Ryan Now Blasts Ohio Senate Rival Vance on Law Enforcement, But Once Called Criminal Justice System ‘Racist’

Advertising from Democratic Ohio Senate candidate Tim Ryan, which alleges that his Republican opponent J.D. Vance has disparaged law-enforcement officers, prompted Vance this week to recall Ryan’s own severe criticisms of law enforcers.

A video ad that appears on the Ryan campaign’s YouTube channel features a monologue by Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier.

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Bipartisan Juvenile Justice Reforms Introduced in Pennsylvania

State Sens. Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) and Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) introduced legislation on Monday aiming to land fewer underage defendants in Pennsylvania’s adult criminal-justice system.

Responding to a report by the state’s Juvenile Justice Task Force, the two senators believe too many of Pennsylvania’s youth are tried as adults and too many are detained away from home for minor offenses.

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Connecticut Senate Republicans Bringing Up Anti-Crime Proposals

This week, Connecticut Senate Republicans are seeking consideration of proposals they made last autumn to mitigate the Constitution State’s crime problem.

On Wednesday, the CT General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee will convene virtually to consider GOP legislation to aid police recruitment, modernize law-enforcement data gathering and promote “explorer” programs to foster relationships between juveniles and law-enforcement officers.

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Commentary: Tennessee Republicans Will Work to Keep Communities and Schools Safe in 2022

School bus

Tennessee voters spoke loud and clear last November when they overwhelmingly elected Republicans to represent them at every level. I’m extremely proud that Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly have delivered on the promise to uphold conservative values, increase economic opportunities, improve public safety and strengthen education. We still have much work to do and we will continue to work to address these priorities during this upcoming legislative session. 

Our state budget is probably the most significant component of public policy our governor and General Assembly tackle each year. Unlike the federal government, Tennessee’s constitution requires us to balance our budget. The federal government’s debt has amassed to almost $30 trillion, something we should all be concerned about for future generations to come.

Our primary goal each year is always the same: to pass a balanced budget. From top to bottom, Tennessee’s $42.6 billion zero-debt budget is a spending plan that addresses the priorities and needs of all Tennesseans. 

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Pennsylvania State Reps. Miller and Harris Propose Softening Juvenile Justice Measures

Pennsylvania state Reps. Dan Miller (D-Mt. Lebanon) and Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) are preparing to introduce legislation that would mitigate several features of the commonwealth’s criminal-justice system for minors.

The two Democrats would limit juvenile probation to one year for misdemeanors and to 1.5 years for felonies, stop levying nearly any juvenile court fees or fines and raise the age at which children are subject to juvenile court to 13. Under their proposal, criminal prosecution would not be an option for anyone under the age of 10.

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Public Safety Remains High Concern Amid Tennessee Bail Reform Discussions

A suitcase of marijuana, drunk driving, car burglary, a high-speed chase, murder and prostitution were some of the issues discussed during more than nine hours of testimony this week in front of Tennessee’s Joint Senate Judiciary and House Criminal Justice Committee to Study Bail Reform.

Much of the early testimony centered on data and costs regarding how those accused of misdemeanors and felonies are handled in the pretrial process.

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Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief and Gubernatorial Hopeful Craig Appoints Team to Generate Anti-Crime Solutions

Former Detroit, Michigan Police Chief James Craig, a Republican who is exploring a run for governor, announced Monday the formation of his Law Enforcement Action Team (LEAT), an advisory panel to craft legislation to strengthen public safety.

The group is made up of lawmakers and law-enforcement officials, including two Democrats: Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham and Gladwin County Sheriff Mike Shea.

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Virginia Directs Nearly $136 Million for State and Local Criminal Justice Programs

Arlington Police motorcycles

Virginia awarded $135.8 million worth of grants to support state and local criminal justice programs, primarily to support those who have been the victims of a crime, Gov. Ralph Northam announced late Thursday afternoon.

