The Washington Post

Morning Links: A big day for criminal justice reform

Attorney General Eric Holder (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Attorney General Eric Holder (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A lot of news yesterday in the world of criminal justice reform. And if you’re a reformer, most of it was good.

Justice Department officials say they will start looking to find unjust drug sentences for possible pardons or commutations. It only took five years. But it’s a start. (Skeptical take on this here.)

• The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a significant sentencing reform bill, despite fierce opposition from federal prosecutors. It will both lower mandatory minimums and give judges more discretion on sentencing for drug crimes. It now moves to the Senate floor. (Interesting, slightly skeptical take on prison reform here.)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will drop its appeal of the federal “stop-and-frisk” lawsuit. That means the city will agree to reforms of the practice and to a federal monitor who will oversee their implementation. (Skeptical take on this here.)

In other news . . .

• Confessions of a former Transportation Security Administration agent. Probably only confirms what you’ve long suspected. But still.

Mexico legalizes vigilantes.

Ukraine police stop, beat protesters and then discover they were on their way to a demonstration in support of the current regime.

• Idaho legislative committee approves bill that would enlist the state National Guard for more drug enforcement duties.

• Possibly the saddest Tumblr blog yet.

Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces."



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