A criminal justice bill, nicknamed the Grassley Early Criminal Release Act, has the Senate Judiciary Committee working closely with the Obama Justice Department against conservatives on a key issue – mens rea reform.
Heritage defines mens rea reform as:
One of the greatest safeguards against overcriminalization—the misuse and overuse of criminal laws and penalties to address societal problems—is ensuring that there is an adequate mens rea requirement in criminal laws. Sentencing reform addresses how long people should serve once convicted, but mens rea reform addresses those who never should have been convicted in the first place: morally blameless people who unwittingly commit acts that turn out to be crimes and are prosecuted for those offenses rather than having the harms they caused addressed through the civil justice system.
Since we don’t have a Constitution, it’s particularly important.
People who didn’t even realize they violated a regulation that mandates jail time will end up in jail without it. A person can be convicted without proof that they knew that what they were doing was wrong. Senator Hatch said he questioned that a bill without it would be worth it.
Prosecutors in general have massive power to determine what the sentence will be through charging decisions and because of laws that have mandatory sentences. You don’t need a jury – the prosecutor – one person – is deciding not a jury of peers
If people really want criminal justice reform, then they need to take the power from prosecutors who could be operating from a political viewpoint and not just release drug dealers.
In this anti-Capitalist period, the administration wants to send white collar “criminals” to jail, even if they didn’t know they committed a crime against the enormously large regulatory state.
Obama’s Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates is quoted by National Public Radio as saying about mens rea reform:
[The bill] would end up meaning that some criminals would go free as a result, because we simply would not be able to meet that standard of proof. If this proposal were to pass, it would provide cover for top-level executives, which is not something we think would be in the best interest of the American people.
Mens rea is the mental state a person must be in while committing a crime for it to be intentional. It can refer to a general intent to break the law or a specific, premeditated plan to commit a particular offense.
It’s a safeguard against over-criminalization.
The bill gives early release to criminals who behaved, but Chairman Grassley, being fair I suppose, will give this opposition to mens rea reform a hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee level.
The GOP wants to compromise and run the Senate as if the other side was engaging in the same way.
This is the same committee that has been approving Obama’s leftist judicial nominees no matter how far left they are. Obama has filled up more than half of the federal judicial seats with left-wing statists.
The GOP is being hailed by the left-wing media as coming to a bipartisan compromise. While they are compromising, we are losing our country.
Look at who are making these determinations:
Grassley, Lee and Booker were joined by heavyweights from both sides of the aisle who cosponsored the bill, including Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas; Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Pat Leahy, D-Vt.