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A D.C. Bill Would Allow Young Violent Offenders To Petition For Early Release

A D.C. Bill Would Allow Young Violent Offenders To Petition For Early Release

Date: September 11, 2019

Should individuals who committed violent crimes before they were 25 years old be eligible for early release after serving 15 years of their sentence?

That’s the question raised by a bill introduced into the D.C. Council earlier this year — and one that the the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., ANCs and activist groups are now weighing in on.

In 2016, the D.C. Council passed the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (IRAA), which gives people convicted of violent crimes before they were 18 years old a chance to petition a judge for a shorter sentence — if they had already served 15 years of their original sentence. The new bill, called the Second Look Amendment Act, would increase the age limit to 24.

The U.S. Attorney for D.C. held a public meeting last week with D.C. police officials, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and local civic associations to talk about the Second Look Act. Federal prosecutors laid out a case against the bill, bringing up incarceration statistics that were later shown to be inaccurate. Other concerns were raised: How would this new act impact survivors and the families of the victims of these violent crimes? Should the U.S. Attorney’s Office weigh in so heavily on a local bill?

Listen to a few perspectives about the Second Look Amendment Act on the Kojo Nnamdi Show here.


Denise Rucker Krepp, Advisory Neighborhood Commission, 6B10, Washington, D.C., @kdrkrepp

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Senior Research Analyst, The Sentencing Project; NazgolG

Troy Burner, Released from prison under Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act