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WaPo to DC City Council: Maybe Hold Off on This Insane 'Criminal Justice Reform' Bill

The city council of America's capital city -- which leftists dream of making a state, entirely for partisan reasons -- is a cauldron of uniquely terrible ideas. They discuss and advance ideas so patently horrible so frequently that California's unhinged leftists may convene an emergency meeting to brainstorm how to keep up. We've told you about how the DC council has extended 'voting rights' to illegal immigrants and foreigners working at places like the Russian and Chinese embassies. They've recently moved to try to boost tourism by, ahem, raising hotel taxes. And they've voted repeatedly for a 'criminal justice reform' package that would substantially reduce criminal penalties for a host of crimes, including illegal gun possession and carjacking, a dangerous felony that has exploded in DC over the last few years.  That last idea is so patently dangerous that the Washington Post's very liberal editorial board is begging DC's elected officials to slam the brakes on it:

Washington could become a more dangerous city if the D.C. Council votes Tuesday, as currently planned, to override Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s veto of a bill that decreases punishments for violent crimes such as carjackings, home invasion burglaries, robberies and even homicides. The far-reaching rewrite of the criminal code will further tie the hands of police and prosecutors while overwhelming courts. With the capital city awash in handguns, the measure would also scale back penalties for convicted felons illegally carrying firearms, as well as for using them to commit crimes. The bill eliminates life sentences and gets rid of mandatory minimums for every crime but first-degree murder. The maximum penalty for someone convicted of a violent felony while using a gun to commit more violence would drop to four years from 15 years. This is not an evidence-based approach to public safety. The data is clear that firearms offenders recidivate at higher rates and more quickly than those who committed crimes without guns...Proponents of the bill say African Americans are disproportionately convicted of violent crimes and couch their arguments in terms of equity. African Americans are also disproportionately victims of these same crimes.

Nothing screams "equity" like ensuring that violent felons cannot be aggressively prosecuted, and allowing them back on the streets to commit additional crimes much sooner. As the editors point out, advocates for this madness seem not to care one whit that the victims of these crimes are disproportionately people of color. These are just pro-crime, pro-criminal policies, dressed up in woke verbiage.  The mayor -- who is left-wing, but not quite as insane as the council -- has already vetoed the measure.  Council members are expected to override that veto (see update).  Muriel Bowser tells WaPo that some tweaks to the bill could make it much less destructive, but it seems like her council may be hellbent on destruction:

Ms. Bowser told the Editorial Board that council members are privately expressing “second thoughts” about weakening penalties for violent crime and asking her to propose a bill that could let them clean up their work. The mayor suggested some common-sense tweaks in her veto message, such as increasing the maximum penalty for carrying a dangerous weapon from two years to four. Council member Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2) introduced a sensible amendment that would have addressed some of the mayor’s concerns, but it was voted down 10-3, before the bill passed unanimously in November. Nevertheless, Ms. Pinto plans to support the override because she says she doesn’t want to “unravel years of careful and thoughtful work.” That doesn’t seem like a great way to govern. Why not fix what’s wrong before upending the criminal code?

"That doesn't seem like a great way to govern" is almost comical in its understatement, as if the writers are afraid to offend members of the council who are poised to make the city the newspaper ostensibly serves dramatically less safe.  It's a windfall for dangerous felons, and WaPo's editors are tepidly wondering if this really represents 'great' governance.  By the way, this is the frightening status quo before these alterations start to get phased in:

Somehow, a snarky 'what could go wrong?'  feels too flippant, in response to all of this.  Innocent people will die, and innocent lives will be destroyed.  But the criminals will enjoy more 'equity.'  So that's the trade-off.  Now that they've delivered their brief warning against this disastrous plan, perhaps the Washington Post's editors can resume doing the sort of journalism that really gets their juices flowing:

UPDATE - It has passed, overwhelmingly:


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