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Criminal Justice

Our Values
Everyone should have equal access to the criminal justice system and be treated equally under the law.

All racial ethnic, and religious profiling must be banned and all federal, state and local enforcement agencies must take steps to eliminate the practice.

Current rates of incarceration are a national shame.  Restorative justice programs must be enacted over criminalization for non-violent crimes.    

The “war on drugs” must end and it must be replaced with policies aimed at reducing harm to users, to others, to state and local budgets, and to the community.

2014 Policy Priorities
Washington State Legislature: Decriminalize possession and use of personal quantities of psychoactive drugs, reserving criminal penalties for the illegal sale of controlled substances.

Washington State Legislature, United States Congress: Abolish the death penalty.

Washington State and other states: Close privately owned prisons and oppose the privatization of prisons overall.

Washington State Legislature: Repeal the three strikes law.

Washington State Legislature: Repeal mandatory minimum sentence laws.

Federal Government: Reverse Supreme Court decision that allows excessive strip searches.

Federal Government, Washington State: Eliminate racial profiling by government or law enforcement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Eliminate intervention in our local court system.

Federal Government, Washington State, Whatcom County Sheriff, city police forces: Base asset seizures on court conviction rather than mere arrest or presumption of guilt.

Washington State Legislature: Provide adequate funding for indigent defendants in criminal cases.

FBI, State Police, Whatcom County Sheriff, city police forces: Assure accountability in law enforcement through independent review, including meaningful citizen participation.

Whatcom County Sheriff, city police forces: Increase training of all law enforcement on how to recognize and manage events involving veterans and others who have seizures and mental-health events.

U.S. Congress: We support moving military sexual assault prosecution out of the chain of command to an independent prosecuting body.

Washington State Legislature: End discrimination against women in indecent exposure law. Specify that women may be topless when and where men are allowed to be topless.

Whatcom County and cities: Designate clothing-optional public beaches.

City of Bellingham: Permitted events with prearranged times and routes that involve non-lewd nudity should not be interfered with by police just because an individual phones in a complaint. Seattle no longer arrests participants in the annual World Naked Bike Ride; Bellingham should do likewise.