An Illinois congressman is looking for ways to shorten prison sentences for federal inmates. U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Chicago) says some convicts are serving sentences that no longer provide value to society. “There are individuals languishing in federal prison who’ve gotten too old to do anybody any harm. There are individuals who need something called compassionate release,” he said.
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Compassionate release is when a longtime inmate is terminally ill and is released so he can die at home. Federal inmates now must serve 85 percent of their sentences, and mandatory minimums give judges and the Bureau of Prisons little latitude.
Davis says he is working of formulating a bill, and it appears that the U.S. Senate is serious about addressing the issue too, with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Bob Portman (R-Ohio) taking the lead.
Davis says inmates who behave well or who have rehabilitated themselves should get their sentences reduced in the name of humanity, redemption and second chances. He says this even should apply to ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving 14 years for political corruption.