Attorney General Jeff Sessions is backing Henry Hudson, a federal judge and tough-on-crime ex-prosecutor once nicknamed “Hang ’Um High,” for a slot on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, reports the Wall Street Journal. The recommendation to the White House reflects the Justice Department’s crackdown on violent crime, including the reversal of several Obama-era policies. DOJ is urging the commission to toughen sentences for certain violent criminals, drug offenders, illegal immigrant smugglers and so-called career offenders.
The department has asked the panel to preserve long, mandatory-minimum sentences, which supporters say help fight crime but critics say inflate prison costs and disproportionately hurt minority communities without improving public safety. President Trump has the authority but is under no requirement to fill two Republican vacancies and one Democratic spot on the seven-seat commission. Hudson was a candidate for FBI director this year. “I’m excited about the opportunity to serve on the commission,” Hudson, who serves in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., told the Journal. “I’d like to make sure the guidelines are fair and consider every possible factor in a case.”