FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Zoe Ades, Communications Director
Councilmember Brooke Pinto issued the following statement on Mayor Bowser’s veto of the Revised Criminal Code Act:
“The Revised Criminal Code Act represents years of work by the Council, the Executive, the Attorney General, public safety and criminal justice experts and advocates, and other District stakeholders to modernize our criminal code. The culmination of this work is a revised criminal code that is more equitable and just and that will promote public safety by ensuring that the law is clear for prosecutors, defendants, and courts.
Accordingly, with my colleague Councilmember Allen, I am moving to override the Mayor’s veto of this legislation. Sustaining this veto would unravel years of careful and thoughtful work over disagreements with a small percentage of the bill. While I still have concerns regarding certain provisions in the RCCA, there are more tailored approaches to amending the legislation before it goes into effect in 2025 that do not threaten unraveling the 99% of the bill that has unanimous support.
Last fall, due to outstanding concerns with some pieces of the RCCA, I moved an amendment to increase the maximum allowable penalties for gun related offenses. With the scourge of gun violence in our city, I believe it is important that we provide judges with more discretion for these penalties. My amendment did not pass. As the new Chairwoman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, I intend to continue working to fully modernize our criminal code, which could include consideration of further amendments before the law is implemented in three years.
I plan to continue the Council’s partnership with our public safety sector leadership to address the rise in gun violence in the District. I will meet directly with the Mayor, District courts, criminal justice experts and advocates, and other stakeholders to discuss what more must be done to ensure that our criminal code acts in the best interest of public safety, including looking at penalties for gun-related offenses. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this critical work.”