There are two problems with threatening long sentences to extract cooperation from low-level drug offenders. This strategy is ineffective in impacting the drug trade. It also inflicts immense collateral damage on innocent people and low-level offenders, while letting the guiltiest offenders off more easily.
It was announced today that starting November 1, 6,000 federal prisoners are to be released from federal prison, an unprecedented move that is the result of changes made by the U.S. Sentencing Commission last year that lowered federal sentencing guidelines for people convicted under draconian drug war-era laws.