U.S. Senator Cory Booker and U.S. House Representative Karen Bass have introduced bicameral legislation to create a sentence review procedure for people serving sentences longer than ten years in federal prison. Inspired by the cases of Matthew Charles and William Underwood, the Second Look Act of 2019 would appoint federal judges to consider petitions for sentence reduction after a person has served at least 10 years. The court must find that the person is not a danger to the safety of any person or the community; they demonstrate readiness for reentry; and the interests of justice warrant a sentence modification.
A second look at these long sentences is essential to account for the personal changes that people make over time, and to preserve public resources for effective crime prevention.