The Senate tonight voted overwhelmingly to pass the new criminal justice reform bill after defeating the amendment that Cotton was pushing, 67-32. Apparently they wanted to go ahead and pass the bill rather than make it better.
Senate approves the criminal justice reform bill, 87-12. The package is a victory for President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Kushner worked the halls of Congress for months in an effort to forge a bipartisan compromise.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) December 19, 2018
The criminal justice reform bill grants judges more latitude in sentencing drug offenders. It also bolsters efforts to rehabiliate criminals for their return to society. The plan also overcomes some “mandatory minimums” imposed in the 1990s, such as “3 and out.”— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) December 19, 2018
Apparently the bill won’t have any trouble passing the House:
House ok’d a different version of criminal justice reform & the bill looked dead until senators revamped the bill to secure passage. The bill now goes back to Hse for it to sync up. Fox is told there shouldn’t be a problem with the Hse approving the Senate’s changes to the bill— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) December 19, 2018
Chad Pergram tells us who voted against the bill, and they were Republicans:
Interesting collection of Senators there. He adds that Graham didn’t vote.
Here’s more about what the bill will do from Axios:
- Send up to 4,000 prisoners home by increasing the amount of time inmates can cut off of their sentences due to good behavior.
- Allow more male and female inmates to serve time in house arrest or halfway homes instead of prison cells, with exceptions for high-risk inmates.
- Require that prisoners be placed within 500 miles of family.
- Outlaw shackling during child birth.
- Mandate the provision of sanitary napkins and tampons to female inmates.
- Reduce the mandatory penalty from life to 25 years for a third conviction of certain drug offenses, and from 25 to 15 years for a second conviction.
- Prohibit the doubling up, or “stacking,” of mandatory sentences for certain gun and drug offenses.
- Give judges more discretion in giving less than the mandatory minimum for certain low-level crimes.
- Make the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act retroactive, which changed sentencing guidelines to treat offenses involving crack and powder cocaine equally. This could impact nearly 2,600 federal inmates, according to the Marshall Project.