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Sentencing Reform, Meet Reality

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The "sentencing reform" movement is mis-named.  It's actually a movement for widespread reduction of sentences for felons, and aims to achieve this objective in significant measure through one particular mechanism  --  scaling back or eliminating mandatory minimums.

The reform movement has some adherents among Republicans (principally libertarians and some evangelicals, who regularly get trotted out as a supposedly "bi-partisan" front), but is overwhelmingly an idea supported by liberal Democrats, e.g., Pat Leahy, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, and Sally Yates.

Of late, however, one of the most reliably liberal and Democratic cities in the country has discovered the virtue of mandatory minimum sentencing.  Baltimore is plagued by rampant murder (perhaps the Freddie Gray rioters were given too much "space to destroy"), so Baltimore's leaders, who are almost all African American, have decided to seek mandatory minimum sentencing for gun-wielding hoodlums:

Baltimore leaders on Friday proposed changing city law to require a mandatory one-year sentence for illegal gun possession in much of the city -- within 100 yards of a school, park, church, public building or other public place of assembly.

The bill would prevent any part of the one-year sentence from being suspended, and preclude those with such convictions from receiving parole.

Mayor Catherine Pugh said she'd like to do more to restrict guns, but "this is what we can do locally" without changing state law.

Pugh acknowledged that there is a church or a school "on nearly every corner" in the city, and said "as it relates to this legislation, that's a good thing."

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis praised the bill as a much-needed change to help the city address its soaring violence. Baltimore is on pace to surpass 300 homicides for the third year in a row. Before 2015, that mark hadn't been reached since the 1990s.

Liberal academics almost all fall in line with The Received Wisdom of sentencing "reform."  Then again, liberal academics don't have to live in crime racked neighborhoods  --  a fate foisted off on Lesser People.

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