Ed Gainey (D-Lincoln-Lemington)

Democratic state representatives Ed Gainey and Jake Wheatley Jr. both voted against restoring mandatory minimum sentences in Pennsylvania during a House vote session April 5 in Harrisburg.

But it wasn’t enough.

The Republican-majority PA House passed legislation to indeed restore mandatory minimum sentences in the state.

Republican house member Todd Stephens sponsored the bill, including restoring mandatory minimum sentences for a number of violent crimes and drug trafficking offenses.

The bill now goes to the Senate, which never acted on similar legislation passed by the House in lawmakers’ previous two-year session.

Gainey and Wheatley Jr. represent districts in African American neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Both individuals believe mandatory minimum sentences disproportionately affects African Americans.

Gainey spoke at Wednesday’s session. The video is below. Make comments about this issue on The New Pittsburgh Courier’s Facebook page,

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