The House Judiciary Committee passed a criminal justice reform bill on Wednesday that would reduce certain mandatory minimum prison sentences to address overcrowding in the federal prison population.
In a voice vote, the committee moved Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) bill — the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 — to the full House for consideration.
The bill reduces mandatory minimum sentences for a second serious drug offense from 20 to 15 years and reduces mandatory sentences for a third drug trafficking offense or violent felony from life in prison to 25 years.
While the bill allows the reduced sentencing reforms to apply retroactively to offenders already serving time, Goodlatte said it does not do so blindly.
“The bill excludes from retroactivity any offender who has a prior conviction for a serious violent felony, for which the offender served 13 months or more in prison,” he said.