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Holder's Reforms Draw Praise, Calls For More Specificity

Publication Date: 
August 13, 2013
Daily Journal
Emily Green and Hamed Aleaziz

Professor Robert Weisberg spoke with Emily Green and Hamed Aleaziz of the Daily Journal about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement to broaden measures to overhaul the criminal justice system and how these actions were already anticipated by state legislators and state executive branch officials all over the country. 

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced broad measures to overhaul the criminal justice system, characterizing the push to curb harsh sentences for low-level offenders as a question of justice and racial equality.

"It's a matter of public safety and public good," Holder said Monday in a speech at the American Bar Association's annual meeting in San Francisco. "It makes plain economic sense. It's about who we are as a people. And it has the potential to positively impact the lives of every man, woman, and child in every neighborhood and city in the United States."


Yet others downplayed the announcement. Robert Weisberg, co-director of Stanford Law School's Criminal Justice Center, said that while the attorney general's speech was met with fanfare, states have already moved toward adopting similar policy changes.

"This has been much touted as a dramatic statement from Washington. To use a cliche from international relations, Holder's really leading from behind," he said. "These have been anticipated by actions by state legislators and by state executive branch officials all over the country, including California."