March 08, 2023

Manchin Votes to Overturn Dangerous DC Crime Law

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on his vote to overturn the DC City Council’s recently passed law, the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022. The law would have made several dangerous changes to DC’s criminal code, including reducing the maximum sentence for armed burglary from 60 years to 8 years, reducing the mandatory minimum sentence for first-degree murder from 30 years to 24 years, and expanding the list of misdemeanor crimes that would be eligible for a jury trial, which could overwhelm the court system and quadruple waiting times. The joint resolution of disapproval passed the Senate 81-14.
“Today, I voted alongside many of my Senate colleagues—Democrats and Republicans—to repeal the absolutely crazy crime law passed by the DC City Council. Our nation’s leaders must be committed to making our communities safer, and it is clear these provisions would do exactly the opposite for DC. The effort to overturn this dangerous crime law has strong bipartisan support on the local and national level, and I was proud to vote to block this reckless rewrite of DC’s criminal code.”

The DC City Council passed the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 in November of 2022. In January of this year, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the law, resulting in a Council override of the veto. The House of Representatives passed an identical counterpart to the Senate joint resolution of disapproval on February 9, 2023 with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 250-173.