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November 10, 2016

Reading closely the main criminal justice elements of "Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter"

I just had a chance for the first time to review closely this two-page document entitled "Donald Trump's Contract with the American Voter." I did not read this document whenever it was released during the campaign, but now I see these notable promises in the criminal justice arena from page two of this document (with my emphasis added):

I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:...

End Illegal Immigration Act

Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country of Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a two-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a five-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

Restoring Community Safety Act

Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a task force on violent crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.

Because I generally think that mandatory minimum sentencing provisions often do more harm than good, I am troubled to see emphasis on such provisions in the first passage I have quoted. At the same time because I generally think out federal criminal justice system should be much more focused on violent crime and much less focused on nonviolent crime, I am actually a bit encouraged to see an particular emphasis on violent crime in the articulation of priorities in the second passage.

November 10, 2016 at 06:47 PM | Permalink


So Does anyone think he will be changing the laws on mandatory minimum sentencing?

Posted by: marie | Nov 10, 2016 8:35:55 PM

One thing we know without any doubt is that you should never, ever enter into a contract with Donald Trump.

Posted by: C.E. | Nov 11, 2016 10:17:01 PM

Immigration will probably go nowhere in the new Congress. Half of the Trump program would require additional expenditures that will not have enough support to pass -- e.g., additional personnel to process deportations -- more immigration judges, more lawyers assigned to immigration cases, more clerical staff, etc. The additional penalties on immigrants will be a closer call as I can see at least six Republican Senators who might not be willing to go along with these proposals.

Posted by: tmm | Nov 14, 2016 10:39:47 AM

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