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Durbin: Smarter not Harsher Penalties for Drug Crimes

Josh Schwartzkopf
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African asylum seekers, who entered Israel illegally via Egypt, lean at the fence of the Holot detention centre in Israel's southern Negev Desert, on February 17, 2014 as they join other migrants who came to protest outside the detention facility.  The Israeli government has opened last year the sprawling Holot detention facility to house both new entrants and immigrants already in the country deemed to have disturbed public order. Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly Eritrean and Sudanese, have been staging mass demonstrations in the country against moves by the Israeli authorities to track them down and deport them, or throw them into detention facilities without trial.  AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ        (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

African asylum seekers, who entered Israel illegally via Egypt, lean at the fence of the Holot detention centre in Israel’s southern Negev Desert, on February 17, 2014 as they join other migrants who came to protest outside the detention facility. The Israeli government has opened last year the sprawling Holot detention facility to house both new entrants and immigrants already in the country deemed to have disturbed public order. Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly Eritrean and Sudanese, have been staging mass demonstrations in the country against moves by the Israeli authorities to track them down and deport them, or throw them into detention facilities without trial. AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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SAINT LOUIS (KMOX)- Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, is calling for smarter not harsher penalties for drug crimes.

Durbin says current law calls for mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders. He also says those policies have only succeeded in making federal prisons more crowded.

“It would reduce but not eliminate, prospectively, certain mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses only,” says Durbin. “It would not weaken any penalties for gun, gang crime or violent offenses.”

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last month and Durbin hopes it will come up shortly for a vote on the floor.

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