Hope for last-minute sentencing reform in the 2016 congressional session crumbled in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump and was thought dead in 2017. But in October 2017, a bipartisan group of senators—including Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL)—reintroduced the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which seeks to scale back mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses.C. J. Ciaramella, “The Senate Will Try Again on Sentencing Reform this Year,” Reason, October 4, 2017; and Jordain Carney, “Senators to Reintroduce Bipartisan Criminal Justice Bill,” The Hill, September 19, 2017.
The bill proposes significant reductions to “the enhanced mandatory minimum prison terms imposed on certain nonviolent defendants convicted of high-level repeat drug offenses” and “limits the prior convictions which trigger the enhanced mandatory minimum prison terms.”Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017, S. 1917, 115th Cong. (2017).
The bill also authorizes judges to retroactively apply these sentence reductions.Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017, S. 1917, 115th Cong. (2017).