April 28, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to legislation being touted today that will result in thousands of federal prison inmates, including violent criminals, being released early:
“The Senate mass prison break bill clearly allows thousands of violent felons who committed assault to be eligible to leave jail early. It’s right there in the bill. Those who commit assault are only barred from leaving prison early if it was a ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, meaning sentences that carried a maximum of 10 years or more. Everybody who committed assault that carried a maximum of less than 10 years, including under state laws, remains eligible for early release.
“By definition, then, violent felons will still be eligible for early release, including Wendell Callahan, the suspect in the Columbus, Ohio brutal triple murder of a mother and her two young daughters, who was deemed eligible for early release for his drug release under the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act that was retroactively applied by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Callahan had committed felonious assault in Ohio in 1999, but because it only carried a maximum five-year minimum at the time, it is not a ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, and he still would have been eligible for early release under the new bill.
“This is not surprising. After all, the new bill is neither designed to revisit the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act nor the Commission’s retroactive application of it, it is only supposed to build upon it, letting additional classes of criminals go free beyond those already freed under the prior law. Otherwise then members might have to admit culpability for the acts of those already freed from prison early.
“No matter how many press releases and media events that John Cornyn does with his new best friend Van Jones, the unmistakable result of this ‘revised’ legislation is that more people will become victims of early released criminals, and anyone who votes for the bill will be directly responsible for all their pain and suffering.”
“Columbus, Ohio triple murder suspect would still go free under Senate sentencing reform bill,” By Robert Romano, April 20, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/04/columbus-ohio-triple-murder-suspect-still-go-free-senate-sentencing-reform-bill/
18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(2)(F)(ii)” the term “serious violent felony” means… any other offense punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years or more that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another or that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may be used in the course of committing the offense;” at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3559
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