SENTENCING REFORM NATIONAL PROGRAM PLANNING CONCURRENCE PROPOSAL
SENTENCING REFORM CONCURRENCE PROPOSAL FOR NATIONAL PROGRAM PLANNING & CONVENTION 2012
ALL LEAGUES! THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING SENTENCING REFORM
The LWVUS now has a position on sentencing reform! Thanks to all delegates to Convention 2012 who voted to concur with DC' Position.
LWVUS Board Proposed Concurrence at Convention 2012. Delegates voted to adopt it.
On the convention floor at Convention 2012 in Washington, D.C., LWVUS recommended adoption by concurrence the following LWV of the District of Columbia positions on sentencing:
1. The LWVUS believes alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized, taking into consideration the circumstances and nature of the crime.
2. The LWVUS opposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses."
CLICK HERE FOR SUMMARY INFORMATION FROM THE AD HOC COMMITTEE
CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION
FINAL REPORT of LWVDC's 1982 STUDY
In 1982, at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, an Initiative was placed on the DC ballot to require mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes. After careful review, study and consensus, the DC League agreed to oppose the Initiative. The final report "Study and Action" reviewed the pros and cons. Click here to read the final two-page report.
League Rules allow Convention to adopt a local or state League's position providing that the position was adopted after study and consensus.
Rule 10 C. Provides for the Procedure for Concurrence at Convention:
1. Proposals for concurrence at convention may be moved for adoption at the Sunday plenary meeting.
2. Debate and action on proposals for concurrence motions shall take place at the same time as debate and action on proposed program. A two-thirds vote is required to adopt the concurrence statement.
ARGUMENTS FOR SUPPORTING ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT FOR APPROPRIATE OFFENDERS
ARGUMENTS FOR SUPPORTING ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT FOR APPROPRIATE OFFENDERS: Alternatives include drug and mental health courts, halfway houses and day reporting centers, restitution requirements, rehabilitative services, etc. They save taxpayers money. They keep offenders with their families and jobs, instead of in prison or jail with inmates convicted of violent crimes. More information is available from the non-profit organization the Sentencing Project. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION FROM THE SENTENCING PROJECT'S WEBSITE
ARGUMENTS FOR OPPOSING MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES FOR DRUG OFFENSES
Harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses have led to an over-representation of drug offenders in the criminal justice system, many of whom are low-level and nonviolent. Restoring judicial discretion in drug cases would allow judges to determine punishments that are proportional to the offenses committed.
BACKGROUND: The United States has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's prisoners--it is the world's biggest jailer. More than half the growth in the prison population over the last 30 years is due to changes in sentencing policies that prioritize long, mandatory sentences, including for drug and nonviolent offenses. Mass incarceration has led to huge financial costs to taxpayers, and millions of ex-offenders who carry lifelong, daunting burdens of a criminal record after release. Moreover, appalling racial disparity pervades the criminal justice system, and excessively impacts communities of color. Please recommend concurrence with the two positions proposed above on your response form for the LWVUS so that the LWVUS and all chapters can address sentencing issues, which they cannot do now without undertaking individual state or local chapter studies, since the LWVUS has no position on sentencing except opposition to the death penalty. More information is available from the non-profit organization the Sentencing Project. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION FROM THE SENTENCING PROJECT'S WEBSITE
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