Senate passes criminal justice reform bill, sends to house

nearvideo criminal justice reform bill passes in the Senate

Bill passes 87, 12, and more to the house.

The Senate on Wednesday night by an overwhelming majority, approved a bipartisan criminal justice bill, with the backing of President Trump after winning three changes pushed by conservative Republicans.

Legislators approved the final passage of 87-12. The measure now goes to the house where it is expected to be approved quickly. Its passage marked an important victory for Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who has been forging the halls of Congress for months in an effort to compromise.

President Trump congratulated the Senate soon after the measure’s passage, tweeting: “America is the greatest country in the world, and my job is to fight, for ALL citizens, even those who have made mistakes … The keep our communities safe and hope and a second chance for those who deserve it.” Trump added that he would sign the bill into law.

The legislation gives Federal judges more discretion in sentencing a drug offender and increases the prisoners in the rehabilitation. It would also life to reduce sentences for some drug offenders with three convictions, or three strikes to 25 years Other arrangements would allow, about 2,600 Federal prisoners sentenced for crack cocaine offenses before August 2010 the option to petition for a lower penalty.

The changes were to address concerns that the nation has the war against drugs has exploded, the number of prisoners, without the people prepare for their return to society.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N. J., said the nation’s prisons are full of Americans who struggle with mental illness and addiction, and are mostly poor. He said the nation’s criminal justice system” feeds on certain communities and not to others,” and said the bill represents a step in the direction of “cure” for these communities.

“Let us make no mistake, this law is a small step, said saving impact on thousands and thousands of lives to” Booker.

If the bill seemed to have stalled in recent weeks, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, implored Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., bring it to a vote. With Trump is of the essence, McConnell, and finally agreed to and voted for the law as well.

“The First step to Act, takes the lessons of history, and States to reduce — our laboratories of democracy — that is, crime, save, strengthen taxpayers’ money and the faith and fairness in our criminal justice system,” Grassley said.

Prior to the bill’s passage, senators voted after three changes of importance. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and John Kennedy, R-La. The first required that the victim be notified before a prisoner is given parole, failed to 67-32. The second, which would be necessary pursue the federal Bureau of prisons, and report the re-arrest rate for each prisoner who receives early release, which was defeated 66-33. The third, which would have excluded certain prisoners from education and training, so that it was chosen over earlier release to a halfway house or home confinement, down by 62-37.


“This would not solve all the problems of the bill, but it would at least ensure some of those worst criminals who prey on young children or who are at risk, not prematurely released from prison,” cotton said, to support the claim to the legislature, the changes

The Senate had a Democratic whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, the amendments as “poison pills”, have reversed cross-party support for the bill. He pointed out that the authors of the laws that make already been cut from around 60 different crimes, prisoners may not release for early care. Durbin also cotton claimed the amendment was too expensive and would prevent at least 30,000 prisoners from the participation.

Durbin said the Federal Bureau of prisons also gives victims the opportunity to be notified of a change in the prisoner’s status, but it is a choice. He said about 10 percent of victims choose not to be notified because of the trauma, involved in a revisiting of the crime. In the meantime, the amendment of cotton and Kennedy make is it would be a requirement.

“The support of the cotton amendment is to say, in order to force these victims of crime, ‘We go to you, whether it was in the best interest of your family, whether you like it or not,”‘ Durbin. “This is not respectful to victims of crime.”

The bill had the support from a rare Alliance of conservative and liberal advocacy groups, said the changes would be the nation’s criminal justice system fairer, reduce overcrowding in Federal prisons and save taxpayers ‘ money.


All 12 votes against the bill came from Republican senators: cotton, Kennedy, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, John Kyl of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, James Risch of Idaho, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ben Sasse, of Nebraska, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Dan Sullivan from Alaska. A 13-Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, not to take part in the vote.

The bill would affect only Federal inmates, less than 10 percent of the country’s population in prison.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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