- The Washington Times - Friday, April 5, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder expressed “concern” Thursday evening that black men are unfairly served with longer prison sentences than white men and that America’s prison system demands overhaul.

“Too many people go to too many prisons for far too long for no good law enforcement reason,” Mr. Holder said, in remarks to the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in New York, Politico reported. “It is time to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about our criminal justice system. … It is time to examine our systems and determine what truly works.”

Mr. Holder said in the Politico report that state laws oftentimes require sentences that are too harsh for the specific case — and that “breed[s] disrespect” for the court system. He also referred to a report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission released in February and said figures show that blacks are being disproportionately prosecuted and sentenced.

“I am concerned by a troubling report … which indicates that — in recent years — black male offenders have received sentences that are nearly 20 percent longer than those imposed on white males convicted of similar crimes,” he said, Politico reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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