Gang crimes could become federal offenses.

Author:St. Gerard, Vanessa
Position::National News Briefs - Brief Article

House Republicans overwhelmingly passed a bill establishing various gang-related crimes as federal offenses and dictating minimum sentences from 10 years to life in prison, The Washington Post reported. The bill, approved 279-144, supersedes the federal sentencing guidelines with a schedule of penalties for gang crimes ranging from 10 to 30 years, with a sentence of life in prison or capital punishment for a gang crime that results in death.

"Mandatory minimums are our only option at this point to allow for the appropriate punishment of these gangs and violent criminals," said Rep. Eric Cantor, Va., the GOP's chief deputy whip. "We want to make sure that punishment is swift and sure and commensurate with the offense."

President Bush endorsed the bill shortly before the vote, with a White House statement declaring that increasing the penalties for...

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