Booker’s position on criminal justice is a crime against common sense – Washington Examiner

Cory Booker is attacking Joe Biden for that latter’s record on criminal justice, and Biden isn’t adequately defending that record. In truth, Biden should be bragging about it — and also correcting Booker’s falsehoods about it.

The worst falsehood was that Booker said people are serving life sentences for mere drug crimes because of the 1994 crime bill that Biden, as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, played a large role in passing. That is flatly false. Biden should challenge Booker to name a single person serving a life sentence in federal prison for a mere drug offense. Booker will be unable to do so. There isn’t one.

The automatic life sentences imposed in the 1994 crime bill — under the so called “Three Strikes and You’re Out (of society)” provision – specifically, and exclusively, applied for violent, repeat offenders. Nonviolent drug crimes did not trigger the Three Strikes provision. Not in law, and not in practice.

That’s just a fact.

Meanwhile, to the extent the 1994 bill reflected Biden’s work (it was actually the work of many, many hands), Biden should be boasting about it. The goal of the bill was to make U.S. streets safer. It did. Much, much safer. Between its grants for the hiring of more police officers and its tougher sentences, it kept bad guys off the streets. That’s what it was designed to do, and it worked. Just look at what happened to crime rates after it passed.

To repeat statistics I have cited before, rates of violent crime in the United States had risen from 158.1 per 100,000 people in 1961 to 758.2 per 100,000 in 1991 — an astonishing 379% increase in just three decades. After the federal crime bill, plus the adoption nationwide of smart policing practices embraced by, among others, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, violent crime rates began dropping precipitously. By 2011, the rate per 100,000 was down to 387.1 — in other words, nearly cut in half.

If Cory Booker wants to undo that legislation, he should not only be kept away from the Oval Office, but also kept away from any office of any responsibility at all.


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