With an eye toward reducing what even many conservatives concede is excessive incarceration of minor drug offenders, Atty. Gen.
In a speech to the American Bar Assn., Holder said that henceforth, "low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels will no longer be charged with offenses that impose draconian mandatory minimum sentences." One way to accomplish that is for prosecutors to omit from drug-trafficking indictments the specific quantities of drugs found in the defendants' possession. Holder also told the ABA that he would instruct federal prosecutors to be more selective in asserting jurisdiction in drug cases, and that the federal prison system would expedite the "compassionate release" of elderly, nonviolent inmates.
In the 1980s, after the cocaine overdose of basketball star