criminal organizations from getting caught in the mandatory-minimum-sentence trap. Under current law, judges must impose a mandatory minimum prison term for defendants convicted of selling more than a specified quantity of illegal drugs. Yet, as Sheldon Richman points out, we should be concerned whenever the executive branch unilaterally declares it will write its own law.
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