D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) has sponsored legislation overhauling the city’s criminal code, which he said is more than a century overdue.

Allen’s bill — the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022 — updates the city’s rules, regulations and practices regarding criminality. The criminal code hasn’t been substantively changed since the early part of the 20th century.

“Our criminal laws are a mess,” Allen said, WTOP reported. “We have overlapping charges with inconsistent or missing definitions and elements, and we have outdated technology. The punishments often don’t fit the crime. They’re unclear to everyone.”

Allen said judges often have to work out the system’s shortcomings themselves and that leads to results that are inconsistent, arbitrary, and subject to bias.

“That bias and inconsistency undermine the public’s trust,” he said.

Allen said the council will take up his legislation this week and that a final vote on the bill will take place in November, WTOP reported.

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James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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