There are powerful forces lining up on both sides of President Donald Trump’s justice reform bill, but the victims of those criminals that would be let out of prison early thanks to the bill are NOT among the president’s supporters on this issue.
The First Step Act criminal justice reform bill is only the “first step” to a more dangerous nation, according to those who oppose the bill.
One aspect of the First Step Act would be to cut sentences down. It would also let convicted criminals out of jail far earlier than they would otherwise. Victim’s rights groups find these provisions appalling.
As Conservative Review reports:
“Every aspect of the Senate’s First Step Act — the legislative process and the bill’s substance — has been an insult to victims of crime and their loved ones,” writes Steven J. Twist, founder and board secretary for Arizona Voice for Crime Victims.
“The bill’s drafters made no effort to consider the input of crime victims and have failed to provide legislators, crime victims, and the general public time to evaluate the bill. The First Step Act was drafted behind closed doors. The bill’s authors took the time to consult monied special interest groups, but never reached out to or considered the input of victims of crime.”
Another victim’s rights group also came out against the bill.
The group Force 100 slammed the First Step Act’s sentencing reforms, which will likely lead to lighter sentences or early release of dangerous criminals.
“There are many troubling aspects of the First Step Act. This letter focuses on one oft-repeated falsehood — the claim that S.3694 applies only to rehabilitated, non-violent offenders,” writes Collene Campbell, the former mayor of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and founder of Force 100. “In truth, the First Step Act requires the federal government to grant early release to prisoners convicted of a host of violent crimes, including rape, child sex trafficking, homicide, and maiming, even if these prisoners show absolutely no remorse and indicate that they intend to repeat their heinous crimes upon release.”
Some GOP senators agree with these groups.
Senator Tom Cotton (R, AR), for one, is not a fan of the First Step Act.
Cotton said he is concerned the First Step Act may offer early release from prison to many violent criminals and convicts, which he and other opponents say put the country’s safety and security at risk.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.