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Virginia Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Reform Prison Sentencing

A Virginia lawmaker is trying to tackle the problem of overcrowding in prisons.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosharella/7659465944/
A Virginia lawmaker is trying to tackle the problem of overcrowding in prisons.

Virginia Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott introduced legislation to reform prison sentencing. In the past three decades, the number of federal prisoners has shot up 500 percent. About half of those inmates are locked up for drug charges. Congress mandates a minimum sentence that judges are obligated to follow, which Scott would like to change. He argues judges need more flexibility, which he says could save around $1 billion dollars.

"I think there's growing support to eliminate the mandatory minimums and allow judges to impose sentences that make sense, not those that are so absurd under the circumstances that they violate common sense," he says.

The legislation is cosponsored by Republican Raul Labrador of Idaho. A bipartisan group of senators are also trying to tackle sentencing reform in the upper chamber, but no votes have been scheduled on either proposal.

NPR

National Museum of African American History Opens Its Doors

More than 100 years after it was originally proposed, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening its doors in Washington, D.C.
NPR

While Everyone Was Partying At Woodstock, I Was Stuck At Schrafft's

The chain restaurant that catered to women helped redefine how Americans eat, according to a new book. For NPR's Lynn Neary, it also defined how she did and didn't fit with the counterculture.
NPR

Newspaper Endorsements Matter Most When They're Unexpected

The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton on Saturday, but an endorsement that came the day before from a smaller paper may matter more to its readers, for the simple fact that it was unexpected.
NPR

As Our Jobs Are Automated, Some Say We'll Need A Guaranteed Basic Income

How will the economy provide economic opportunities if employers need fewer workers in the future? A growing number of people in Silicon Valley are saying the only realistic answer is a basic income.

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