After the recent launch of a district-wide program to ease off on criminal penalties, crime in Washington, DC has increased by 23% at the start of 2023 compared to 2022.
The Metropolitan Police Department reports that, in 2023, homicides have significantly increased (by 25%), along with vehicle theft (by 111%), theft from auto (by 21%), theft (16%), and arson (300 percent). Despite numerous attempts at gun restriction, crimes involving firearms have surged by 40% in the last five years.
According to the most recent city crime data, black men make up the majority of homicide victims (78 percent). Black women make up 15% of the population. White ladies make up almost none of the population, while white males make up only 4%.
The level of violence in the city has increased to the point where criminals now seem more brazen than ever.
Democratic Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) was attacked inside her apartment complex in Washington, DC, early one morning in February. Craig was hurt in the assault. The coffee she threw at the assailant, she later remarked, “truly saved the day.”
Despite the rampant crime, Washington, D.C. In order to lessen sanctions for offenses and provide jury trials in misdemeanor cases, the council approved the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022. The council of the District overrode the mayor's veto, therefore it seems the bill will be put into effect. A bill change has been submitted by newly reelected Mayor Muriel Bowser (D).
“Under the current code, for example, possession of a firearm by an unauthorized person who has been convicted of a violent crime is punishable with a three-year mandatory minimum and a maximum of 15 years,” said a Washington Post report.
It also added: “The proposed crime bill eliminates the mandatory minimum and sets the maximum sentence at four years. Fifteen-year sentences are rarely, if ever, handed down and mandatory minimums take needed discretion away from judges, but a four-year maximum represents a step back from current maximum sentencing practices, which average about six years.”
Many members of Congress are opposed to the District of Columbia lessening criminal penalties. Congress is able to prevent the District's statute from taking effect.
“These misguided efforts would allow crime to run rampant and disenfranchise American citizens in our nation’s capital,” Rep. James Comer (R-KY) noted about the new legislation D.C. hopes to enact.