Supreme Court pick Ketanji Brown Jackson could have 'profound' impact on sentencing

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WASHINGTON – Few Americans outside the criminal justice system paid much attention when a small group of judges and lawyers gathered in a conference room in 2014 to vote on a proposal to dramatically lower federal prison sentences for drug offenders. 

The idea, which arrived at the U.S. Sentencing Commission at a time when there was bipartisan support for rethinking the nation’s response to the drug trade, was to align the guidelines judges use to set sentences with the minimums required by law. In the end, more than 30,000 people received retroactive reductions after the policy was approved. 

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