In letters addressed to members of Congress, crime victim groups are urging opposition to the First Step Act criminal justice reform bill, arguing it will give sentence reductions and early release to violent criminals.
“Every aspect of the Senate’s First Step Act — the legislative process and the bill’s substance — has been an insult to victims of crime and their loved ones,” writes Steven J. Twist, founder and board secretary for Arizona Voice for Crime Victims.
“The bill’s drafters made no effort to consider the input of crime victims and have failed to provide legislators, crime victims, and the general public time to evaluate the bill. The First Step Act was drafted behind closed doors. The bill’s authors took the time to consult monied special interest groups, but never reached out to or considered the input of victims of crime.”
A letter from Force 100, a victim’s rights group, targets the First Step Act’s sentencing reforms, which may lead to the reduced sentence or early release of several categories of violent criminals.
“There are many troubling aspects of the First Step Act. This letter focuses on one oft-repeated falsehood — the claim that S.3694 applies only to rehabilitated, non-violent offenders,” writes Collene Campbell, the former mayor of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and founder of Force 100. “In truth, the First Step Act requires the federal government to grant early release to prisoners convicted of a host of violent crimes, including rape, child sex trafficking, homicide, and maiming, even if these prisoners show absolutely no remorse and indicate that they intend to repeat their heinous crimes upon release.”
Both letters point to categories of offenders who would receive automatic early release, including those convicted of manslaughter, slavery or sex trafficking, domestic violence, assault with intent to commit rape, aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact, assaulting a law enforcement officer, and other violent crimes.
Read the letters:
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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