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Push for sentencing changes underway in Congress

January 4, 2014 • National News


FILE – In this Sept. 4, 2013, file photo, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the Senate assistant majority leader, walks at the Capitol in Washington. An unusual alliance of tea party enthusiasts and liberal leaders in Congress is pursuing major changes in mandatory sentencing laws amid growing concerns about the fairness of the sentences and the exploding costs of running federal prisons. “People are coming here for different reasons, but there is a real opportunity,” said Durbin, one of the Senate’s leading proponents of sentencing reform. “It’s a pretty rare political situation.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An unusual alliance of tea party enthusiasts and liberal leaders in Congress is pursuing major changes in the country’s mandatory sentencing laws.

What’s motivating them are growing concerns about both the fairness of the sentences and the expense of running federal prisons.

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