Trump Supports Rollback of “Clinton crime law that disproportionately harmed the African American Community”
“a bipartisan bill to reform federal sentencing guidelines”
During a press conference on Wednesday with members of Congress and other partners, Trump announced support for the First Step Act, which is intended to give a second chance to former prisoners who have paid their debt to society.
Samuel Chamberlain reports at FOX News:
Trump backs sentencing reform bill he says will give ex-inmates ‘a second chance at life’
President Trump threw his support behind a bipartisan bill to reform federal sentencing guidelines Wednesday, which he said would “reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption.”
“We’re all better off when former inmates can receive and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens,” Trump said in brief remarks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. “And thanks to our booming economy, they now have a chance at more opportunities than they’ve ever had before.”
The so-called First Step Act, the first major rewrite of the nation’s criminal justice sentencing laws in a generation, will boost rehabilitation efforts for federal prisoners and give judges more discretion when sentencing nonviolent offenders, particularly for drug offenses. In particular, the bill lowers the mandatory minimum sentence for non-violent repeat drug offenders from 25 to 20 years, reduces mandatory minimums for other crimes from 20 to 15 years, and makes no distinction between powder cocaine and crack cocaine.
Trump noted that this act does not mean being soft on crime and that it has the backing of the law enforcement community. He also noted that it will repeal some of the provisions of Clinton crime laws which were unfair to the African American community.
Watch the video:
The act has the support of many key players in the Senate, including Chuck Grassley, who played a major role in its creation:
Thx @realdonaldtrump for endorsing my bipartisan crim justice reform bill. It’s tough on crime (esp fentanyl kingpins & keeps all violent criminals locked up) + makes streets safer by reducing recidivism. It’s been an honor working w you & Jared on this landmark bill 1/2
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) November 14, 2018
Lindsey Graham is also very enthusiastic:
Very excited to have President @realDonaldTrump’s support for the FIRST STEP Act.
This bipartisan legislation gives nonviolent offenders an earned second chance and should dramatically reduce the recidivism rate by focusing on skills necessary for people to stay out of prison. https://t.co/scrXOy7dYy
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 15, 2018
Here’s an excerpt from the White House press release:
President Donald J. Trump Calls on Congress to Pass the FIRST STEP Act
CALLING FOR BIPARTISAN ACTION: President Donald J. Trump is calling on Congress to take action and support the bipartisan prison reform legislation, the FIRST STEP Act.
– President Trump supports the FIRST STEP Act, which will help improve our Nation’s criminal justice system.
The FIRST STEP Act enjoys widespread support across the political spectrum.
– Many of the reforms included in this legislation passed the House in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 360–59 in May 2018.
– Republicans and Democrats in the Senate worked with the White House to craft a bipartisan sentencing reform compromise, which has been added to the legislation.
– So far, seven major police organizations, more than 2,700 faith and evangelical leaders, and hundreds of conservative organizations and leaders support this legislation.
Trump is making an effort to reach across the aisle. Will Democrats dare rebuff him on this?
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