New sentencing reform initiative before Senate

Posted on October 6th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

capitolA bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation Oct. 4 that would reduce prison terms for non-violent drug offenders, Reuters reports. Under the proposed reform, mandatory minimum sentences would be reserved strictly for those convicted of violent crimes.

The bill's lead sponsors are Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA), and senior Judiciary Committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The pair have before teamed up to push through hardline anti-drug legislation, which will perhaps give them creds with conservatives to promote this reform.

Said Grassley: "This bipartisan compromise ensures that...consequences fit their crimes by targeting violent and career criminals who prey on the innocent while giving nonviolent offenders with minimal criminal histories a better chance to become productive members of society."

As Jurist website notes, Grassley's bill comes after a similar one was introduced in 2015. While that bill was strongly supported by the Obama administration, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell never brought it to the floor for debate, and it languished.

It is hard to imagine the new bill will win support from the Trump administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this year ordered more aggressive sentencing, reversing the Obama administration's more lenient stance on non-violent drug offenses. Sessions also opposed the 2015 bill while still a senator.

Cross-post to High Times



Sentencing reform in the age of Trump... not

Bill Weinberg's picture Trump is winning accolades for commuting the sentence of drug war POW Alice Marie Johnson after being personally lobbied by Kim Kardashian. (CNN) Meanwhile, the Sentence Reform Act, which would have shaved years off the prison terms of thousands of drug convicts, is dead in the water since Pendejo's election, and he's halted the slow but steady progress Obama was making in issuing commutations to ordinary non-celebrity drug war POWs. So let's not get too gushy here.

Readers may have heard that Trump has pledged to sign a prison reform act that could free thousands. We should be clear that this bill, the "First Step Act" (named to reflect its modest ambitions), is not the same as the Sentencing Reform Act, which now appears dead. The First Step Act would allow prisoners to finish their sentences in a halfway house or under home confinement if they complete education, job training and drug treatment programs while behind bars. But it does not include actual sentence reductions. Which is why the ACLU and NAACP are opposing it. (The Hill, Politico)

Comment by Bill Weinberg on Jun 6th, 2018 at 11:47 pm

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