THEY ARE DOING TI AGAIN!So what’s the problem? There are two, in fact — and both are serious threats to the bill’s chances of passage.The sentencing reform legislation is not perfect, but it represents remarkable progress in what is often a harsh, oversimplified debate about crime and punishment in America. It should not be weakened, either by narrowing its reach or by sneaking in an unrelated mens rea provision.
First, some congressional Republicans now say they will approve the bill only if it includes an across-the-board change in federal law that would make corporations and their executives harder to prosecute for environmental or financial crimes by imposing a new intent, or “mens rea,” standard on these crimes. The other obstacle to the reform bill’s passage is old-fashioned scaremongering about the release of “violent criminals” into the streets.