Day 72 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
Hillary is looking to undo the damage done by Bill’s Crime Bill.
And she has turned the conversation about criminal justice reform on its head: she has not declared herself the “law and order” candidate as virtually every presidential candidate has for decades and instead is focusing on reducing minimum sentencing laws and looking clear-eyed at systemic bias.
In addition, she made criminal justice reform the first major policy speech after formally announcing her campaign last year. In the speech, Clinton said, “We have to come to some hard truths about race and justice in America.”
Her proposals include:
• Cutting in half mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses that now carry minimum penalties of five to 20 years. The change could be applied retroactively after a court weighs public safety factors. This idea has support on Capitol Hill as well, where bipartisan legislation is pending that aims to reduce the financial and social toll, particularly in the black community, of locking up so many Americans.
• Acknowledge that implicit bias still exists —even in the best police departments — and tackle it. Hillary will commit $1 billion in her first budget to find and fund the training programs, support new research, and make this a priority.
• Provide federal matching funds to make body cameras available to every police department in America.
• Eliminate the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine so that equal amounts of crack and powder cocaine carry equal sentences, and apply this change retroactively.
• Reform the “strike” system, so that nonviolent drug offenses no longer count as a “strike,” reducing the mandatory penalty for second- and third-strike offenses.
She’s taken a lot of heat for Bill’s crime bill and her support of it. I applaud her for being willing to do an about-face on this in light of its deep flaws.