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Tipsheet

D.C. City Council Goes Full Speed Ahead With New Soft-on-Crime Code

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The Washington, D.C. city council voted on Tuesday to move ahead with the complete overhaul of the capital's criminal code despite the Mayor and police chief voicing opposition to provisions that will coddle criminals.

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In short, it give a jury trial for anyone charged with a misdemeanor, eliminates all mandatory minimum sentences except for first-degree murder, and expands the ability of people serving prison sentences to petition a judge for early release, according to DCist. The bill has been championed by Councilmember Charles Allen (D).

Other serious crimes that will have lesser penalties include burglary, robbery, carjacking, and illegally carrying a gun. 

"This will never satisfy every single person on every single issue," Allen said on Tuesday about the overhaul. "This is not meant to be the perfect solution… but a strong step forward."

Another vote on the crime bill is expected to take place towards the beginning of December and, should it get Mayor Muriel Bowser's approval as is, it will take until 2025 before the changes are implemented. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner K. Denise Rucker Krepp, a Democrat, has been a vocal critic of the soft-on-crime bill.

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The criminal code overhaul comes amid a continued crime problem in Washington, D.C. that has residents saying they feel unsafe, with carjackings and vehicle part theft being a major issue.  

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