At the capital of the United States, President Joe Biden has managed to upset the majority of progressives that stand against the idea that criminal justice reform law shouldn’t be overturned.
Joe Biden himself has made an announcement regarding Washington DC’s very real right to rule by itself and the comeuppance of public safety being a pivotal issue in the modern United States climate.
From earlier in 2023, the city council had passed a legal reform bill that would in part reduce sentences and remove required minimums for specific offences, while measuring up to what supporters would use to measure up to the city’s penal code. Washington being the seat of the federal government however is a little complicated, being that the U.S. Congress has the right to block local laws within the Democratic-led district. As it would step in, Republicans had to invoke the law as a way to slam Democrats who would otherwise be “soft on crime.”
Of course, The House of Representatives had to pass a bill that would annul the DC law in the past month, with only about 31 conservative Democrats being able to approve the measure. The Senate themselves are going to pass the legislation as soon as next week, with Democrats expected to join Republicans in the effort.
The White House themselves are opposed to the Congress’ choices to overturn the law in DC, believing it would be the job of legislators to “respect the District of Columbia’s autonomy to govern its own local affairs.”
Of course, this is problematic as President Joe Biden himself made a public Tweet on why it wasn’t quite it didn’t sit right with him. “I support DC Statehood and home-rule — but I don’t support some of the changes DC Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections — such as lowering penalties for carjackings. If the Senate votes to overturn what DC Council did — I’ll sign it.”
Crime has been rising lately, since Corona Virus changed the World.
Within 2022, the District of Columbia has seen about 203 homicides. There have also been 1,182 motor vehicle thefts and a 111% increase since 2022, according to police data. And yet, the fanbase of the Revised Criminal Code Act believes that the law would have updated an old system that hadn’t been better in nearly 100 years.
Originally, the law had been blocked by Mayor Muriel Bowser, but her veto was overridden by a 12-1 vote in January. Bills like that would’ve had pushed away the mandatory minimum sentences for any offense, all while putting a cap on maximum sentences. Even civil rights advocates would argue that those minimums would add to the overcrowding of prisons while also shifting the racial bias found in the US justice system. Even then, Republicans did their damnedest to seize the DC law, set to take effect in the year of 2025. All of this to support the idea of tough criminal penalties. Republicans keep trying to center public safety when pitching to voters, while Democrats are way too relaxed.