When your whole city’s a toilet, why not embrace it?
The D.C. Council is expected to take the first of two votes Tuesday on a massive rewrite of its criminal code. If passed, the bill would 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.
Assume that there’ll be a lot more burglaries, carjackings and robberies.
Not to mention public urination.
Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Robert Contee III are pushing back hard on parts of the plan they don’t agree with, and say the council is rushing to beat an arbitrary deadline.
At a news conference Tuesday, the mayor said the concern is over the decriminalization of certain public nuisances, such as urinating in public or noise violations.
Like most “criminal justice reform” measures, this is a pro-crime project meant to enable more of it.
“The requirement for Burglary 1 (first-degree burglary), which would be the highest grade of burglary, would require that a resident perceive that the person was inside of their home,” said Contee. “First, why are we shifting the burden to the resident in order to charge the highest penalty? You’ve been victimized.”
“Burglary 2, which is a lesser degree, does not require that you perceive, that you knew, the person broke into your house. … If you are asleep and you don’t wake up while the person is in your house, then that’s a lower grade, but if you wake up and you happen to see the person is in there, then that’s a higher degree of burglary? That just does not make sense to me.”
“Most robberies that we see in our city don’t have significant injury,” said Contee. “… We should not be looking into the lens where the highest penalty is where a person sustained serious, or significant, bodily injury. The fact that you had a gun in your face is significant to me, and I think if you talk to most residents who have been victimized by a robbery, they will share the traumatic experience they’ve had.”
And all of this is happening with a surge in carjackings.
MPD has recorded 326 total carjackings between Jan. 1 and Aug. 30 of this year, representing a 27% increase compared to the same time period last year, when MPD had recorded 264 carjackings. Of those carjacking incidents reported as of Aug. 30, 73% have involved guns.
Time to decriminalize carjacking all the way.