05.02.16

Today In Burlington, Leahy And Booker Host Discussion On Criminal Justice Reform

. . . Leahy And Booker Are At The Core Of Bipartisan Reform Movement On Capitol Hill

BURLINGTON, Vt. (MONDAY, May 2, 2016) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday was joined by Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in Burlington to host a roundtable discussion on their efforts to pass criminal justice reform.  Leahy and Booker are at the core of a bipartisan movement on Capitol Hill to forge and enact long-overdue reforms of the criminal justice system.  Their efforts led in part to the announcement last week of new cosponsors to the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which would reduce some mandatory minimum sentences.  Leahy, a former prosecutor, is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over these issues.  

Leahy said:  “Congress is often slow to fix its mistakes.  But we are starting to make progress here.  Just last week we took a significant step forward on the bipartisan sentencing reform bill that will actually reduce some of our most draconian mandatory minimums. It has taken a long time and this bill is just a step, and a modest one.  But it is a beginning.  It has been a delight to work with Senator Booker on these efforts, and we look forward to making continued progress.”

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act reduces some of the most extreme mandatory minimum sentences and, at Leahy’s urging, makes those changes retroactive on a case-by-case basis.  The package also includes expanded provisions for the release of elderly and very ill federal prisoners.  Last year, Leahy and Booker were joined by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in introducing the legislation.

Leahy and Booker have previously teamed up on other efforts to restore and advance the Voting Rights Act and legislation to combat youth homelessness and trafficking, among other legislative priorities.

Leahy’s full remarks can be found here.

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