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June 6, 2008

Hoping for a presidential town hall on crime and punishment

I view John McCain's proposed weekly town hall debates as a fantastic idea, and one that ought to help ensure that some crime and punishment issues get discussed during the campaign.  Indeed, I am hoping that somehow one of the town halls will be focused specifically on crime and punishment issues (and perhaps include Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, who says he wants in).

In a number of prior posts (e.g., here and here), I have highlighted a variety of questions that should be presented to the candidates.  I am not sure how to make sure these question come up in a town hall setting, but here are a few more very simple ones that merit answers (and could be very revealing):

  • What is your view of the President's clemency power and how might you utilize this power during your administration?
  • What is your view of the death penalty and do you think the President has an important role in making sure state administration of this punishment is fair and effective?
  • What is your view of the record incarceration rate in the United States and do you think the President has an important role in doing something about mass incarceration?

Some related posts on Campaign 2008:

June 6, 2008 at 08:22 AM | Permalink

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Comments

It would be best if they never entered prison in the first place and if that can't be prevented we need to take steps to keep them from returning to prison. Very few juvenile offenders make it to prison but most prison inmates were juvenile offenders so we do have some success in diverting juvenile offenders. Is it possible to do better? My impression is that juvenile courts are considered to be a judicial backwater and I think that is a serious error. We need to be smart about juvenile crime.

There has been some progress in trying to reduce recidivism and I hope that continues.

Posted by: John Neff | Jun 6, 2008 8:40:14 AM

Your suggestion is a good one, but one that will be ignored.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 6, 2008 9:50:48 AM

Among other questions, these two gentlemen need to address immigration and drug laws. McCain being from Arizona should have some interesting things to add to the debate, but overall these candidates need to address how immigration will be handled by law enforcement and whether or not the United States will adopt a drug policy that focuses on rehabilitation rather than throwing someone in jail for smoking a joint.

Posted by: JT | Jun 6, 2008 12:01:26 PM

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