Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates wrote an op-ed on The Washington Post on Friday where she slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his stance on criminal justice reform.
The article titled, “Making America scared again won’t make us safer,” attacked Sessions’ decision to reinstated mandatory drug sentences that were first imposed during the 1980s.
Yates wrote that Sessions was “stoking fear by claiming that as a result of then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Smart on Crime policy, the United States is gripped by a rising epidemic of violent crime that can only be cured by putting more drug offenders in jail for more time.”
“That argument just isn’t supported by the facts. Not only are violent crime rates still at historic lows — nearly half of what they were when I became a federal prosecutor in 1989 — but there is also no evidence that the increase in violent crime some cities have experienced is the result of drug offenders not serving enough time in prison,” she continued.
Yates’ article was in response to Sessions’ op-ed he wrote on the Washington Post last week. In his op-ed, Sessions argued for a more hardline approach against violent crime and drug offenses.
Yates criticized the Attorney General, saying that his policies were not base on facts but on “fear.”
“While there is always room to debate the most effective approach to criminal justice, that debate should be based on facts, not fear. It’s time to move past the campaign-style rhetoric of being ‘tough’ or ‘soft’ on crime. Justice and the safety of our communities depend on it,” she wrote.
Trump fired Yates when he took office after she took a stand against his proposed travel ban.