Michigan Senator Gary Peters (D) joined Roland Martin Thursday on NewsOne Now to discuss the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2015. Peters’ bill has already received bipartisan support from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and approximately twenty other legislators on Capitol Hill.
According to Peters.Senate.gov:
… the introduced the bipartisan National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2015, legislation that would create a National Criminal Justice Commission to review the criminal justice system from top to bottom and propose reforms to address the most pressing issues facing the nation’s criminal justice system.
Recent incidents, like the traffic stop of Floyd Dent in Inkster, MI, and civil unrest in areas like Baltimore, MD and Ferguson, MO have highlighted the need for a top-to-bottom evaluation of our criminal justice system. Peters introduced the legislation with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and John Cornyn (TX).
Sen. Peters told Martin that the National Criminal Justice Commission is “overdue.” He explained the last commission of its kind took place fifty years ago during Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency.
Peters said, “This commission will be made up of folks from the civil rights community, from the police community, from prosecuting — all coming together at the table to have a comprehensive approach. That’s why it has the support of groups like the NAACP.”
Peters also touted his bill as receiving support from “every police organization.”
“Now is definitely the time to have that very broad discussion, given what we’ve seen not just in Ferguson, but in Baltimore, Staten Island — The American public is ready for something.”
The Michigan Senator believes his bill will be brought to the Senate floor and voted on in the fall of 2015.
When asked if President Barack Obama should issue an executive order dealing with “Ban the Box.” Sen. Peters believes it is important, because, “What we find is that right now, when you’ve done something wrong — you pay your price — you go to prison, but when you come out — it turns out you have a lifetime sentence.”
He continued, “It’s not a sentence of one year, two years, three years. People will just not hire you.”
“The system is predicated that if you do wrong, you pay your price, but you get a second chance and if you don’t have a second chance, we have serious problems with the criminal justice system in this country. We’re seeing increasing numbers of young men who have no hope — when someone has no hope, that is a serious problem for that individual, but for society as a whole.”
Watch Roland Martin and Michigan Senator Gary Peters discuss his proposed bill in the video clip above.
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