New state and county prosecutors are arguing that they need the power to request resentencing from judges to correct past injustices, end mass incarceration, give people second chances and divert money spent on incarceration to more effective crime prevention methods, reports Law360. In April, more than 60 current and former prosecutors signed a statement by the nonprofit network Fair and Just Prosecution urging their colleagues to review decades-long sentences in their jurisdictions and to no longer seek such sentences, except in cases where the convicted individual poses a serious safety risk.
Twenty-five states, including New York, Virginia, and Texas, are currently considering resentencing legislation. While these resentencing laws have the power to end harsh sentences and end mass incarceration, some advocates have criticized resentencing laws that only allow prosecutors to request resentencing, arguing that incarcerated people should also be allowed to petition courts for resentencing in their cases. Not all prosecutors are prioritizing resentencing even when they have the power to do so, leaving incarcerated people serving overly long sentences.