DC wants to lower sentences for carjackers and felons


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Two multi-ethnic police officers standing in front of patrol cars, behind police tape, wearing bulletproof vests and duty belts. The policewoman is a mature African-American woman in her 40s. Her partner is a mid adult man in his 30s. It is nighttime and the emergency lights on top of the vehicles are flashing. The focus is on the cordon tape in the foreground. kali9/Getty Images

DC wants to lower sentences for carjackers and felons

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Washington, D.C., wants to lower the maximum sentences for criminals and make life easier for criminals who illegally own guns.

The D.C. Council unanimously approved changes to the city’s criminal code, which would reduce maximum sentences for burglaries, carjackings, and robberies. It would also reduce penalties for illegal gun possession, including for carrying a pistol without a license and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.


One council member attempted to pass an amendment that would make the maximum sentence for illegal possession of a firearm a four-year prison term. That was rejected, and instead, the maximum sentence will be just two years.

It’s another criminal justice “reform” that will be worth remembering the next time a Democratic politician tries to lecture you about gun control.

Meanwhile, as of September, there were 330 reported carjackings in the city, up 23% compared to last year. D.C. residents risk having their car stolen simply by loading or unloading groceries. Carjackings have been rising in the city since 2019, and it isn’t just their cars that are at risk. Washington Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson was shot twice in an attempted carjacking in August, and a Pakistani immigrant was killed in 2021 when two carjackers flipped his vehicle.

The lower penalties for illegal possession also come as the city has failed to get its homicide issue under control. In 2021, the city hit 200 homicides in November, the most in the city since 2003. This year, the city hit 100 homicides in June, the fastest it had hit that mark since 2003. Homicides have increased every year in Washington, D.C., since 2017.

As you can guess, now is the perfect time to soften sentences for violent criminals. Or so the D.C. Council seems to believe.


Washington, D.C., hasn’t been a bastion of tough-on-crime policies. Turning prisons into revolving doors where violent armed felons and carjackers can get back onto the streets shortly after committing their crimes does nothing but incentivize them to be more aggressive and brazen. The D.C. Council is going to make residents even less safe in these dangerous times so they can pat themselves on the back as reformers, even as bodies continue to drop across the city.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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