« Timely (but incomplete) report on political debates as de facto moratorium on federal executions continues | Main | Ninth Circuit finds procedural error in teen's 30-month federal sentence for laser beam prank »

April 30, 2015

What does new Prez candidate Bernie Sanders have to say about criminal justice reform?

As reported in this new AP article, headlined "Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announces 2016 presidential run," Hillary Clinton now has some official competition for the Democratic nomination for president. But, as highlighted by the question in the title of this post, while Sanders "enters the race as a robust liberal alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton," it is entirely unclear what he thinks about various state and federal criminal justice reforms being discussed and debated nationwide. Here are excerpts from the AP article concerning Sanders' plans for his campaign:

[H]e pledged to do more than simply raise progressive issues or nudge the former secretary of state to the left in a campaign in which she is heavily favored. "People should not underestimate me," Sanders said. "I've run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country."...

Sanders said he would release "very specific proposals" to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, as well as offer tuition-free education at all public colleges and universities. He touched on his past opposition to free-trade agreements, his support for heavier regulations of Wall Street and the nation's banking industry, and his vote against the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a preview of his campaign.

In a quick review, I could not find any discussion of any sentencing issues on Sanders' Prez campaign site or Senator webpage, and I cannot recall any notable comments by him on any significant criminal justice reform issues. For that reason (and others), I continue to think that an array of GOP candidates more so than any Democratic candidates are most likely to push Candidate Clinton on criminal justice issues.

April 30, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What does new Prez candidate Bernie Sanders have to say about criminal justice reform?:


Yes, his mantra is basically economic inequality. This very well can have criminal justice implications (John Oliver's segment on fines shows this) but unfortunately really Sanders seems to have a somewhat tedious single minded focus. However, perhaps a presidential run will require him to express a more diverse range of views.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 30, 2015 3:00:30 PM

Just because its not listed on the website doesn't mean much, although he hasn't talked about it, it seems he less of a status quo candidate than Clinton.

Posted by: alex | May 2, 2015 6:25:31 AM

In partial defense he's not as well known with money and probably doesn't get as much media airtime and focus like Clintons. Let's just hope he's not another Nader who took votes from Gore, sure nader may have gotten GOP votes, but will hard core conservatives vote for nader, no.

Posted by: alex | May 2, 2015 6:26:50 AM

I think there is about zero chance Sanders will run in the general election.

Posted by: Joe | May 2, 2015 1:08:19 PM

* Voted YES on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons. (Jun 2000)

* Voted NO on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)

* Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance. (Mar 2007)

* Voted NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions Constitutional Amendment for equal rights by gender -- co-sponsored

* Rated 93% by the ACLU, indicating a pro-civil rights voting record.

* Rated 97% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance

* Recognize Juneteenth as historical end of slavery Check his record @ http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/bernie_sanders.htm

Posted by: DeNeice Kenehan JD | Jul 29, 2015 7:51:32 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB