By Charlotte Spencer
As of March this year, there are already several bills proposed in the area of crime, prison, and law enforcement. These bills cover a wide range of topics including hate crimes, the death penalty, solitary confinement, mental health, parenthood in prison, investigation of police bias, and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capital. Here are the ones, based on the number of co-sponsors, with the most support so far this year.
(Note, this does not include bills and resolutions to award honors and medals.)
H.R.1280 – George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021
The long title of this act is “To hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies.”
This bill has 199 co-sponsors so far and has passed the House.
H.R. 55 – Emmett Till Antilynching Act
This would define lynching as a hate crime and provide for up to life in prison plus fines for violation.
This bill has 160 co-sponsors so far.
H.R. 677 – JUSTICE Act
The official title of this bill is “To improve and reform policing practices, accountability and transparency.” Short titles as introduced for portions of this bill include:
“Breonna Taylor Notification Act of 2021”
“George Floyd and Walter Scott Notification Act”
“Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2021” and
“National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2021”
This bill has 126 co-sponsors so far.
H.R.350 – Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021
This would create an interagency task force to analyze and combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement agencies. It would also authorize domestic terrorism components within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor, analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism. It would also address the nexus between hate crimes and domestic terror.
This bill has 98 co-sponsors so far, including bipartisan support.
H.R. 97 – Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2021
This would abolish the death penalty under federal law, and strike death penalty language from all existing federal laws. It would require resentencing those who had been sentenced to death before its passage.
This bill has 76 co-sponsors so far.
H.R. 262 – Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act
This would prohibit imposing the death penalty for any violation of federal law. It would require resentencing those who had been sentenced to death before its passage.
This bill has 73 co-sponsors so far.
H.R. 994 – To prohibit the use of for-profit facilities and detention centers, and for other purposes.
Full text of this bill is not available yet. This would ban the use of for profit prisons and detention facilities at the Federal level.
This bill has 35 co-sponsors so far.
H.R. 948 – Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act of 2021
The long title of this bill is “To improve maternal health outcomes for incarcerated individuals, and for other purposes.”
This bill has 33 co-sponsors so far.
H.R. 276 – Congressional Oversight of Unjust Policing Act
This bill would establish a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capital. The commission would, among other things, investigate whether unconscious bias amongst leadership in law enforcement led to a miscalculation of the risk posed that day. It would also investigate if there were any ties between any members of the capital police and extremist groups.
This bill has 30 co-sponsors so far.
This article was last updated on March 10, 2021. For current cosponsor counts and bill status click here.
The writer is a lawyer and a coder, and a member of the Arizona bar.
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