Sen. Paul Backs Sentencing Flexibility for Judges

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul found a receptive audience in a mostly black Louisville neighborhood as the tea party favorite spoke in favor of giving judges more sentencing flexibility and restoring voting rights for felons.

The Kentucky Republican spoke at a community meeting Monday in western Louisville.

Paul told the group that the "War on Drugs' unfairly targeted blacks. He criticized federal mandatory minimum penalties that subject people to long prison terms for non-violent crimes. Paul is sponsoring legislation that would give federal judges greater flexibility in sentencing.

The first-term senator also said he supports restoring voting rights for felons, once they have gone some time without committing other crimes.

One participant during the round table discussion, Don Smith, said people are "held hostage" by felony offenses that occurred decades ago.

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