Originally written in 2015
The New York Times picked up on an issue confronting Joe Biden, if he does indeed make a bid for the Presidency—his previous unadulterated advocacy for, and eventual passage of, legislation that required massive numbers of federal offenders to be incarcerated under “minimum sentencing” provisions, laws that are now considered by most enlightened penologists to be draconian, useless and extremely expensive for the taxpayers. The Times notes:
[“As the ranking minority member of the committee since 1981, Mr. Biden had helped pass two bills establishing mandatory minimums for drug offenses. But as chairman, facing high violent crime rates, a crack cocaine epidemic, and accusations by Republicans that his party was soft on crime, Mr. Biden wanted holistic reform.
The effort, which defined much of his time as committee chairman, culminated in the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a sweeping, bipartisan bill that touched nearly every aspect of American law enforcement that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.”.
Hillary Clinton also shares responsibility for her unexamined and mechanical support for the measures signed into law by her husband even though she has lately attempted to redefine or minimize these positions. She is most apt to amend her thinking on such issues when speaking before civil liberty-minded folk in an effort to align herself with such progressive thinking—particularly as Bernie Sanders continues to grab the support of these voters.