Justice Department prepares to consider more clemency requests

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The Justice Department on Wednesday released guidelines it will use to step up its consideration of clemency requests from federal prisoners.

Expecting an influx of thousands of applications for clemency, the Justice Department released six criteria that prisoners seeking a reduced sentence must meet:

  1. Inmates who are currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense today
  2. Are non-violent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs, or cartels
  3. Have served at least 10 years of their sentence
  4. Do not have a significant criminal history
  5. Have demonstrated good conduct in prison
  6. Have no history

Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday announced that President Obama and the Justice Department will consider more clemency requests as part of Holder's "smart on crime" initiative, which seeks to promote fairer enforcement of the law, reduce draconian punishments for nonviolent crimes and reduce recidivism, among other things.