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1. The New York times wrote yesterday about the unprecedented decision of the Justice Department to ask for help from attorneys in identifying low-level, non-violent drug offenders sentenced during the era of disparate crack cocaine sentences. The Justice Department is encouraging these people to apply for clemency in an effort to make right the disparate sentencing that took place prior to Congress reducing the disparity in 2010.
Incidentally, part of a bill approved yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee would allow people sentenced under these laws a mechanism to ask for clemency from judges while at the same time reducing some mandatory minimum sentences. In response, a group of the Attorney General’s subordinates submitted a letter to Mr. Holder voicing the following concerns:
Mandatory minimum sentences are a critical tool in persuading defendants to cooperate, thereby enabling law enforcement to dismantle large drug organizations and violent gangs.
2. Derek Khannain is crowd-sourcing a list of Disney works created from the public domain. The existing list contains the revenues from the Disney works. Khannain believes the information is important for Congress to appreciate the long-term costs associated with extending copyright terms. (h/t Above the Law.)
3. Do you resent the idea of not spending your afterlife with your beloved pet? Virginia’s got your back. A proposed bill would allow for the burial of companion animals in a separate section of a cemetery. Currently, cemeteries are relegated to human remains by law in Virginia, but this bill would open the door for spot to join you in your eternal resting place.
4. Carolyn Elefant wonders whether lawyers can learn a lesson from Uber. Consider the things people usually dislike about lawyers and make them your strengths. She suggests, for example, having a wifi password prominently displayed while the client waits for you.
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