Senators Try Again To Create Federal Criminal Justice Commission


Several U.S. senators are trying again to create a national commission to propose reforms in the criminal justice system, reports the Huffington Post. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2015 this week to create the first national commission on criminal justice since President Lyndon Johnson appointed one in 1965. The proposal was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where two Republicans already support it, Lindsey Graham (SC) and John Cornyn (TX).

The bill calls for 14 experts in law enforcement, civil liberties, victims rights and other areas to review the criminal justice system. The group would have 18 months to issue recommendations aimed at increasing public safety and improving relations between communities and law enforcement. “Whether we’re talking about Ferguson or Inkster (MI), Staten Island, North Charleston or what we’re seeing actually right now in Baltimore, it's clear that the relationship between law enforcement and our communities is strained, and it’s probably long overdue to have an overhaul of our criminal justice system,” Peters said. Establishing such a commission was recommended last month by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Former Sen. James Webb (D-VA) pushed for a similar panel in the last Congress but it was narrowly defeated in the Senate.

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