Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Lawmakers Unveil Bill to Combat Sessions' Tougher Sentences

A Bipartisan group of Lawmakers is pushing back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s Order last week directing Federal Prosecutors to Charge Defendants with the most Serious Crimes possible.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act in response to the drastic shift from Obama-Rra Guidelines, which urged Prosecutors to crack down on Violent Criminals and Leaders of Drug Cartels while being more Lenient with Nonviolent, Low-Level Drug offenders.

The Legislation unveiled Tuesday gives Federal Judges the ability to impose Sentences below the Mandatory Minimums when appropriate.

Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced a Companion Bill in the House.

Paul was quick to criticize Sessions’s Order last week, writing in a CNN Op-Ed that the Directive would "accentuate the injustice in our criminal justice system. Mandatory minimum sentences disproportionally affect minorities and low-income communities, while doing little to keep us safe and turning mistakes into tragedies. As this legislation demonstrates, Congress can come together in a bipartisan fashion to change these laws,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

The Lawmakers claim the Judicial Discretion created by the Two-Page Bill will help Reduce the bloated Federal Prison Population and tackle dangerous Overcrowding while ensuring Sentences fit the circumstances of the Crime.

The original Bill S. 353 (114th): Justice Safety Valve Act of 2015, was a Bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prevent Unjust and Irrational Criminal Punishments. This Bill was introduced on February 3, 2015 but was not enacted.

CLICK HERE to read the Bill.

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