Chairman Leahy Orders Hearing on Justice Safety Valve Act

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.

Read Chairman Leahy’s press release and statement.

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.

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