Hatch speaks in support of criminal justice reform measures


Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke in support of three proposals intended to improve our criminal justice system.

Those proposals include: 

  • The Mens Rea Reform Act of 2018, Senator Hatch’s proposal to clarify criminal intent requirements in federal criminal law
  • The FIRST STEP Act, prison reform legislation sponsored by Senator John Cornyn intended to reduce recidivism rates and rehabilitate low-risk offenders. The legislation passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, 360-59
  • The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a comprehensive criminal justice reform package sponsored by Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to improve fairness in the criminal justice system

“I believe that in these three criminal justice proposals we have a real opportunity to improve our outdated, unfair criminal justice system,” said Hatch. “Mens rea reform has been a priority of mine for years because I believe our criminal code is simply too long, putting the American people in the terrible position to break laws they didn’t even know existed. And I have long believed that with targeted reforms to our prison system like those Senator Cornyn has proposed, we can reduce recidivism and give many low-risk offenders the opportunity to remake their lives. While I believe a comprehensive approach is the best way to ensure each of these key priorities are met, I am fully supportive of making incremental progress where we can.” 

For more information, about the legislation that’s been introduced this week, click here. To learn about the Senator’s past work with mens rea reform, click herehere, and here.