Bipartisan Momentum on Sentencing Reform Means Nothing Unless It Leads Somewhere


We last wrote about this issue in April on our post about over-criminalization: Theoretically, the average white-collar professional could commit three felonies in the course of a single day, given the number and variety of federal offenses. This idea comes from Harvey Silverglate's book Three Felonies a Day. Silverglate and others like him have brought over-criminalization and related issues to light in recent years.

President Obama's federal prison visit today has brought criminal justice reform into the light again (in which Obama says he feels hopeful about the prospect of bipartisan legislation on sentencing reform), and Rachael Bade's Politico piece about reform having gained bipartisan momentum is one such example.

Lawmakers seem confident about what they've accomplished thus far: "We've actually been working on [reform] for quite awhile," says Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, according to Bade.

That's great, but we suspect that for many people who might benefit from reform - nonviolent drug offenders, for example - sentencing reform couldn't come soon enough.


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