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In New Jersey, Booker calls for changes to federal sentencing

Newark mayor Cory Booker is currently suggesting changes to federal law on a host of issues. He’s championing reforms that many criminal defense types have requested for years, asking for drug offender treatment programs and changes to minimum sentencing requirements. Booker’s running for a Senate seat out of New Jersey, and he’s using his platform to advocate for those charged with federal felonies and similar drug offenses.

Booker’s comments come at a time when the United States incarcerates a huge percentage of its population compared to other industrialized nations. As he notes, the problems with mass incarceration primarily impact minority populations, with the United States locking up a disproportionate percentage of black people for non-violent drug offenses. 

To that point, Booker said, “"In New Jersey, blacks make up 14 percent of the state's population but make up over 60 percent of our state's prisons.”

From weapons offenses to white collar crimes, people facing criminal charges are increasingly subjected to extreme sentencing at the state and federal level. While Booker’s calls for reforms might bring about changes in new legislation, individuals shouldn’t expect anything new for some time. However, accused individuals do have a means of fighting the system when they are facing criminal charges. Each person is entitled to a criminal defense regardless of the circumstances of the case.

Serious rights are at stake any time a person is called into court to face a criminal indictment, and it is important for defendants to exercise their right to seek criminal defense counsel.

Source: nj.com, “Booker touts criminal justice reforms at Jersey City church where MLK appeared,” Aiyana Cronk, Aug. 28, 2013

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