United States

DC council overrides Mayor Bowser’s veto for the rewritten criminal code

Mayor Bowser vetoed a rewritten 450-page criminal code by the DC council. The 12-1 vote to override her veto was not anticipated. On January 17, 2023, The DC council voted to override Mayor Muriel Bowser’s veto of a sweeping overhaul of the city’s century-old criminal code.

Bowser is concerned about perception regarding public safety the most but the majority of city councils are concerned with modernizing the criminal system through this rewritten code which doesn’t take effect until October 2025. Recently, criminal activities have increased in the D. C. metro area, and Mayor Bowser is concerned that this revised criminal code would add another chaotic chapter and derail the purpose of the criminal system in the region.

The overhaul of the criminal code expresses the big three points which are: decreasing maximum penalties in some cases, eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for all offenses except first-degree murder, and expanding the right to a jury trial for people charged with misdemeanor offenses.

If this revised criminal code is approved by both houses of Congress, President Biden will decide it at the end. If Congress disagrees with the criminal code, they may issue a resolution to discourage signing by President Biden, who may or may not veto the resolution. If Congress agrees, it may also submit a resolution encouraging the President to sign the code into effect for Washington, D.C.

The democratic city council and mayor stand at odds with each other, due to how they feel about the criminal code written in the early 1900s.

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