The District of Columbia City Council reduce the penalty for violent crimes by overturning the mayor’s veto of the Revised Criminal Code Act. Reportedly, Mayor Bowser vetoed the revisions earlier this month.
The District of Columbia City Council has voted in favor of the revisions of the Criminal Code Act. Although the council lacked one Republican member, they have already voted unanimously to approve it. This decision overturned the veto from Mayor Muriel Bowser earlier this month. Reportedly, the revisions were intended to reduce the penalties for violent crimes.
According to Nerozzi, Brooke Pinto, one of the council members, argued that approving the veto will be a step back in modernizing the criminal code. The years of work, engagement, and compromise of the D.C. City Council will be invalidated. Modernizing the criminal code will reduce maximum sentences, eliminate most mandatory minimum sentences, and extend rights to jury trials to those accused of violations. Advocates of the criminal justice reform also argue that the criminal code is required to modernize the law written way back in 1901.
Disagreements on the Provisions
According to Nerozzi, however, the opposition argued that the provisions will allow prisoners to request for early release 20 years into their punishment. This includes those accused of violent crimes such as sexual assault or murder. In addition, Bowser argued that the courts’ number of trials will escalate. The D.C. City Council’s decision to overturn the veto sent the bill to the Congress. There, federal lawmakers will have 2 months to evaluate the case.