DOJ Backs Proposal to Lengthen Fentanyl Sentences

The U.S. Sentencing Commission held its first hearing Wednesday on a proposal that recommends that first-time offenders who sell a half-ounce of fentanyl be sentenced to up to five years in prison, more than double the current top. The synthetic opioid was responsible for 20,000 overdose deaths in 2016. Critics say the plan to raise sentences based on the drug’s weight will incentivize selling it in its most dangerous forms.