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July 26, 2016

Does Hillary Clinton really have a "bold vision" for criminal justice reform, as claimed by former AG Holder?

I predicted in this prior post that we all would likely hear at least a bit more about criminal justice reform at the DNC this week than we heard at the RNC last week.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, former AG Eric Holder devoted his DNC speech to asserting Prez candidate Hillary Clinton would be committed to criminal justice reform, and these passages addressed some sentencing/prison issue (with my emphasis added):

At a time when our justice system is out of balance, when one in three black men will be incarcerated in their lifetimes, and when black defendants in the federal system receive sentences 20 percent longer than their white peers, we need a president who will end this policy of over-incarceration.  As Attorney General, I launched sweeping reforms of our federal criminal justice system and reduced its reliance on draconian mandatory minimum sentences. As a result, we cut the federal prison population and the crime rate — together — for the first time in more than 40 years.

That's right: despite the fiction and fearmongering you've heard from the other party's nominee, violent crime has gone down since President Obama took office.

As President, Hillary will go even further.  She fought, as a Senator, against sentencing disparities and racial profiling. She used her first major speech, as a candidate, to lay out a bold vision for criminal justice reform. As a presidential candidate she has talked about systemic racism in a way that no one else has. And she will help our nation summon the courage to confront racial injustice — and face down the legacies of our darkest past.

I recall blogging about Clinton's big criminal justice speech back in April 2015, and I do not remember that it included any dramatic statements about criminal justice reform, let alone a "bold vision." Then again, I suppose it is in some sense "bold" for a Clinton to talk about criminal justice reform at all, so maybe I am being too tough on Holder for his account of what Clinton has said about reform.

Prior related posts:

July 26, 2016 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

Comments

My problem with Hillary is that she has been so compromised and corrupted by her drive for power over the years that I trust nothing about what she says. I have actually read some of Hillary's early work, including her college level work and I can honestly say I wasn't that sharp at that age. If you told me that the Hillary I was voting for was the Hillary from 1969, I'd vote for her in a heartbeat. I don't believe that Hillary exists anymore. She just another politician making vague and empty phrases to get votes.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 26, 2016 10:22:54 PM

Daniel I agree 100%. She has the most experience, but is untrustworthy.

Trump is a big loose canon. Need a do over.

I think both would like to go back to pre booker days and throw away the key type approach.

Lets face it, only meaningful reductions in the federal system have been done by Begay and Scotus and Ussc in drugs -2. Im forgetting about the crack reductions, Congress did pass that one. Nobody, but nobody is going to vite for criminal reductions in an election yr. If a Willie Horton shows up they cant wiggle out of it gracefully.

Politics as usual. The boys and girls in Washington are going to have to face the music on our debt hangover and address social security soon. Its not going to be pretty.

Immigration etc. Illegals and benefits... Theres a lot of major work to be done.

Really dont have time or money for these worthless conventions that just rip other sie up.

When they temper this rubbish they will get mt respect somewhat.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Jul 27, 2016 1:54:00 AM

If someone doesn't trust Hillary Clinton, fine, vote for Gary Johnson. Not that I'm sure how uniquely compromised she is as compared to any number of politicians. They have to compromise and they aren't the same as their idealistic selves. In fact, that isn't how real life works. Politics is imperfect, especially as you rise the levels. If the choice is between her and Trump? One's mileage may vary, but think it's an easy call.

The fact a professor with expertise in sentencing law and policy uses adjectives differently than someone discussion a political candidate at a convention is not surprising. What is "bold" for the former is likely not the same as the latter.

The commentary linked noted Clinton "included plenty of heart-felt expressions of existing problems" so even that said she did strongly discuss the problems. The speech has a few policy ideas but the most important thing probably is passionate expression of the problems. One theme yesterday was how Clinton over her career has worked and got things done to address the things she cares about. If criminal justice reforms is something she puts out as a leading concern, past practice suggests a realistic chance that she will work toward some reforms. Of course, this would involve Congress.

I would like to know her position on pardons.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 27, 2016 11:07:45 AM

Daniel, Hillary failed the bar. She isn't even that bright.

Posted by: federalist | Jul 27, 2016 11:08:31 AM

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