Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Pushing back on criticisms of AG Sessions returning Justice Department to "failed mindset of its past"
Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy has this informative post, excerpting from a substantial piece in the National Review. From Doug's commentary:
In red and blue states nationwide for nearly a decade, in various initiative votes from California to Oklahoma and from Alaska to Florida, the American people and their representative have been amending penal codes to be less harsh in many ways (especially to nonviolent offenders and marijuana users). But very little similar work has gotten done in Congress largely because leadership will not even allow reform bills to come up for a full vote. There are good reasons to think we could and would get many amendments to the federal penal code if up-or-down votes were allowed on various leading reform proposals --- e.g., the GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted 75% in support of a massive sentencing reform bill in October 2015. In light of the reality that significant federal sentencing reform seems to gets significant majority support when it gets a vote, one cannot quite say that full enforcement of existing federal criminal laws is fully compliant with the will of the people.