Bipartisan criminal justice reform passed overwhelmingly by Senate

Clay Curtis
December 20, 2018

While the president in the past has gone so far as to call for the death penalty for drug dealers, the president has gotten on board with a bill that aims to loosen sentencing guidelines for some nonviolent drug offenses.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) and Sen.

They have been joined by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.

It passed the Senate by an 87-12 vote Tuesday night.

"Historic criminal justice reform happens once in a generation". It must be approved by the House and then signed by Trump - who is eager to do just that. The First Step Act hasn't officially become law yet. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and James Lankford, R-Okla., to increase the number of offenses ineligible for the bill's time credit program and to allow faith-based groups to facilitate anti-recidivism programs.

Proponents of a modest criminal-justice bill like Chuck Grassley finally wore down Mitch McConnell's reluctance to bring it to the floor. Republicans have a lot on their plates, with little time to get things done before control splits between the two parties when the new session of Congress starts on January 3. For less bipartisan efforts, that could be a problem, considering how many lame-duck members have ghosted Congress in the last month.

The First Step Act has seen rare alliances among political rivals who share support for the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union said the bill was "by no means flawless".

Cardi B's Carpool Karaoke Is Here
The spot finishes at - where else? - a senior citizens' home in Culver City, where she performs "I Like It" at a dance class. Fortunately they were just in a small parking lot so there was no real danger, except to possibly the camera operators.

The First Step Act had robust but not universal Senate support in its current form.

The bipartisan measure found unlikely support from hardline conservatives and progressive liberals alike.

Federal judges would be given more leeway for their discretion when sentencing certain drug offenders. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and John Kennedy, R-La.

The vote also thrilled Democrats. "There is not a single benefit in the bill for the victims of these criminals", Mr.

Outgoing Sen. Hatch introduced an amendment to reform and clarify mens rea - knowledge of wrongdoing and criminal intent - requirements for federal and regulatory crimes. "I don't know whether we've had legislation like this before the United States Senate where you put together such a diverse group of people and organizations supporting the bill". We should be protecting victims of crimes and not the offenders who committed the crimes. "We do have some provisions that I think are acceptable all around that we would like to add to the bill either by UC [unanimous consent] or manager's amendment".

Another would require that victims be notified before a prisoner gets that earlier release. It also would include a temporary extension of a national flood insurance program, the Violence Against Women Act and other measures. The Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law argued against the proposal as a "poison pill" amendment that would weaken the bill. They note that this only applies to federal prisons and courts, which should be obvious to anyone with a decent civics education, and ... well ... that's why CBS needed to make that plain, in fairness.

The rate fell for nine consecutive years prior to that point, but still represented 830 of every 100,000 adults in the country.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article