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Seeking to promote rational and humane criminal justice policies for America, NACDL advocates before all three branches of the federal government. Below, please find official letters and testimonies submitted to Congress on behalf of NACDL.
State-Level Letters & Testimony
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We urge you to vote “no” on S. 1080, the Cooper Davis Act. The bill purports to address the sale of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and “counterfeit substances” by coopting online services to report the alleged or suspected creation, manufacture, or distribution of these substances … Rather than meaningfully addressing the public health crisis caused by such substances, this bill would … undermin[e] the Fourth Amendment and the Stored Communications Act, likely with disproportionate effects on people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized communities.
We, the undersigned organizations, write in opposition to S. 686, the “Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act,” or the “RESTRICT Act.” The RESTRICT Act aims at information and communications (ICTs) technologies like TikTok that are considered a threat to the United States.
The 126 undersigned organizations representing a broad, diverse group of stakeholders write today to endorse the Reentry Act. This critical legislation would allow incarcerated individuals to receive medical services supported by Medicaid thirty days prior to the individual’s release.
The undersigned national, state, and local public health and criminal justice reform organizations write today to urge you to reject and vote NO on the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl (HALT) Act (H.R. 467). This bill permanently schedules fentanyl-related substances (FRS) on schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) based on a 2 flawed class definition, imposes mandatory minimums, and fails to provide an offramp for removing inert or harmless substances from the drug schedule.
We write to express our opposition to efforts to obstruct the District of Columbia’s Revised Criminal Code Act, including any resolution of disapproval or budget rider. The Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 (RCCA) is the product of 16 years of research, an expert commission, 51 public meetings, extensive public feedback, and robust negotiation. ... We urge you to oppose these attacks on the RCCA and vote against any resolution of disapproval.
We write to express our opposition to efforts to obstruct the District of Columbia’s Revised Criminal Code Act, including any resolution of disapproval or budget rider. The Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 (RCCA) is the product of 16 years of research, an expert commission, 51 public meetings, extensive public feedback, and robust negotiation. … We urge you to oppose these attacks on the RCCA and vote against any resolution of disapproval.
On behalf of NACDL, I urge you to pass the bipartisan Effective Assistance of Counsel in the Digital Era Act, H.R. 546/S. 3524, before the 117th Congress adjourns. The bill ensures that email communications between people in Federal Bureau of Prisons custody and their legal teams are protected with the same privilege as legal visits, letters, and phone calls. This legislation passed in the House with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 414-11 vote. The action by the House and bipartisan sponsorship for the Senate bill indicates a high level of support for this common-sense reform.
We write to express our continued opposition to S. 3951, the PROTECT Act of 2022. In addition to creating a new five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for possession of child pornography, the bill would make certain federal sentencing guidelines mandatory, reversing almost two decades of reform ushered in by United States v. Booker. The bill would resurrect the failed and disproportionately severe sentencing policies of the past, with no corresponding benefit to public safety. We urge you to oppose it.
We are writing to express our strong opposition to S. 3951, the PROTECT Act of 2022. In addition to creating a new 5-year federal mandatory minimum prison sentence for possession of child pornography, the bill would overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Booker and make certain federal sentencing guidelines mandatory. The bill would signal a return to failed policies of the past and threaten to undo all the progress you have made together to restore discretion and proportionality to federal sentencing.
Though well-intentioned, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a broad and vague statute and any efforts should be focused on narrowing and clarifying its nebulous rules. NACDL believes that existing Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement authority is sufficient to enforce the statute, as recent high-profile cases have shown, and that granting additional enforcement tools is neither warranted nor worth the risk of overreach.
Statement of Members of the Human Rights and Secruity Coalition before the Senate Judiciary Committee
Our coalition seeks to ensure that the United States’ national security policies abide by its human rights obligations. It does so by promoting transparency, accountability, and oversight in furtherance of our collective human security.
Coalition letter to the House Judiciary Committee regarding legislation to address the judicial discretion that allows for factoring into sentencing conduct acquitted by a jury, as proposed in Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2021 (H.R. 1621).
Coalition letter to members of the Senate regarding the federal sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses and the plan to eliminate them as addressed in the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act (S. 79/H.R. 1693, 2021).
Letter to Senate leadership regarding federal sentencing reform proposals that begin to address shortcomings and disparities. See the COVID-19 Safer Detention Act of 2021 (S. 312), the First Step Implementation Act of 2021 (S. 1014), the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2021 (S. 601), the EQUAL Act (S. 79), the Kenneth P. Thompson Begin Again Act (S. 2502), and the Driving for Opportunity Act (S. 998).
Coalition letter to Senate Judiciary leadership regarding pending legislation to properly apply sentencing law and further implement the FIRST STEP Act of 2018 and work toward eliminating disparities in an effort to protect vulnerable incarcerated people and promote relief opportunities.
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