Last week, the United States Congress came together to pass the bipartisan First Step Act – a criminal justice reform package that will ease some of the Fed's draconian "tough on crime" measures that unfairly targeted lower-income Americans and minorities.
In a rare moment of sanity, six out of our seven congressional representatives voted for the bill. The one holdout? Mr. Volunteer Walk.
Six of Oklahoma's seven members of Congress voted last week to reform the federal criminal justice system by easing mandatory minimum sentences and increasing the use of good-time credits, among other changes.
The First Step Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday, was approved by the Senate 87-12 and by the House 358-36. In the all-Republican Oklahoma delegation, only Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Westville voted against the legislation.
“Congressman Mullin was disappointed the Cotton-Kennedy amendment was not included in the bill,” said Amy Lawrence, the congressman's spokeswoman, referring to an amendment that would have excluded child sex criminals from the bill's benefits.
If we were to name an Oklahoma Imbecile of the Year, Markwayne Mullin would make a compelling case. Not only does he deny history, vote on the wrong side of history and have a historically imbecilic name like Markwayne, but he also makes Jim Inhofe look like a reasonable, understanding and practical man:
“This is not an early release bill, this is not letting people out, this is not the jailbreak bill,” said Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma City Republican, on Friday. “I've heard all kinds of rumors.”
“I'm a law-and-order kind of guy,” said Inhofe, R-Tulsa, “and one of the things I appreciated most about this bill is that it lets faith-based groups like Prison Fellowship operate more comprehensively in federal prisons to help reduce recidivism rates.”
“While there were more reforms I supported and wish had been adopted, this bill will provide a second chance for those who work for it,” Inhofe said.