Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a trio of bills into law regarding the racial disparity between black and white individuals charged with crimes in the state. The three bills are A2370, A4373, and A4371. The bills are designed to address the glaring fact that New Jersey has the greatest disparity between black and white convictions than any other state in the country.
The new bills will do several things: first, they will establish a program that will allow inmates to be released from prison if they have a “grave medical condition.” Additionally, the bills make it so that when individuals commit crimes at a young age, this will have to be taken into consideration when sentencing the individual. Finally, the new bills will require a cost-savings study of compassionate release programs and the elimination of mandatory minimums.
Many people throughout the state of New Jersey believe that this is a huge step regarding criminal justice reform. Of the bills, Governor Phil Murphy stated, “Our administration has been committed to criminal justice reform since day one, and we have taken many steps to address the wide disparities present in our justice system.”
That being said, one of the most widely-criticized portions of the bill is that it does not eliminate mandatory minimums for certain crimes. Not only would this prevent certain individuals from being charged with crimes in the future, but it would also be enacted retroactively, thereby making more than 2,000 inmates eligible for parole. This is expected to be addressed in the future.
“We have made great progress on remaking our criminal justice system into one that reforms people instead of breaking them, but there is still much to be done,” said Governor Murphy in a statement. If you have any additional questions about this new law and how it may affect you, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney today. Our firm is here to help.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
When someone is charged with a crime, they have a lot to consider. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are here to help. No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need.