A coalition of civil rights groups sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing opposition to efforts to obstruct the District of Columbia’s Revised Criminal Code Act (RCCA). It has been reported that President Biden will not veto the pending disapproval resolution regarding DC’s revised criminal code reform that is expected to be voted on in the Senate next week. The D.C. Council voted unanimously to pass the RCCA and the RCCA is supported by 83% of District voters. The RCCA is the product of 16 years of research, an expert commission, 51 public meetings, extensive public feedback, and robust negotiation. Despite this, opponents of the RCCA are spreading misinformation about its impact in a blatant attempt to erode home rule and trample on the rights of D.C. residents. The groups urge Senators to oppose the attacks on the RCCA and vote against any resolution of disapproval. The RCCA is a balanced bill – bringing the District in line with national sentencing norms by lengthening some sentences, reducing some maximums, and other reforms. A revision to reflect best practices in sentencing and criminological evidence is necessary to ensure justice, fairness, and safety in the District. By ensuring the statutes are clear and constitutional, the RCCA makes the law easier for police officers, attorneys, and judges to understand and administer.
Read the full letter here.
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.