“The ‘First Step Act’ in its current form simply does not pass the test of contributing to public safety. If passed and signed by the President, federal prisoners will be eligible for early release, even though they have committed serious violent felony crimes.” -Grady Judd, Sheriff
Sheriff Judd sent a letter today to a group of United States Senators opposing the “First Step Act” in its current form. As President of the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSO), Sheriff Judd has been working with other law enforcement leaders to express their continued concerns about the legislation. Below are excerpts from the two letters.
Sheriff Judd will be in Tallahassee late today, Wednesday and Thursday attending the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission meeting. He will be available for comment by phone. Please forward any requests to Scott Wilder, Director of Communications, [email protected], 863-298-6299, 863-698-6174 or to Carrie Horstman, Public Information Officer, [email protected], 863-298-6217, 863-255-8448.
The following is the text version of Sheriff Judd’s letter today, December 11, 2018:
“December 11, 2018
Dear Senator /:
Please do not support the ‘First Step Act’ in its current form. It simply does not pass the test of contributing to public safety. If passed and signed by the President, federal prisoners will be eligible for early release, even though they have committed serious violent felony crimes.
Please see the below list provided to me by Senate staff that shows the kinds of crimes still eligible for early release. Those who support the proposed legislation say that the only convicted felons eligible for early release are low-level, non-violent, low risk prisoners. This list show that this is not the case.
Most of my colleagues and I support efforts to reform and rehabilitate those in the federal prison system. We support robust programs in prison that build skill sets and provide educational opportunities to prisoners so that when they are released, they have a better opportunity to become productive crime-free citizens. We support step down programs, half-way houses, and supervised probation as ways to successfully integrate felons back into a civilized society.
I support responsible reform, but I do not support the early release of criminals who have demonstrated violent criminal behavior.
Sincerely, Grady Judd, Sheriff, Polk County, Florida”
|Crime still eligible for early release||Statute|
|Committing rape as part of a war crime||18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(G)|
|Bank robbery by force or violence including assault with a dangerous weapon||18 U.S.C. § 2113(c)|
|Drive-by shootings||18 U.S.C. § 36|
|Assaulting a law enforcement officer||18 U.S.C. § 111(a)|
|Carjacking with intent to cause death or serious bodily harm||18 U.S.C. § 2119(1)|
|Assaulting a child or infant||18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(5)|
|Bank robbery by force or violence that puts the life of a person in jeopardy||18 U.S.C. § 2113(d)|
|Performing biological experiments for torture as part of a war crime||18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(c)|
|First time assault with intent to commit rape, unless have served time for certain other previous crimes||18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(2)(F)|
|Committing torture as part of a war crime||18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(a)|
|Assisting federal prisoners with jailbreak||18 U.S.C. § 752|
|Bank robbery involving assault or putting the life of a person in jeopardy with a dangerous weapon or device||18 U.S.C. § 2113(d)|
|Performing acts of violence on aircraft pilots or other individuals on aircrafts to endanger the safety of the aircraft||18 U.S.C. § 32(a)(6)|
|Committing mutilation or maiming as part of a war crime||18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(E)|
|Threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder a federal judge or law enforcement officer||18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(1)(b))|
|Drug-related robbery even if a person is killed or suffers significant bodily injury||18 U.S.C. § 2118(a)|
|Assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm||18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(3)|
|Trafficking crystal meth, unless also a “manager, leader, organizer, or supervisor” of the drug operation||18 U.S.C. § 841(b)|
|Racketeering, including violent crimes committed in aid of racketeering||18 U.S.C. § 1951|
|Bank robbery by force, violence, or intimidation||18 U.S.C. § 2113(a)|
|Genocide||18 U.S.C. § 1091|
|Prison guards or officers helping prisoners with jailbreak||18 U.S.C. § 755|
|Planting a bomb on or committing arson to a motor vehicle||18 U.S.C. § 33|
|Trafficking cocaine as a kingpin||18 U.S.C. § 841(b)|
|Trafficking heroin, unless also a “manager, leader, organizer, or supervisor” of the drug operation||18 U.S.C. § 841(b)|
|Assault resulting in serious bodily injury||18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(6)|
|Assault by striking, beating or wounding||18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(4)|
|Assault with intent to commit any felony except murder or aggravated sexual abuse||18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(2)|
|Conspiracy or attempt to engage in human trafficking, including trafficking of children||18 U.S.C. § 1594|
|Hate crimes||18 U.S.C. § 249|
|Conspiracy to assault, threaten, intimidate, or impede a federal officer or employee||18 U.S.C. § 372|
|Destruction of an aircraft, including with an explosive device or substance||18 U.S.C. § 32(a)(1)-(4)|
|Blackmail||18 U.S.C. § 873|
|Destruction of a gas pipeline (enviro-terrorism) unless there was “serious risk of death or serious bodily injury”||18 U.S.C § 60123(b)|
|Extortion||18 U.S.C. § 875|
|High-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint||18 U.S.C. § 758|
|Transporting or manufacturing a firearm or explosive device for use in a riot||18 U.S.C. § 231(B)|
The following is an excerpt from a letter sent to Senators McConnell, Schumer, Grassley, and Feinstein in November:
“The current draft of the First Step legislation remains troubling to the leaders of law enforcement. Sheriffs are elected solely to protect our communities, and Police Chiefs have taken an oath to protect the public. We feel unless the changes recommended below are enacted, this legislation creates a high-risk path for dangerous criminals with gun crime histories to early release from prison. This amounts to a social experiment with the safety of our communities and the lives of Sheriffs, deputies and police officers in the balance. Please know that we did not come to this conclusion lightly. We have been working diligently with the Administration to correct these inequities. It is our hope the Senate will listen to the nation’s elected Sheriffs and the Chiefs of Police of our nation’s most populous cities.” The letter made a number of specific recommendations. The letter was sent from Sheriff John Layton, President of the National Sheriffs’ Association; Sheriff Grady Judd, President of the Major County Sheriffs of America; Sheriff Greg Champagne, Past President and Chair, Legal Affairs Committee, NSA; Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Govt. Affairs, Major County Sheriffs of America, and Chief J. Thomas Manger, President, Major Cities Chiefs Association.