Eric Holder, the Attorney General expressed his concern on Thursday night that black men have been unfairly given longer sentences in prison than white men for similar crimes. He also said that the U.S. prison system was in need of a complete overhaul.
Holder said that too many people are going to too many prisons for too long and for no good legal reason. He said it was time for the American public to ask itself some questions that are very fundamental about the system of criminal justice in the United States.
The attorney general said that laws in states often times have sentences that are far too harsh for the type of case and that therefore breeds disrespect for the justice system.
Holder in his speech, at the National Action Network of Al Sharpton, referred to a U.S. Sentencing Commission report that was released two months ago that said figures indicated that blacks have been and are still being prosecuted and then sentenced disproportionately.
Holder indicated his concern for the report he labeled as troubling. He said it indicated that over recent years offenders who were black males received prison sentences close to 20% longer than sentences that had been imposed on white men who had been convicted of crimes of a similar nature.
Holder said it was time for the federal government to look into this disproportionate sentencing and to look into the overall prison system in the country.