“If we catch a drug dealer – death penalty.” – President Donald J. Trump, 2018
“Lock the S.O.B.s up.” – Former Senator Joe Biden, 1994
As protests and calls for police reforms continue in response to police shootings of unarmed suspects, both the Republican and Democratic parties seem to be on the same page: How do we maintain the status quo and strengthen the police state while pacifying the population. But even with these views in mind, the question of how each candidate, if elected, would deal with criminal justice reform needs to be examined. Since 1992 PLN has compared presidential candidates track records on criminal justice issues and the consistent result is two empty bottles with different labels. One reason the U.S. has a mass incarceration problem and an overwhelming police state is the bipartisan consensus in creating and sustaining it. This election is no different.
The problem starts for each candidate at different points in time, in different eras, and with divergent factors contributing to their positions. While it would be nice to say that one party is better for criminal justice reform, this isn’t possible. The only difference is asking whether ...