Republicans in Congress are calling for more mandatory minimum sentences despite ongoing debate over whether to eliminate the practice, The Hill reports.
Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Michael McCaul are in the process of drafting a new border security bill that includes mandatory minimum sentences for immigrants who attempt to re-enter the U.S. after being deported and for people convicted of a violent crime against law enforcement and judges.
"Kate's law," named for Kathryn Steinle, who was killed in 2015 by a convicted felon who had been deported from the country previously. Under this law, any immigrant with one conviction for aggravated felony or two convictions for illegal entry would receive a mandatory 5-year sentence.
The Back the Blue Act seeks to protect law enforcement by imposing a 30-year mandatory sentence for killing, a 10-year sentence for assault with a 20-year minimum if a deadly or dangerous weapon is used, and a 10-year minimum for attempting to flee or attempting to kill law enforcement officials, including federally funded public safety officers and firefighters.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a directive to federal prosecutors ordering them to "pursue the most serious, readily provable offense" that "carry[s] the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimums."
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