17:41 GMT07 April 2020
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    The reform seeks to target "violent criminals and masterminds in drug trade" while tackling over-incarceration.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Conservative and liberal members in the US Senate joined forces on Tuesday to introduce a sweeping criminal-justice reform bill that would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders and give judges greater flexibility in sentencing.

    "This historic reform bill addresses legitimate over-incarceration concerns while targeting violent criminals and masterminds in the drug trade," Senators Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.

    Supporters of the bill included the Senate’s Assistant Democratic leader Dick Durban and Majority leader John Cornyn, a Republican.

    An awkward situation confronts the justice system in the United States, with some prisoners serving long sentences for marijuana possession at a time when many US states have legalized the drug for medical and recreational use.

    In July, President Barack Obama called for similar reforms, saying a distinction had to be made between young people making unwise mistakes and violent criminals.

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    Tags:
    reform, justice, Dick Durban, John Cornyn, Charles Grassley, United States
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