Full Legislative History
Resolution Number: 2018-D004
Title: Call for Sentencing Reform to End Racial and Gender Discrimination
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That this 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC) urges Congress to enact comprehensive federal sentencing reform legislation which would reduce some mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, particularly those that have a discriminatory impact on minorities in penalties for crack and powder cocaine offences; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention of TEC calls upon State legislatures to repeal all existing laws or the portions of such laws that either allow for or mandate a sentence of life without parole (LWOP) for a nonviolent offense and/or offenses committed by children under 18 years of age that after their time has been served, that their record is expunged; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention of TEC urges Congress to initiate studies to examine racial and gender disparities in sentencing, including racial and gender disparities in prosecutors’ exercise of discretion in seeking sentencing enhancements under three-strikes, Section 851 federal drug enhancements, and other habitual offender laws and disparate racial and gender effects of drug policies such as mandatory minimum sentences and school zone drug enhancements; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention urges state and federal governments to adopt legislation whereby all arrests and/or convictions for non-violent summary or misdemeanor offenses committed more than ten years ago are automatically sealed from access by prospective employers, landlords, and all others except law enforcement, noting that the young and people of color are disproportionately affected by this form of discrimination.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Austin, 2018 (New York: General Convention, 2018), p. 673.