House Introduces Significant Criminal Justice Legislation

April 27, 2010
ACLU Shows Support For Much Needed Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Tom Rooney (R-FL) introduced an important bill addressing the criminal justice system in the House today. Laura W. Murphy, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office, appeared at a press conference announcing the bill’s introduction to show the ACLU’s support for much needed criminal justice reform.
 
The bill, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, would create a bipartisan commission tasked with examining the nation's criminal justice system and offering reform recommendations in a number of important areas designed to prevent, deter and reduce crime and violence. Identical legislation was introduced in the Senate last year and passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January.
 
The following can be attributed to Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:
 
“Our badly broken justice system is in desperate need of an overhaul and the National Criminal Justice Commission Act will put a mechanism in place that can address that need. Our current criminal justice system is both unfair and unsustainable. America's minorities have been suffering under our unbalanced criminal justice system due to unfair statutes, including our disparate crack powder sentencing guidelines. Judges are forced to use mandatory minimums as a one-size-fits-all solution to complex cases, forcing too many Americans to spend too much time behind bars.
 
“There is clear evidence that criminal justice reform is needed and a comprehensive review will likely achieve bipartisan support. The ACLU looks forward to continuing to work with both the House and Senate in pushing for meaningful criminal justice reform.”

The ACLU's letter of support for the Senate version of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act is here: www.aclu.org/racial-justice_prisoners-rights_drug-law-reform_immigrants-rights/aclu-letter-senate-supporting-s-71
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