Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, On The President’s Speech On Criminal Justice

“In the United States, we put too many people in prison for too long. Our wrongheaded approach to criminal justice is breaking the bank and making us less safe.  Every year we spend more money funding the Bureau of Prisons than we do supporting crime victims and local law enforcement.  It is also long past time to confront the painful truth that for many Americans our justice system is anything but just.  Our commitment to equality demands that we take action. 

“The President, top officials at the Justice Department, prosecutors, victims’ advocates, Democrats, and Republicans agree that our criminal justice system is in crisis, and must be reformed.  Reducing mandatory minimum sentences is the single most important thing we can do.  Several proposals, including my bipartisan Justice Safety Valve Act, would accomplish this goal.  There has been enough talk. The question now is whether we have the leadership in Congress to act and pass the meaningful reforms that our country urgently needs.”

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