Nearly 63% of the funding, $85.5 million, will be used to provide services for victims. Many organizations receiving money provide direct services for traditionally underserved populations and for victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.

“Each of these grant recipients play an important role in keeping our communities safe and supporting victims and survivors of crime,” Northam said in a statement. “This funding will sustain the operations of a variety of critical programs and help expand the reach of services to underserved areas of the Commonwealth.”

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DFL Introduces Adult-Use Cannabis Bill Opposed by Senate Leader

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, has introduced adult-use cannabis legislation that a Senate Republican leader opposes.

The bill is derived from conversations in 15 communities statewide.

“The tide is shifting,” Winkler said in a press conference about the 15 states that’ve legalized marijuana so far.

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Fairfax, Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano Says His Office Will Not Seek Cash Bail

  Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano (D) announced Monday that he would not be seeking cash bail for non-violent offenders, formalizing a policy he and his prosecutors have been practicing since Descano took office in January 2020. “I’ve long said that the laws on the books should match the values…

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Virginia Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Jury Trials With Judge Sentencing

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation Friday that allows those accused of a crime to receive a jury trial and a judge’s sentence, which proponents believe will reduce sentence lengths.

Under current law, a defendant must opt for a jury sentence if he or she requests a jury trial, which can often result in longer sentences than guidance normally would suggest. The law allows a judge to reduce the sentence, but this happens in only about 8.1% of cases.

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Kamala Harris Had Nearly 2,000 People Locked up on Marijuana Charges: Report

Sen. Kamala Harris, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, reportedly prosecuted nearly 2,000 people on marijuana-related charges during her time as California attorney general.

A total of 1,974 people were sent to state prisons for marijuana-related offenses during Harris’s 2011-2016 tenure as the Golden State’s lead prosecutor, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

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New York City Has 39,200 Criminal Cases Backlogged Amid COVID Outbreak

The New York City legal system has more than 39,000 pending criminal cases after trials were postponed in February, the city confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Trials by jury were postponed, prosecutions decreased as officials aimed to decrease the incarcerated population and various hearings were held virtually, The New York Times reported.

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Report: Ohio Prison Population Still Growing Despite Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform

Despite bipartisan calls for a reduction in the prison population and a slew of laws aimed at doing just that, a new report released this week has found that the prison population of Ohio has continued to climb over the past decade. Since 2011, the state has passed several new…

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Buckeye Institute Legal Fellow to Lead Ohio Task Force to Fix ‘Broken’ Prison Bail System

Friday, the Buckeye Institute announced that Daniel J. Dew, a legal fellow with the institute, would lead an Ohio Supreme Court Task Force, focused on reforming the bail system throughout Ohio. Dew has done some of the most extensive research and analysis on the state’s current bail system and his findings are…

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Outgoing MN Rep. Jason Lewis’ Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Signed Into Law

Rep. Jason Lewis’ (R-MN-02) Juvenile Justice Reform Act (JJRA) was signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump as part of Congress’ sweeping criminal justice reform measures. According to Lewis, the JJRA hadn’t been “reauthorized or modernized since 2002.” Lewis’ reforms respond to the need for alternatives to detaining juveniles…

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Ohio Sheriff Under Investigation for Stealing Drug Arrest Money

A Pike County Sheriff has been accused of stealing thousands of dollars, seized in various drug arrests throughout the county, and using the funds to fuel his “compulsive” gambling problem. The investigation, currently underway, stems from an anonymous complaint filed against Sheriff Charles Reader on November 9. The complaint (copied…

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Trump’s Use of Pardon Power Aims at Rectifying Injustice

by John-Michael Seibler   Since taking office, President Donald Trump has granted pardons and sentence commutations for a number of individuals who he thinks received an unjust federal prison sentence or were unjustly prosecuted and convicted of a federal crime. In some cases—particularly in granting the early-20th century black boxing champion…

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