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July 24, 2016
Covering VP candidate Tim Kaine's history on crime and punishment issues (especially the death penalty)
The folks at FAMM now have this very helpful and timely webpage reviewing some recent and prior statements by Tim Kaine, the former Viginia Gov and current US Senator whom Hillary Clinton has now picked as her running mate. That page also provides this interesting accounting of "Kaine’s record on criminal justice issues"
- 1999: As Mayor of Richmond, Kaine was a supporter of Project Exile, a program launched in Virginia’s capital city as a response to rising crime rates that moved gun offenses involving drugs and convicted felons out of state courts and into the federal system, where gun offenders would face mandatory minimum sentences. Kaine claimed the program was restoring hope to the city, telling the New York Times, “In Richmond, there has been an intense need for people to become believers in their own community. High crime has been our psychological downer. But Project Exile is driving the crime rate down, and that is starting to make Richmonders believers again.”
- 2005: During his gubernatorial campaign, Kaine’s website highlighted the role of Project Exile in making Virginia’s capital safer: “Richmond’s success in reducing violent crime was built in part on Project Exile. Project Exile is based on a strong working relationship among federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to maximize the punishment of criminals who commit crimes with guns.”
- 2007: As Governor, Kaine blocked death penalty expansion bills that would allow capital charges to be brought against accomplices and those indirectly involved in first degree murders.
- 2012: During his senatorial campaign, Kaine said he would “continue Senator Jim Webb’s effort to focus attention on the overuse of incarceration in this nation, especially as applied to African-American males.”
- 2014: Senator Kaine supported the Smarter Sentencing Act, saying it “would reduce mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders and give judges greater authority to determine the right sentence for the crime – saving billions in taxpayer dollars and putting faith back into our criminal justice system.”
- 2015: Senator Kaine supported the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, the most recent major bipartisan attempt at criminal justice reform. He said the country has “an embarrassingly high number of people in prison compared to other countries” and that he believed reform could “reduce the costs of incarceration and promote fairness within our criminal justice system without compromising public safety.”
In addition, a number of mainstream and new media sources have now run a number of articles about Kaine's criminal justice history (most of which, notably, are focused on the death penalty). Here are headlines and links:
From BuzzFeed News here, "Tim Kaine Has A Long, Complicated History With The Death Penalty"
From the Huffington Post here, "As Governor, Tim Kaine Stepped In To Halt The Execution Of A Mentally Incompetent Man"
From the New York Times here, "On Death Penalty Cases, Tim Kaine Revealed Inner Conflict"
From Reuters here, "Kaine's crime-busting past may hurt Clinton's outreach to blacks"
July 24, 2016 at 05:05 PM | Permalink
A good man and the next Vice President of the United States!!
Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Jul 24, 2016 11:03:30 PM
Mr. Levine, I agree: a very good man indeed.
Posted by: anon12 | Jul 25, 2016 9:28:55 AM
2012: During his senatorial campaign, Kaine said he would “continue Senator Jim Webb’s effort to focus attention on the overuse of incarceration in this nation, especially as applied to African-American males.”
Typical 'rat. Instead of acknowledging that the rate of criminality varies from community to community, Kaine impugns the justice system as a whole.
Perhaps someone ought to look at DC--politically, African-Americans control the political levers in that town, and it's a pretty lenient jurisdiction--why are DC jails full of young black males? Is DC over-incarcerating? If so, racial bias really isn't to blame.
Posted by: federalist | Jul 25, 2016 9:48:19 AM
Federalist complains that "Kaine impugns the justice system as a whole. "
So do many others. Ask Michael Morton in Texas what he thinks.
Posted by: anon13 | Jul 25, 2016 10:44:31 AM
"So do many others. Ask Michael Morton in Texas what he thinks."
Yep, argue with anecdotes to discuss the American criminal justice system, which has thousands of individual jurisdictions located in a country with over 300 million people. Any discussion of the effect of race on the criminal justice system has to acknowledge the difference between rates of serious criminality among different demographic groups.
