Samantha Bee eviscerated Attorney General Jeff Sessions for increasing sentences for non-violent offenders caught with drugs. This is a reversal of a policy put in place former president Barack Obama, who aimed to reduce jail time for some non-violent, drug-related crimes.
“The worst weapon in the decades-long War on Drugs were mandatory minimum sentences,” Bee declared. Later she added, “It’s like Trump nominated a VHS tape of Reefer Madness to run his Justice Department.”
Bee argued that modifying or eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing is a rare idea with bipartisan support. “Criminal justice reform is one of the few precious things that the left and right can agree on,” Bee said. “It’s an issue that unites Rand Paul and Cory Booker, Paul Ryan and Bernie Sanders, and I shit you not, Charles Koch and Snoop Dogg.” (Snoop Dogg appeared at an SXSW panel on criminal justice reform earlier this year that was hosted by the right-wing Koch Institute.)
When he was a Senator, Sessions obstructed a bipartisan group of legislators hoping to overhaul the sentencing system. “Putting Jeff Sessions in charge of criminal justice is like putting that fifth dentist who never agrees with the other four in charge of all our teeth,” Bee quipped.
In one of his first major acts as Attorney General, Sessions sent out a memo last month instructing federal prosecutors to push for the toughest punishments legally available. “We are going to meet our responsibility to enforce the law with judgment and fairness,” he said.
Bee saw his new “one-handcuff-fits-all policy” in a different light. “Sessions doesn’t realize that prison sentences are like penises: longer isn’t always better,” she said. “Seven inches? Sure. 56 inches? That is not good for anyone.”