Robert Sarvis calls on Congress to take further action to reduce mass incarceration

robert sarvisToday, in response to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s vote to make lower sentencing guidelines for some federal drug offenses retroactive, Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Robert Sarvis of Virginia released the following statement:

“I commend the U.S. Sentencing Commission for taking this small step toward reducing mass incarceration and alleviating some of the devastating consequences of our failed War on Drugs.

“The United States should lead the world by example, but we send the wrong message by having the highest incarceration rate in the world. The government’s punitive sentences bloat our budgets, devastate families and communities, and perpetuate racial inequality. If the United States is to be a beacon of liberty and equality, it’s time for dramatic reform.

“Unfortunately, even modest reforms have stalled in Congress due to the inaction of many on both sides of the aisle, including Virginia’s senior Senator Mark Warner. The New York Times recently reported that the bipartisan Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410)–which would cut federal mandatory minimums for drugs sentences in half and give judges greater flexibility when sentencing low-level offenders–will likely not receive a vote until at least next year.

Mark Warner has refused to cosponsor or even take a public position on this legislation. He should explain why to Americans languishing in prison under unjust sentences–and to their suffering families.

“I also renew my challenge to Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie to debate me so Virginia voters can hear where they stand on vital issues like this.”

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