Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden

Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenGeorge Floyd's death ramps up the pressure on Biden for a black VP Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Vogue's Anna Wintour urges Biden to pick woman of color for VP MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday released an extensive criminal justice reform plan that calls for repealing the 1994 crime law authored by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPresidents and 'presidents' Biden to blast Trump's church photo op in Philadelphia speech Rudy Giuliani calls on Cuomo to remove Bill de Blasio MORE, a fellow Democratic presidential candidate.

“That punitive 'tough on crime' approach was wrong, it was a mistake, and it needs to be repealed," Warren wrote in her proposal for overhauling the criminal justice system. "There are some sections of law, like those relating to domestic violence, that should be retained — but the bulk of the law must go."

While the plan doesn't mention Biden by name, Warren's plan focuses on policies that were included in the 1994 legislation.


Biden, who spearheaded the bipartisan bill’s passage while in the Senate, has been on the defensive as progressive Democrats criticize his role in crafting the law. Criminal justice reform advocates and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have blamed the legislation for contributing to mass incarceration in the U.S.

The bill allocated increased money for prison construction, made gang membership a crime and included a "three strikes" provision that imposed mandatory life sentences for a violent felony after two previous offenses.

Other provisions of the law have been more widely praised by progressives, including Warren, such as the Violence Against Women Act and an assault weapons ban, which later expired in 2004.

Warren's plan also addresses the so-called school-to-prison pipeline by calling for the decriminalization of truancy and increasing mental health personnel in schools.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris: Trump 'just tear-gassed peaceful protesters for a photo op' Harris, Jeffries question why Manafort, Cohen released while others remain in prison George Floyd's death ramps up the pressure on Biden for a black VP MORE (D-Calif.), another White House contender, has been scrutinized by progressives for her work as San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general, when she championed truancy laws that led to the arrests of some parents.

Warren also pledged in her proposal to rescind an executive order signed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE allowing school districts to participate in what's known as the 1033 program, which allows local law enforcement, including school police departments, access to surplus military hardware.

Warren said her plan would boost investment in “violence interruption” programs that intervene in communities to prevent homicide and gun violence through focused deterrence.

“These programs are cost-effective and have multiplier effects: transforming community climate, improving health outcomes, and boosting local economies,” Warren wrote, noting the success of such efforts in Chicago, Boston and Oakland, Calif.

“It is a false choice to suggest a tradeoff between safety and mass incarceration,” she wrote. “By spending our budgets not on imprisonment but on community services that lift people up, we’ll decarcerate and make our communities safer.”

The plan put forth by Warren follows the release of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive things to watch in Tuesday's primaries Nina Turner responds to Cornel West's remarks about George Floyd COVID-19 pandemic will shrink economy by trillion in next decade: CBO MORE’s (I-Vt.) criminal justice reform plan earlier this week. His proposal calls for an end to mandatory minimum sentences and halving the U.S. prison population.

Updated at 10:34 a.m.