There seems to be some conflict within the Department of Justice. When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in August of last year that the Government would not insist on mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent, low-level drug offenders, his decision did not sit well with some members of The National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys (NAAUSA).
According to a February 26 article published in In These Times there are a few reasons some NAAUSA members stand in opposition to eliminating mandatory minimums, even for those who are not gang members or drug kingpins.
In his article for In These Times Andrew Mortazavi writes:
“It’s also easy to understand why federal prosecutors push for pleas, which reduce their workloads by cutting back on time spent in trials and investigations. Plea bargains also drive up conviction rates by ensuring guilty pleas. Federal prosecutors do not receive direct compensation for having high conviction rates, but they do have professional incentives to keep them up: Many federal prosecutors eventually move on to the private sector or higher appointed offices. High conviction rates are the most direct, if flawed, way to establish a track record of prosecutorial success.”