Post Date: July 30, 2013
Yesterday, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced that the Committee will have a hearing on the Justice Safety Valve Act, S. 619, and mandatory minimum sentences in September 2013. Chairman Leahy and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act earlier this year. An identical version, H.R. 1695, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY). FAMM supports both bills and applauds Chairman Leahy for making mandatory minimum sentencing reform a top priority in the Senate Judiciary Committee this Congress. Chairman Leahy said the following:
A major factor driving the increase in the incarceration rate has been the proliferation of Federal mandatory minimum sentences in the last 20 years. This one-size-fits-all approach to sentencing never made us safer, but it has cost us plenty.
Here at FAMM’s office, Molly Gill (Government Affairs Counsel) reacted to the announcement:
As case after case shows, mandatory minimum sentences are producing absurd results and locking up nonviolent people who aren’t a threat to public safety and cost taxpayers a fortune. Chairman Leahy’s Justice Safety Valve Act would allow judges to use common sense and save tough prison sentences for the people we fear the most. These kinds of cost-cutting reforms are gaining steam all over the United States, and it’s time for Congress to get on that train.