The Media’s Misguided Backlash Against Criminal Justice Reforms in D.C. and New York

By Adam H. Johnson, The Appeal | January 9, 2020

Former Stoneleigh Fellow Danielle Sered is highlighted in an article examining policy reform for violent crimes in Washington D.C. and New York.

The putatively liberal editorial board of the Washington Post decided its Christmas message to the country would not be one of mercy or sober policy, but a call for continued state-sanctioned cruelty driven by fear and misinformation. The board breathlessly warned the paper’s readers that “the D.C. Council is considering subjecting the city to additional needless risk by making many or most of the District’s most violent criminals eligible for release from prison while they are in their 30s—even if they were sentenced to decades behind bars.”

The editorial was a response to pending legislation in the D.C. Council that, if passed, would expand the pool of incarcerated people eligible for early release by increasing the cutoff age when their crime was allegedly committed to 25 from 18. To fear-monger against such a proposal, broadly supported by criminal justice reform advocates, the Post pointed to an emotionally charged case: “a predator with eight arrests and a robbery conviction during a four-year span,” who under this bill could be eligible for early release when he turns 36.

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