The Washington Examiner reported that Tuesday’s vote by the Washington City Council will determine whether it will override Mayor Muriel Bowser’s veto of its controversial Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022.
It is likely that the council, which has no Republican members and approved the November legislation unanimously, will do exactly that.
According to the Washington Post, the bill reduces penalties for violent crimes like carjackings and home invasion burglaries, robberies, and even murder.
ARMED ROBBERY: D.C. police are looking for two suspects who walked into a store, brandishing guns and demanded cash. pic.twitter.com/RTik3DP4be
— 48 Hours (@48hours) July 20, 2021
However, the Sunday editorial by the paper stated that D.C. could become “a more dangerous place” because of the legislation.
The bill abolishes mandatory minimums and life sentences for all crimes except first-degree murder. A person convicted of a violent felony and who uses a gun to inflict more harm would be subject to a maximum sentence of four years instead of the current 15 years. This is not evidence-based public safety. It is evident that firearms offenders are more likely to re-offend than those who have not been convicted.
The Examiner stated that the “progressive Council” had defended the bill, arguing it made the law less racist. However, many law enforcement and law officials have claimed that it could open the floodgates to crime.
Fox News reported that Bowser raised concerns about the lower penalties provisions in her Jan. 3 veto. “Anytime there is a penalty reduction policy, I believe it sends the wrong signal.”
Fox News stated that federal lawmakers will have 60 days to review the bill if the council overrides Bowser’s veto. Fox News noted that Congress could adopt a joint resolution rejecting the bill within that time frame. If President Joe Biden approves, the bill won’t become law.
WTTG-TV reported that D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III opposed the reduction in sentences that the bill pushes forward last fall: “If you’re reducing a sentence of 10 years down to 5 years, that makes it less safe.”
Contee made headlines last week after addressing rumors surrounding the identity of a homeowner and city employee who shot a black teenager he encountered at 4 AM over car burglaries.
Contee confirmed that the trigger-puller was also black and condemned “misinformation and allegations centered around race.”
A group posted a photo of a white male and Karon Blake, the fatally wounded teen, to suggest that the white man pulled the trigger.
Contee raised his voice. Imagine if this was your photo next to his and that people came to your home with only half the information. That’s unacceptable.”