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Criminal Justice Reform

The Justice Department needs to invest more resources in solving complex, white-collar crimes instead of low-level drug offenses, including by eliminating mandatory minimums for drug crimes without a nexus to violence, and strengthening penalties for complex fraud.  To transform the way that our criminal justice system operates over the long term, we should require prosecutors and defense attorneys at the state and federal level to spend the first two or three years of their careers working on both sides of the courtroom, similar to military JAG lawyers. Prosecutors need to understand what it feels like to have a human being facing prison as a client, just as defense attorneys need to understand what it feels like to lie awake worrying about your responsibility to keep dangerous people off the street. We also need to pass federal legislation that mandates independent investigations of police shootings, so that departments aren’t tasked with investigating their own officers after they are accused of misconduct.

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