GOP senator: Sessions's push for tougher sentences highlights 'injustice'
© Greg Nash
Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records Transparency advocate says government agencies face 'use it or lose it' spending Republicans need solutions on environment too MORE (R-Ky.) knocked Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report MORE on Friday, arguing his order to charge defendants with the most serious crimes would only highlight "injustice" in sentencing rules. 
 
"Mandatory minimum sentences have unfairly and disproportionately incarcerated too many minorities for too long. Attorney General Sessions’ new policy will accentuate that injustice," he said in a statement. 
 
Sessions released a memo on Thursday night that requires prosecutors to disclose "all facts that impact the sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimum sentences." 
 
"It is a core principle that prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense," Sessions wrote in the memo. "The most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence including mandatory minimum sentences."
 
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The move is a break from the Obama administration and has sparked anger from Democrats and outside groups. 
 
Paul ripped the memo, saying the Trump administration "should treat our nation’s drug epidemic as a health crisis and less as a ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key’ problem," instead of imposing harsher sentences.
 
Paul and Sessions were on opposite sides of the push to pass criminal justice reform legislation when Sessions was a member of the Senate. Paul was one of 37 senators who supported the Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Act, which would reduce some mandatory minimum sentences. 
 
Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over New Zealand coverage GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers MORE (R-Utah), who also supported the bill, added on Twitter on Friday that "to be tough on crime we have to be smart on crime. That is why criminal justice reform is a conservative issue."
 
But the legislation stalled amid division within the GOP caucus. Sessions—who has long advocated for tougher sentencing—was one of the loudest critics of the bill. 
 

“I agree with Attorney General Sessions that law enforcement should side with the victims of crime rather than its perpetrators," he said in a statement. "This policy is simply common sense and will help reduce crime and drugs in our neighborhoods."