Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposes repealing the 1994 federal anticrime law, a historic though controversial measure tied closely to former Vice President Joe Biden, one of her closest competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination, The Daily Beast reports. It “needs to be changed, needs to be rolled back, needs to be repealed,” Warren said about the law. The law has been criticized for its tough-on-crime provisions, harsh sentencing guidelines, and encouragement of the war on drugs. Warren discussed the law in a question-and-answer session with Maurice Mitchell, the national director of the left-wing Working Families Party.
“I think the devastation from the ’94 crime bill has now been well-documented,” Warren said. “And there are huge parts of that that need to be swept away. It was just wrong. And it needs to be changed, needs to be rolled back, needs to be repealed. But that’s not enough. There is now a problem within our criminal justice system that runs from the front, what we declare to be illegal, through the system that is a justice system that treats blacks and whites, Latinx and whites differently through the system.” Warren’s comment did not specify if she would repeal the entire law or just major components of it. Her campaign did not comment on the record for this story. Biden has introduced a plan meant to reverse many of its main provisions. Some Democrats have called on their party to tone down their criticisms, noting that the bill also included money for community anticrime programs, an assault weapons ban (which has expired), and the Violence Against Women Act. Warren voted for the First Step Act, a bill signed by President Donald Trump that eased the 1994 law’s three-strikes rule.