Posted on January 19, 2023

D.C. Council Overrides Mayor’s Veto, Lightens Sentencing for Carjackings and Gun Crimes

Josh Christenson, Washington Free Beacon, January 17, 2023

The D.C. Council on Tuesday voted to override Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser’s veto of an update to the district’s criminal code which will reduce sentences for carjackings, robberies, and gun-related felonies in the nation’s capital.

The all-Democratic council voted 12-1 against Bowser, who vetoed what she called “a complete overhaul of our criminal code” that would make the district less safe. {snip}

In 2021, D.C. had its highest murder rate in more than 18 years, with 226 killings recorded. There has also been a rash of carjackings over the past five years {snip}

Even the liberal Washington Post editorial board warned that the revised code would make the city “more dangerous” {snip}

In a Jan. 4 letter announcing her veto, Bowser noted that convicted violent felons who go on to commit other crimes with guns face a maximum sentence of just 4 years, as opposed to the previous 15 years. Armed robbers no longer face sentence enhancements for felony gun possession. The mayor also urged the council to raise penalties that had been reduced for carjackers and burglars.

Councilmember Brooke Pinto (D.) opposed Bowser’s decision last week arguing the opposite: that the new code is safer as well as “more just, equitable, and clear.” {snip}