Letters to the Editor

Sentencing laws

Kudos to Sen. Patty Murray for cosponsoring Senate Bill 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. Please write, email or call Sen. Maria Cantwell, urging her to do the same.

Finally, there is bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate to reform the criminal sentencing laws that have led to sky high incarceration rates in the U.S. Thanks to the ineffective “war on drugs,” mandatory minimum sentences have crowded prisons with nonviolent offenders who spend decades incarcerated.

So far, S. 2123 has 28 co-sponsors (15 Democrats and 13 Republicans), taking a stand to reduce mandatory prison term rules thereby returning to judges the responsibility to exercise judgment in the sentencing of such nonviolent offenders. This bill also addresses recidivism, by training prisoners and getting them into re-entry programs. This bill even has the backing of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a longtime hardliner on criminal justice policies.

Let’s hope this federal law passes and inspires reform at state and local levels.

Joanne Cowan, Bellingham