In his article “Criminal justice reform in the states: Spotlight on legislatures,” Daniel Nichanian provides an overview of legislative changes related to the American criminal justice system, which have occurred at the state level in the past two years. It concerns the revision of the legal system from probation and parole conditions to the criminalization of protests. Apart from it, most of the laws adopted over the past six months, in connection with the events surrounding the death of George Floyd, are aimed at tightening the police regulations.
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
Specifically, in September 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills, one of which, AB 1950, tightens probation conditions, limiting it to two years for serious crimes and one year for misdemeanors (Nichanian, n.d.). The new provisions have the goal to strengthen crime control and prevent its reiteration since imprisonment can occur due to technical violations. In addition, the piece AB 1506 aims to combat crime involving the murder of unarmed people (Nichanian, n.d.). Particularly, it shifts responsibility for investigating such cases from the local attorney to the state general.
Apart from it, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law that made a felony to attend a protest during which injured people or damaged property. The Tennessee state government is also criminalizing protests; in particular, in August 2020, a piece was signed by Ron DeSantis, which toughens penalties for crimes related to protest activities (Nichanian, n.d.). In practice, most of these laws involve the unfair treatment of citizens.
The Missouri Senate has taken especially harsh anti-crime measures concerning convicting underage and restricting the availability of parole. It is worth noting that this law has many opponents who doubt its fairness. In particular, one of the counterarguments made by Senator Karla May is that the persecution of minors disproportionately targets black children (Nichanian, n.d.). Apart from it, Senator Jamila Nasheed, who is also an opponent of the bill, expressed the view that in this way, white democrats and republicans oppose blacks (Nichanian, n.d.). As a consequence, many politicians and observers oppose this law.
The Minnesota government has introduced a new law on police crime in response to recent events in the George Floyd case. In particular, it proposes new rules against the use of neck braces and chokeholds (Nichanian, n.d.). In addition, its provisions include the creation of a unit to investigate police killings and prevent police unions from vetoing an arbitrator (Nichanian, n.d.). However, democratic politicians say that the bill is much narrower than it should be, and it is not able to influence law enforcement agencies.
The governments of Colorado and Iowa have also responded to the events surrounding the assassinations of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests by creating laws aimed at crime control among the police. In particular, Colorado passed Bill 217, which deprives police officers of the right to claim immunity in civil lawsuits. It also gives power to the attorney general to prosecute police officers and establishes requirements for police departments to gather and disclose information on demographics and force use.
To summarize, the article provides provisions covering current corrections in the criminal justice system and crime control. In particular, the adopted laws concern the revision of the legal system probation and parole conditions, the murder of unarmed people, convicting underage, and protests’ criminalization. Apart from it, most of the laws passed during the last six months are related to the recent events of the death of George Floyd. Some pieces have been criticized, while there are also those that can help in crime control.
as little as 3 hours
Nichanian, D. (n.d.). Criminal justice reform in the states: Spotlight on legislatures. The Appeal. Web.