01 June 2010

AG Holder Authorizes Greater Leniency

One of the jobs of the Attorney General is to set policy on how prosecutorial discretion should be exercised by U.S. Attorneys, their assistants, and other federal prosecutors in the Justice Department. Attorney General Holder has broken with prior administrations in allowing federal prosecutors greater room to be lenient consistent with Justice Department policy:

[I]nstead of a general policy that federal prosecutors "must" charge and pursue the most serious offense and must advocate a within-guideline sentence, this new Holder memo now asserts that federal prosecutors "ordinarily should" charge and pursue the most serious offense and "should generally" continue to advocate a within-guideline sentence.

From here citing this three page memo.

One can hope that the new memo will bring some common sense to cases where there is good reason to show leniency even if there are grounds to bring a serious charge under federal criminal laws.

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