Deputy AG: Push for tough sentences is not reviving drug war
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department's No. 2 official says a new policy urging harsher punishments for most criminals is meant to target the worst criminals, not fill prisons.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tells The Associated Press that federal prosecutors will sometimes charge lower-level criminals to take down entire gangs but adds "that's the exception, not the rule."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions' policy urges federal prosecutors to seek the steepest penalties for most crime suspects. That's a reversal of Obama-era policies that aimed to reduce the federal prison population and show leniency to lower-level drug offenders.
Critics say it will lead to crowded prisons and unfair punishments for many. And they are not swayed by Rosenstein's remarks.