On Tuesday, the D.C. City Council approved a dangerous crime bill that will radically weaken criminal penalties in the nation's capital. The bill is so bad that even leftist Mayor Muriel Bowser opposes the bill:
The District of Columbia City Council voted to force through revisions of the district's criminal code that will soften penalties on violent crimes, overriding a previous veto from the mayor's office.
Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the Revised Criminal Code Act earlier this month after the council, which lacks a single Republican member, voted unanimously to adopt it in November.
So what exactly makes the legislation so dangerous?
The bill would, among other things, eliminate most mandatory minimum sentences, allow for jury trials in almost all misdemeanor cases, and reduce the maximum penalties for offenses such as burglaries, carjackings and robberies. Law enforcement leaders had expressed concern that it could burden an already stretched court system and would send the wrong message to residents at a time when the city is struggling with gun violence.
“This bill does not make us safer,” Bowser wrote in a letter to Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D), announcing her veto.
The timing could not be worse:
In the city, robberies increased 2 percent and motor vehicle theft increased 8 percent from 2021 to 2o22. So far, “theft from auto” is up 31 percent in 2023 from 2022 levels, according to metropolitan police department statistics. Between January 1 and August 30 of 2022, MPD recorded 326 carjackings – a 27 percent increase compared to the same time frame last year. Of those incidents, 73 percent involved guns.
The last opportunity to stop this radical bill lies in the hands of Congress and President Joe Biden:
The D.C. City Council's Tuesday decision sends the bill to Congress, where federal lawmakers will have 60 days to review it.
Within that period, Congress may enact a joint resolution disapproving the council's act. If President Joe Biden approves the resolution, the act will be prevented from becoming law.
Based on President Biden's own failure to act on rising crime across the country, we're not holding our breath that he'll do anything to prevent it in his own backyard.