Julie Stewart, president and founder of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) commended the U.S. House of Representatives today for its approval of H.R. 5143, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010. The vote comes three months after Ms. Stewart joined the bill’s sponsors, sentencing reform advocates, and law enforcement officials to announce the bill’s introduction.
If enacted, H.R. 5143 will create a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the entire criminal justice system and offer concrete recommendations for reform within 18 months. The bill was introduced in the House on April 27 by U.S. Reps Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
The bill approved today is the companion to Senator Jim Webb’s (Va.) legislation, S. 714, which was introduced in the Senate on March 26, 2009 and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 21, 2010. The Webb bill, like its House counterpart, has received widespread bipartisan support and has 37 cosponsors in the Senate, including Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.), Ranking Member, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Judiciary Committee member, Sen. Orrin G Hatch (R-Utah).
Clearly, i’s time we reform the criminal “justice” system in America. This is a start, albeit a small one, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Good work by Jim Webb in getting it this far.
UPDATE: Video of Webb speaking about this is after the “flip.”