Ronald Simpson-Bey testifies on Second Look Legislation before Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee

March 22, 2024

Ronald Simpson-Bey — Leading with Conviction™ 2015 graduate and JustLeadershipUSA’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Partnerships — testified on Tuesday at a public hearing on the Second Look Legislation (SLL) before the Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee.

SLL is not a “get out of jail free card,” as certain factions have framed it in their misinformation campaign. Simply put, SLL only allows incarcerated people the opportunity to “petition” the trial court to reexamine their case after they have served 10 years. Under the proposed bill, there are certain convictions that are ineligible for reconsideration. The whole process is a collaborative effort between the individual seeking resentencing, the trial court judge, the prosecutor, and the victim’s (or victims’) family. If this law would have been in place during Ronald’s incarceration, he would have been released 10 years earlier than he was, because the trial court judge had expressed interest in granting Ronald relief, but was barred from doing so, because he did not have the legal jurisdiction to do so.

Watch Ronald’s full remarks before the committee:

Ronald was also the M.C. for the pre-hearing rally that was held on the steps of the Michigan state capitol! The events were sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee-Michigan Criminal Justice Program, the Sentencing Project, and the Michigan Collaboration to End Mass Incarceration (MI-CEMI).

On Monday, Ronald also spoke on a panel at the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy on the same topic.

This type of advocacy and policy change is part of the mission of our JustUS Coordinating Council (JCC) across America. The JCC is a national roundtable of directly impacted people brought together to facilitate policy change that seeks to enhance quality of life for justice-impacted individuals and their communities in order to restore human dignity. We do this by dismantling the racist policies that uphold systemic oppression and marginalization that are rooted in racial inequalities. If you or your organization would like to participate in this national effort, join us in the JCC work.

Your donation to JLUSA empowers directly impacted people.

Thank you so much for supporting our mission here at JLUSA! Your donation helps to support our network of leaders working to dismantle oppressive systems and uplift people and families impacted by mass incarceration across the country.

All charitable donations made to JLUSA are fully tax deductible, as allowable by the IRS.