Eric Holder

Attorney general sparks fear with push for harsh sentences

The nation's federal prosecutors should bring the toughest charges possible against most crime suspects, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed in a move that critics assailed as a return to failed drug-war policies that unduly affected minorities and filled prisons with nonviolent offenders.

The move announced Friday is a reversal of Obama-era policies that is sure to send more people to prison and for much longer terms. It has long been expected from Sessions, a former federal prosecutor who cut his teeth during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic and who has promised to make combating violence and drugs the Justice Department's top priority.

"This policy...

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