The new bill being floated in Congress is dangerous and the Crime & Consequences Blog, noting Senator Tom Cotton’s speech reports.
Sen. Tom Cotton spoke on the Senate floor today to put the lie to the mass sentencing reduction bill supported by the Inside-the-Beltway Establishment. The bill’s backers include President Obama, Speaker Paul Ryan, Deputy Senate Majority Leader John Cornyn, Deputy Minority Leader Dick Durbin, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and prominent Republicans and Democrats such as Mike Lee and Corey Booker. If that is not The Establishment, there is no such thing as The Establishment.
Sen. Cotton doesn’t care. He is ready to spill the beans on sentencing “reform” no matter how powerful its supporters. He did so in his Senate speech today:
There is much debate about the wisdom of this bill. That is, like most bills we discuss in this chamber, a judgment call. But there cannot be debate over the facts of this bill. We have to be very clear on what this bill, by its own text, is designed to do.
Proponents of the bill often invoke four phrases to describe the felons to be released under the terms of the bill: “first-time,” “non-violent,” “low-level,” “drug possession” offenders. Yet none of those four descriptors is accurate.
Or, to be less polite than Sen. Cotton, the advocacy for this bill has been intentionally and repeatedly deceptive.
Sen. Cotton continued:
By its text, the bill will apply sentence reductions not to first-time offenders, but to repeat offenders-some many times over. These are felons who have made the conscious choice over and over again to commit crimes.
By its text, the bill will not just apply to so-called “non-violent offenders,” but to thousands of violent felons and armed career criminals who have used firearms in the course of their drug felonies or crimes of violence.
By its text, the bill will reduce sentences not for those convicted of simple possession, but for major drug traffickers, ones who deal in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of heroin or thousands of pounds of marijuana. And let’s be clear: drug trafficking is not “non-violent,” as the bill’s proponents often claim. It’s an industry that’s built on an entire edifice of violence, stretching from the narcoterrorists of South America to the drug-deal enforcers on our city streets. If you think dealing drugs on a street corner while armed with a gun is a “non-violent” offense, you probably live in a rich suburb or a gated community.
By its text, this bill will apply to felons convicted as juveniles of murder, rape, assault, or other crimes for which they were justly tried as adults.
By its text, this bill will apply to repeat felons whose past crimes include kidnapping, carjacking, armed robbery, and other violent crimes.
By its text, this bill will make eligible for early release into America’s communities thousands of drug traffickers and other violent felons. And when we catch such criminals going forward, we won’t be able to keep them locked up for the same sentences.