Bill to Abolish Some Mandatory Prison Sentences Gets Another Shot

Rep. Mike Lee (AP Photo)
Rep. Mike Lee (AP Photo)
Rep. Mike Lee (AP Photo)


(Reuters) – Several U.S. senators from far-reaching ends of the political spectrum, including some with presidential aspirations, will reintroduce on Thursday a bill to abolish mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent drug offenders.

The bill would allow federal judges to use their discretion to sentence low-level, non-violent drug offenders instead of having to assign sentences based on the established minimum.

Though an identical bill failed to pass the Senate last year, its sponsors hope the continued push for criminal justice reform by those who will likely shape the 2016 presidential debate can get it passed this time.

“We’ve got another year behind us and with that we’ve had additional opportunities to message and more people have become aware of it,” said Republican Senator Mike Lee, who is sponsoring the bill along with Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, both possible contenders for the U.S. presidential election in 2016.

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