Durbin Statement on President's Clemency Announcement

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after President Obama announced that he had granted clemency to 46 incarcerated men and women: 


The President took an important step by commuting the sentences of these men and women. In far too many cases in our justice system, the punishments don’t fit the crimes. This has led to an explosion of the U.S. prison population and is oftentimes unfair, fiscally irresponsible, and even a threat to public safety. 


My Smarter Sentencing Act would help right this wrong. Given tight budgets and overcrowded prison cells, judges should be given the authority to conduct an individualized review in sentencing non-violent drug offenders and not be bound to outdated laws that crowd our prisons, cost taxpayers billions, and don’t make America any safer.