Senator Tom Cotton was instrumental in rallying Republican Senators against the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act late last year when momentum seemed to augur its passage. Thanks in large measure to the efforts of Senator Jeff Session and Senator Cotton, the bill was stopped in its tracks.
Now Team Leniency for Drug Felons is trying again, with a revised version of the legislation. Relying on a lengthy analysis by Sen. Sessions, I discussed some of the flaws in the revised bill here.
Now, Sen. Cotton has issued this statement:
Instead of responding to the honest concerns of law-abiding Americans and law enforcement officers, this revised bill only raises more serious questions. Why does the bill still allow violent criminals out of prison early? Why does it introduce new leniency for international maritime drug smugglers? Why are juveniles rightly convicted as adults for murder and other heinous crimes still eligible for early release?
Instead of focusing on real consensus reforms that promote rehabilitation and reduce recidivism, this bill will instead expose American communities to thousands of drug traffickers and other violent felons. It is the victims of crime who will bear the costs of this dangerous experiment in criminal leniency and every community’s law enforcement officers who must deal with that cost daily.
I should also note that Senator Ted Cruz opposed last Fall’s incarnation of the leniency legislation and, I expect, will oppose revised version.
Donald Trump has been silent on this matter throughout the campaign season. However, Jeff Sessions is a key Trump adviser. Perhaps he can persuade his candidate to take a stand against releasing dangerous criminals from prison.
One might expect this issue to be a no-brainer for the tough talking tycoon. On the other hand, Trump’s poorly concealed liberal streak suggests that he might be sympathetic to Team Leniency.
That’s one of the problems with Trump. On most issues, not only do you not know where he stands, you can’t even intuit his position.