Home National Politics Sen. Webb’s National Criminal Justice Commission Act Passes House

Sen. Webb’s National Criminal Justice Commission Act Passes House

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Good news.

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.

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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.”

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    I have to shake my head in disbelief when people say that Jim Webb hasn’t done anything. As a freshman senator, at a time when the Senate is a mess because of constant GOP filibustering, Jim Webb got his new G.I. bill through and signed into law, a bill that is already helping veterans of our two wars. Now, if the Senate can function at all in the face of Republican tantrums, it looks like another piece of very significant legislation might make it into law. (Maybe we should put Webb in charge of devising an immigration bill that might have a prayer of passage.)

  • Dan Sullivan

    in and of itself is surprising. This is in stark contrast to the George Allen “philosophy” on sentencing.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    Note this comment, as reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, by Department of Corrections Director Glenn Johnson:

    Johnson  said the state should stop doling out lengthy prison sentences to those “we’re mad at” such as nonviolent criminals and those with drug convictions. He said the state should instead focus on locking away violent criminals.

    Support for Jim Webb from those who have the cred to know and the courage to speak truth to power.