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Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

Bill seeks to address violent crime law discrepancies

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A group of Republican lawmakers recently introduced legislation that seeks to clarify and strengthen violent crime laws focusing on offenses such as homicide, bank robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping.

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led 24 Republican colleagues in presenting the Combating Violent and Dangerous Crime Act, adding the measure resolves discrepancies created by conflicting court decisions while clarifying congressional intent regarding violent crimes of violence and its penalties.

“Crime is skyrocketing in communities across the country,” Grassley said. “Carjackings, homicides, attacks on law enforcement are all up. We have a duty to ensure that penalties for federal offenses serve as a deterrent and that any ambiguity from split court decisions is rectified so that perpetrators can be held accountable. This bill includes a number of small fixes that will go a long way in improving justice and preventing future crimes.”

Bill provisions, per lawmakers, include clarifying attempted bank robbery and conspiracy to commit bank robbery are punishable under the current bank robbery statute; eliminating a rule prohibiting violent crime perpetrators from being charged with murder if the victim dies sustained by that violent crime 366 days after the attack; rectifying conflicting circuit court decisions resulting in a higher burden to charge offenses like assaulting a police officer than Congress intended; and increasing statutory maximum penalties for carjacking while eliminating a duplicative intent requirement needed to charge a carjacking offense.