- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Over lunch at the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder and Sen. Rand Paul discussed changes in criminal sentencing and restoring voting rights to ex-felons, a pair of issues the Democratic attorney general and the Republican senator regard as vital to improving the criminal justice system.

In a statement following Wednesday’s meeting, the Justice Department said Holder appreciates Paul’s leadership on both issues and is pleased to have the opportunity to work with him on shared priorities.

Holder and Paul agree on the need to stem prison overcrowding, which they say diverts money away from crime fighting, and to stop charging many nonviolent, low-level drug defendants with offenses that carry long mandatory minimum sentences.

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