Sen. Mike Lee makes prison reform a conservative cause

Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-07 19:53:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, is a proud conservative, but his efforts on criminal justice reform show he's not easily pigeonholed.

The effort has bipartisan support, and President Barack Obama has made it one of the primary goals of his final years in office.

Lee wants to change mandatory minimum sentencing laws that force judges to impose lengthy prison sentences on non-violent drug offenders.

The Senator's efforts were inspired by a case he saw up close, when he worked as a federal prosecutor in Utah's U.S. Attorney's Office.

"I saw a young man named Weldon Angelos sentenced to 55 years in prison at a time when he was in his mid twenties and the father of two young children for selling marijuana in relatively small increments over a 72 hour period," Lee said.

Lee believes the bill he crafted with Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin will pass the Senate in a matter of weeks.