WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Virginia Congressman Calls For Relaxed Mandatory Minimums

Play associated audio

Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) is calling on Congress to follow the Obama Administration's lead and relax mandatory minimum prison sentences.

Many judges complain that their hands are tied by a law Congress passed that requires them to throw first time offenders in jail for possession of drugs that are non-legal or decriminalized across the country. The Justice Department is now going to reexamine thousands of those cases looking for more opportunities to offer clemency.

Congressman Scott says it's good the Justice Department is acting on its own, but he says Congress needs to rewrite its own law.

"The judge has no discretion but to impose the mandatory minimum, even if it violates common sense," Scott says. "And you know that's a problem when people of low level, non-violent offenders are serving more than 10 years."

There's a broad coalition in Congress calling for prison reforms, but it's a touchy political issue in an election year because many lawmakers fear looking 'soft' on crime.

WAMU 88.5

Exhibit Shows Dolores Huerta's Life As Part Of The 'Backbone' Of America

The exhibit about the United Farm Workers activist is the first in the National Portrait Gallery's "One Life" series to be devoted to a Latina.

NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes in The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.