U.S. Senator Durbin wants shorter sentences for drug crimes

Feb 21, 2014

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is asking federal judges to contact members of congress to ask for shorter sentences for drug crimes. IPR'S Robert Wildeboer explains.

Durbin made his plea at a symposium called Rethinking the war on drugs put on by the Seventh Circuit Bar association foundation. The Seventh Circuit is the appeals court district for the federal courts in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Durbin talked about the Smarter Sentencing Act, legislation he’s pushing to roll back mandatory minimum drug sentences.

DURBIN: "I need your help."

Durbin told the audience of judges and attorneys that Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis and Mike Quigley support the legislation.

DURBIN: "If I didn’t read the name of your member of congress or someone whom you know from your delegation, I’d like to ask you, as an expert, on a private confidential basis, please talk to them, if you think this is the right idea."

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also spoke and said quote, “the war on drugs is a war on me and people who look like me.” She said if you went only to the County jail you’d think there were no white people in Cook County.