By Anthony LaBruto 11/15/2019
BOSTON- House Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) proposed legislation on Thursday that would end federal use of the death penalty, ban assault weapons, and significantly reduce the amount of inmates in prisons.
Pressley’s newest legislation is focusing on ending the disproportionate effect that the justice system has on women, people of color, and other minority groups. The Massachusetts congresswoman hopes to address this problem by decriminalizing lower level offenses, and capping prison sentences for all crimes.
The reform bill comes as a result of Attorney General Barr’s decision in July to reinstate the death penalty at the federal level. Although the death penalty is still legal in 29 states, Pressley’s bill would require states to resentence all inmates currently on death row.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigrant Justice Center fully support Pressley’s bill as well as Rachel Rollins, a Suffolk district attorney.
“For too many people, our criminal legal system is broken,” Rollins said. “Wealth and privilege should never dictate outcome, and unfortunately, too often they do.”