Press Release

The Sentencing Project releases statement after President Biden commits to signing Republican bill blocking modernization of DC’s criminal code

President Biden betrays Washington, DC autonomy and evidence-based criminal justice policy by committing to block DC's Revised Criminal Code Act.

Related to: Sentencing Reform, Incarceration

The Sentencing Project Executive Director Amy Fettig released the following statement in response to President Biden’s tweet promising to sign the disapproval resolution blocking a comprehensive revision of D.C. criminal code from going into effect:

“We’re deeply disappointed by President Biden’s betrayal of D.C. autonomy and abandonment of evidence-based criminal justice policy. The bill to modernize D.C.’s criminal code is the product of 16 years of research, an expert commission, 51 public meetings, extensive public feedback, and robust negotiation. It’s a balanced, moderate, and long overdue update of the criminal code. That’s why prosecutors, defense attorneys, advocates, and the majority of Washingtonians supported these much-needed revisions to improve legal clarity, standardize penalties, and align the code with sentencing best practices. Without these revisions the District will remain governed by a century-old code ranked as one of the worst in the country. Efforts to block these revisions are a politics-fueled attack on safety, justice, and D.C. home rule, divorced from facts and the will of the people of the District. We urge the Senate to vote to oppose H.J.Res. 26, “Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022,” when it votes on the measure next week.”

The Sentencing Project testified in favor of the code changes in 2021, has supported the process of updating the code, and joined a broad coalition of civil rights and criminal justice reform organizations in urging Congress to oppose attacks on the revised criminal code bill.


About The Sentencing Project

The Sentencing Project promotes effective and humane responses to crime that minimize imprisonment and criminalization of youth and adults by promoting racial, ethnic, economic, and gender justice. You can find our media guidance on crime coverage here.

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