January 30, 2017
Is VP Pence going to be a key player for possible federal sentencing reform?
The question in the title of this post is prompted by this interesting new Daily Caller article headlined "Want Drug-Sentencing Reform? Look To Mike Pence, Congressman Says. Here are the details:
Criminal-sentencing reform proponents in Congress are “hopeful” that Vice President Mike Pence will be an ally, helping them to work with the new law-and-order administration to pass legislation to cut mandatory minimum sentencing for drug-law offenders. “I’ve got reason to be hopeful,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told reporters at a morning session of the Seminar Network, a large group of wealthy libertarian and conservative donors gathered in Palm Springs by Charles and David Koch....
Speaking to reporters alongside Sen. Mike Lee, also of Utah, Chaffetz said, “Gov. Pence, having been a governor, he understands this. In the end, he’s done some wise things. And I also think you will see concerted support from conservative governors who will buoy up any support in the White House.”
“If you’re going to be tough on crime, you better be smart about it. And there are hardened criminals who do need to spend the rest of their lives in prison.” But, he added, we need to fix the problem of repeat offenders spending years in prison for drug crimes.
Doug Deason, a Seminar Network donor with an interest in sentencing reform, highlighted the White House’s new legislative director, Marc Short, as another reason to be hopeful. Before joining the administration, Short was a longtime adviser to Pence and a lead deputy in the libertarian Koch network. “He cares passionately about criminal justice reform,” Deason said. Deason, a Texas businessman who is president of Deason Capital Services, was less enthusiastic about Sessions, telling reporters, “I’m glad they got him out of the Senate, they got him out of the way!”
Chaffetz defended Sessions, however, pointing to the Fairness in Sentencing Act the Alabama senator shepherded through in 2010, reducing the difference between sentences for crack cocaine and powder cocaine. “I think last year we were caught up in presidential politics… and I think he’s in a different position now,” Chaffetz said....
“We were so close last time,” Lee, a member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, lamented to reporters at the seminar.
January 30, 2017 at 05:00 PM | Permalink
Don't bet on it....
Posted by: Pat | Jan 30, 2017 6:07:28 PM
Don't pay your bill to a non-violent drug offender. Try to sell product on the same corner as a non-violent drug offender.
Mike Pence is a lawyer, so I have no doubt he will be amenable to sentencing reform.
But, what if the reason for the drops in crime is the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders? No one knows the answer to that question because, to my knowledge, no one has asked them how many people they hurt to maintain their businesses. Such a survey would require absolute legal immunity from prosecution to get truthful answers.
Posted by: David Behar | Jan 30, 2017 6:30:04 PM