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1A Remaking America: Crime, the Senate, and Washington D.C.

Demonstrators participate in a rally for Washington, DC independence near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Demonstrators participate in a rally for Washington, DC independence near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

Dozens of Democratic senators voted alongside their Republican counterparts last week on the issue of crime and safety in our nation’s capital. The Senate voted 81-14 to block a criminal code rewrite that was unanimously approved by the D.C. City Council.

The criminal code overhaul included major changes to criminal sentencing – including reducing maximum sentences for carjacking and eliminating mandatory minimums.

A Pew Research poll from2021 found that 37percentof Americans believe peopleconvicted of crimesspend the proper amount of time behind bar.The responses were sharply divided on political lines, with54 percentof liberalsand 10 percent of conservatives saying they believed sentences are too long.

We discuss the intersection of politics and criminal justice policy. We also discuss what say Congress should have over D.C.’s affairs.

This show was part of 1A’s Remaking America collaboration with six partner stations around the country. Remaking America is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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June Leffler, Chris Remington