Sen. Webb’s Criminal Justice Act Passes Unanimously!

From Stop the Drug War

The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 on a unanimous voice vote Thursday. The bill would create a commission to conduct a top-to-bottom evaluation of the country’s criminal justice system and offer recommendations for reform at every level.

Webb has been a harsh critic of national drug policies, and has led at least two hearings on the costs associated with current policies. The bill could create an opportunity to shine a harsh light on the negative consequences of the current policies.

An amendment offered by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and accepted by the committee stripped out the original bill’s lengthy list of negative drug policy “findings” and replaced them with blander language, but left the bill’s purpose intact.

Passage out of committee was applauded by sentencing reform advocates. “Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) commends the Senate Judiciary Committee for recognizing that the American criminal justice system needs an overhaul,” said Jennifer Seltzer Stitt, FAMM federal legislative affairs director. “Any comprehensive reform of our criminal justice system must include eliminating mandatory minimum laws. One-size-fits-all mandatory drug sentencing laws enacted in the 1980s are responsible for filling prisons with low-level, nonviolent drug offenders, wasting millions in taxpayer dollars, and destroying public trust in the criminal justice system. The National Criminal Justice Commission can help right these wrongs by recommending mandatory sentencing reform.”

The bill’s prospects are uncertain. It faces a crowded calendar in the Senate and has made little progress in the House.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. gstlab3 on

    THE FACT THAT 500,000 PEOPLE CANNOT EVEN MAKE BAIL ON THEIR NON VIOLENT OFFENCES SAYS SOMETHING.,
    AS DO THE 2.5 million THAT ARE IN PRISON AT THIS VERY MOMENT!

    LAND OF THE FREE MY WHITE ASS!!!!!!!!
    WE’RE ALL SLAVES TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND TO THE STATES
    PROPERTY TAXES AND THE INCOME TAXES!!! IT KILLS THE WORKING CLASSES CHANCES OF GETTING AHEAD IN LIFE AND KILLS THE RICH PEOPLES INVESTMENTS IN SOCIETY!!!!!!

    PUT THE TROUBLE MAKERS IN PRISON AND ESPECIALLY THOSE DRUG USERS AND THEIR DEALERS WHO MADE THE MISTAKE OF MAKING TAX FREE MONEY BEHIND UNCLE SAMS BACK!!!!
    THAT’S THE REAL CRIME BEHIND THE CRIME THAT GETS YOU IN TROUBLE!!!!!FREEDOM FROM TAXES AND FEES AND SERVITUDE TO THE STATE!!!!
    FUCK THE POLICE!!! AND GROW YOUR OWN, FREE YOUR MIND, AND FREE THE PLANET FROM SLAVERY TO THE STATE!!!!!!!

  2. ToxicSludge on

    …to write to your state senator/congressman and demand a quick passage of this bill.”The bills prospects are uncertain”,this is totally unacceptable and our elected officials need to hear this……..NOW!!