You people can't defend (on an intellectual level) your 'rat leaders, so you resort to snark. It's pathetic and weak.
Posted by: federalist | Jul 25, 2016 11:53:08 AM
Believe it or not Webster's Third International Dictionary (2016) defines a "rat" as "any person with whom Federalist disagrees."
Posted by: anon14 | Jul 25, 2016 12:15:59 PM
Awwwww, how cute. Anon can't defend Kaine's pandering, so he resorts to pathetic and weak ad hominem argumentation. (N.B. I use ad hominem, not ad hominem argument--my ad hominem generally is associated with argument that supports my point of view.)
The bottom line, Kaine's smear of the justice system is ugly pandering, and no one with any sense of morality would be associated with it.
Posted by: federalist | Jul 25, 2016 2:23:08 PM
Federalist writes: "The bottom line, Kaine's smear of the justice system is ugly pandering, and no one with any sense of morality would be associated with it." Right, and Federalist thinks that Donald Trump's mockery of the disabled is not so bad. Federalist, who are you voting for?
Posted by: anon14 | Jul 25, 2016 2:31:25 PM
Once again, failure to address the issue with a tu quoque argument to boot. Gotta love it. Donald Trump is a disgusting human being--no doubt about that--but an insensitive comment is hardly disqualifying, nor is it indicative of policy preferences or actions of Trump. Kaine's comments are indefensible. You don't even try. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Posted by: federalist | Jul 25, 2016 3:11:19 PM
Federalist says Kaine's comments are "indefensible." Federalist quarrels with Kaine's statement that he would “continue Senator Jim Webb’s effort to focus attention on the overuse of incarceration in this nation, especially as applied to African-American males.”
I think that Kaine's statement is very defensible because it is absolutely true: there is a bias against African-American males at every stage of the criminal justice system.
Posted by: Emily | Jul 25, 2016 4:13:45 PM
Emily--where's your evidence? Clearly, the rate of criminal behavior is a huge driver of the disparity with respect to who is incarcerated. And you have many jurisdictions in which minorities have tons of political power (e.g., Chicago), and you see the same disparities in criminal behavior. Is that a biased justice system?
Why can't we just admit these things? Why so much pandering in favor of criminals? I've lived in areas with tons of crime and areas where, thankfully, there is very little. Sans crime, everyday life is just so nice. So why do we want to be nice to those who rob ordinary people with the ability to live without fear?
But what I do find very interesting--Olu Stevens hooks up two African-American home invaders who stuck a gun in a white family's face--gives them probation, and then excoriates the white family for accurately reporting the effect on their three year old. That was naked and raw racism. And you clowns have nothing to say about that.
Posted by: federalist | Jul 25, 2016 4:36:55 PM
Federalist, calling folks "clowns" does not invite a reasoned response; it just shuts off dialogue. You engage in debate just like Trump, but insults are not arguments.
Posted by: Emily | Jul 25, 2016 6:34:16 PM
Emily, I see you prove my point. You present a liberal shibboleth and present it as argument (translation, a polite "Shut up, she explained.) and then whine when I choose to "shut down debate" more directly. Presenting a shibboleth as argument is just as insulting as calling you a clown--the only difference, you deserve the appellation.
You clowns can't debate.
Posted by: federalist | Jul 25, 2016 8:02:20 PM
looks like you guys have abandoned the field---if I am so dumb, why can't you guys beat me?
Posted by: federalist | Jul 26, 2016 9:07:10 AM
Federalist, we choose not to engage because you've been naughty. As Emily said, "calling folks 'clowns' does not invite a reasoned response; it just shuts off dialogue."
Posted by: anon | Jul 26, 2016 5:40:44 PM
Whatev, anon, you bozos can't argue when I am nice as pie.
Posted by: federalist | Jul 27, 2016 10:39:04 AM