Attorney General Eric Holder is moving quickly to align federal drug enforcement policy with the Administration’s goals he described earlier this month. In a speech before the American Bar Association, Holder denounced the nation’s massive incarceration rate, especially in regards to non-violent offenders. Prison should be to "punish, deter and to rehabilitate, not to merely warehouse and forget," he stressed.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. That was a challenge for Iowa, which had until then required that anyone convicted of first-degree murder -- juvenile or adult -- be given that sentence. In response to the ruling, Governor Terry Branstad immediately used his commutation power to change the sentences of 38 such juvenile offenders to allow parole -- but only after they had served 60 years behind bars.
Since the U.S. Department of Justice filed charges of “rampant insider trading” against SAC Capital Advisors and three of its subsidiary hedge funds last week, the financial media has been flooded with stories about the case. Announcing securities and wire fraud charges against the companies themselves as well as against individuals working there, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the alleged criminal activity was “substantial, pervasive and on a scale without known precedent in the history of hedge funds.”