Excerpted from “The GOP Argument Against Criminal Justice Reform Just Got Dismantled”
Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner who later served federal prison time, has completely dismantled conservative Republican arguments against a Senate bill that would reform the criminal justice system.
Kerik, an advocate for justice reform, fired off a letter to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Tuesday that takes issue with Cotton’s attack on reform legislation as a “criminal leniency bill” that would be “dangerous for America.”
“The theory that federal mandatory minimum prison sentences are necessary to keep our streets safe is simply false,” Kerik wrote to Cotton, who is leading the efforts of GOP conservatives to torpedo the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.
The Senate legislation, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) appeared to be gaining steam until Cotton launched his broadside against it. Cotton argues the significant drop in murder, robbery and other violent crime since the 1990s directly results from “higher mandatory minimums put in place in the 1980s coupled with vigilant policing strategies pioneered by Rudy Giuliani and other American mayors and law enforcement officials.”
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