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November 24, 2015

"Is Congress Ready to Back a New Crime Commission?"

Download (4)The question in this title of this post is the headline of this recent Crime Report piece by Ted Gest.  Here are excerpts:

Growing Congressional interest in justice reform has improved the prospects for creation of a National Criminal Justice Commission that can spearhead a "top to bottom review" of the justice system, says Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI). Peters told the American Society of Criminology [last week] that the time was "long overdue" for a national effort similar in scope to the Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice created by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965.

At a panel marking the 50th anniversary of the LBJ initiative, Peters was joined by staff members of the original commission for a discussion of the challenges and prospects of a new national effort to muster support for innovation in criminal justice.

Criminologist Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie Mellon University said a new panel could tackle a number of major national issues, including high incarceration rates and overcriminalization. But he also noted that a commission with members named by the president and Congressional leaders, as proposed by the current bill to establish the body, could lead to political polarization.

Peters is a leading sponsor of the bill, which has has been endorsed by organizations of police and prosecutors, and has 20 co-sponsors in the Senate. A similar plan by former Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) fell short because he failed to win much Republican support. But this time around, Peters has the backing of Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the deputy majority leader, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a conservative Judiciary Committee member.

Peters, who formerly represented Detroit as a member of the House and is familiar with that city's longstanding crime problems, listed some of the issues that a new commission could address, such as grand juries that are reluctant to charge police officers who shoot citizens, the challenges of former prisoners trying to re-enter society, and flawed forensic science procedures that do not provide accurate evidence in criminal cases....

Earlier this year, a task force on 21st century law enforcement named by President Obama called for a broader presidential task force on the entire criminal justice system. The Peters-Cornyn-Graham bill would go further, creating a 14-member panel that would issue a report within 18 months.

In a discussion of the bill, Washington lawyer Sheldon Krantz, another original staff member of the LBJ panel, said the 1960s panel worked well partly because its voting members were not entrenched criminal justice experts, and they relied on a professional staff that lacked "political infighting."

Laurie Robinson of George Mason University, former assistant U.S. Attorney General for justice programs, said a new commission could pose and answer basic questions of "what do we want for the nation's criminal justice system?" She noted that public opinion on such issues as policing, drugs, and overcriminalization has changed in the past few years. In the national discussion that followed the Ferguson police killing of Michael Brown last year, "the ground is shifting, the terrain is changing," she said.

November 24, 2015 at 08:37 AM | Permalink


Most likely not. By virtue of forming another huge group things are going poorly.

Has to pass the simple test, is this reasonable.

Cannot create a new group and let them make a career out if this.

Drug crimes are still being elevated even though they hack down parts of it.

Fair sentenceing act, running drug house 2 levels, any mention of verbally forcing or rough language to further a drug crime, 2 levels. What the hell, if your making drugs everyone is running a drug house to some extent.

Rough firceful language, try your avg Joe on the street. When someone pulls out in front if them.

Feds have to stop creating add ons and modifiers to maje a handsome sentence.

Thats right handsome, refer to ratcgeting uowards as enhancements. Stylish.

These people hVe made a career out if the guidelines. Cant the mandatiries be tossed except drug lords and Escabar type dudes.

Already have built in exceptions for 3 strikes fir life sentence, few will qualify.

Why go thru the mitions and expense to achueve zippo. We arent stupid out here. The most important item in all od this is orotecting their backside and money career.

Get rud if the career politicians. Fed judges and supreme court justice senatirs and congressman cannot be allowed to serve when in their 80's

Go out and interview fir a job when your over 72 yrs if Age. You get few uf any i tervuews. But the feds keep kn rolling along.

Lets fix the root problem, then we can fix iur country.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Nov 24, 2015 1:23:04 PM

Looks like I set a world record for typos, oh well the content us there.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Nov 24, 2015 1:24:32 PM

as a typo machine, I bow to you sir

Posted by: Joe | Nov 24, 2015 2:39:09 PM

LBJ. High incarceration rates and overcriminalization. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a conservative Judiciary Committee member. Peters, who formerly represented Detroit. Professional staff that lacked "political infighting." Laurie Robinson of George Mason University, former assistant U.S. Attorney General for justice programs. Ferguson police killing.

Good grief. A perfect shit storm to drag down all crime victim interest to the bowels of the sewer inhabited by the lawyer profession, a total betrayal of crime victim interests by the lawyer profession.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 24, 2015 9:19:25 PM

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