Criminal Justice

Sentencing Reform in Senate Gets Weakened Over Conservative "Soft on Criminals" Fears


A criminal justice reform bill crawling through the Senate, which former supporter Ted Cruz has recently backed down on, is being further weakened over general fears of seeming too soft on criminals, as Politico reports this afternoon.

The bill as it previously stood would have lowered a mandatory minimum sentence for possessing a firearm after having three previous violent felony or serious drug offenses from 15 years to 10. But a "senior GOP aide" tells Politico that part is going to be cut after many complaints from conservatives.

The existing bill also allowed for sentence reductions in existing mandatory minimums for felons who are convicted of having a firearm while committing a violent or drug crime. It would also have helped people already in jail under such minimums to get out earlier.

Now, it seems, the bill will not allow those already in prison to take advantages of the reduction which would, Politico reports, "'substantively' lower the number of current prisoners who could be released early."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he isn't sure the bill will even come up to a vote this year, despite wide bipartisan support for both the initial proposal and, according to Politico's source, these changes that would limit its effectiveness.

NEXT: Florida Senator Tries to Limit Non-Driving-Related Reasons for State to Take Away Your Drivers License

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They’re hoping to head off a light sentence for Hillary.

  2. Gross. Stupidity and hypocrisy.

  3. We now know at least 2 ways to turn someone into a completely statist fuckstick.

    Have Children

    Run for POTUS

  4. Can’t let criminals out of prison early! Think of all the jobs that they will steal from non-criminals, not to mention the jobs lost in the prison industrial complex! Think of the jobs! Think of the economy! Think of the children!

    1. The USA imprisons more people than any other country on earth. Are Americans just naturally prone to being criminals, or do we have too many stupid laws? It has to be one or the other. And we’re called the land of the free. What a joke.

      1. Americans are crass, uncouth, uncultured, and awash with guns. It’s no wonder that they have so many people in prison.

        /smug European

  5. Fuck you, Cruz, I’m just sick of seeing your stupid face already. Just go away, traitor. I’ll actually laugh when you lose to Trump, as bad as that is, I’ll still laugh. Jerk.

    1. Cruz vs. Sanders is preferable to Trump vs. Hillary IMO, even though I’ll be staying home in either case.

      1. Sure, I’d rather my rapist use lube.

  6. I didn’t realize “tough on crime” was still such a powerful political force because I never hear the public clamour about “high crime rates” other than in the context of illegal immigration. At the very least, it doesn’t seem to be quite the pressure that it was in, say, the 1980s.

    1. The goal for the Republicans this election is not to depress turnout of their own voters. They have to serve enough red meat to keep “the base” showing up to the polls without alienating the vaunted “independents”.

    2. I never hear the public clamour about “high crime rates” other than in the context of illegal immigration

      I thought Reason has cited surveys showing many Americans believe we’re at “epidemic” levels of gun violence. So the Repubs try to look tough on crime in one way, while the Dems have their own approach (gun control “safety”).

      1. Talk about “low information”. Where have people been for the last 20 years?

        1. Well if the news people keep saying we have a gun violence epidemic enough times that makes it real, right?

    3. You don’t talk to many socons, do you? I swear they are all terrified of scary people who smoke dope and want them locked up forever, so their children can play safely outside again. And they all drink alcohol like it’s going out of style and completely fail to see the irony in their views.

      1. You Know Who Else said that liquor is worse than dope?

        1. Woody Harrelson?

      2. You don’t talk to many socons, do you?

        I guess not. Practically everyone I know lies along the prog spectrum – must be my locale. But even the conservative posts I see on Facebook never talk about a crime epidemic except in the context of “importing illegal aliens.”

  7. Wait, it seems that both sides are mixing up drug crimes and violent crimes.

    Why not lower sentences for drug crimes *without* lowering the sentences for violent crimes?

    1. I mean, do I correctly understand that violent recidivists will actually benefit from these bills?

      Why on earth spend political capital on that? In fact, why is it even needed?

      Why not cut sentences for nonviolent crimes instead?

      What am I missing?

      1. What am I missing?

        All that’s mentioned in Doherty’s post is the “crime” of possessing a firearm.

        1. After you’ve supposedly “done your time” for previous crimes.

        2. “The existing bill also allowed for sentence reductions in existing mandatory minimums for felons who are convicted of having a firearm while committing a violent or drug crime. It would also have helped people already in jail under such minimums to get out earlier.”

          Not exactly. Eddie has a good point. The bill would release some serious bad apples.

          Non violent offenders don’t need to be in jail to start with, they should be made to make restitution unless it is a victimless crime, in which case it shouldn’t be a crime at all. This bill was written to fail.

    2. Confusing the issues is the American Human Way.

  8. Speaking of “soft” and “crime”, the Michigan Senate just passed a law criminalizing butt secks!

    1. Alexandria, Louisiana just passed an ordinance forbidding the recording of police.

    2. criminalizing butt secks

      Oral sex, too.

      1. Lucky Oral Roberts is out of this vale of tears.

    3. A guy walks into a Michigan police station, and tells the first cop he sees, “Officer, last night my wife let me have anal sex with her.” So the cop says, “Oh, and why do you want to turn yourself in?”

      And the guy replies, “Turn myself in? No I’ve been telling everyone. I’ve already told the butcher, my barber, my priest.”

  9. Arguing the desired magnitude of an abomination. I h8 them all!

  10. So I keep seeing ads for Zoolander 2. 14 years later? Way to cash in! Will Gillespie write some articles calling it The Most Important Film of the Year? I mean it does have Will Ferrell….

    Also is a biography of Turdeau Jr.?

    1. It’s funny because Ben Stiller was way too old to be a model. Fourteen years ago.

      1. Now that sounds like an SNL sketch…

        As great a joke as Heil Honey I’m Home’s satire of the Munich Agreement.

        1. I need to find that.

            1. Ha, there was only one episode? Guess youtube will have to do.

              1. The writer said his goal was to satirize appeasement. Because I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners really bring to mind….British foreign policy of the 1930s.

  11. So is this evidence of The Libertarian Moment? Will Gary Johnson get 2% of the vote?

    1. Gee, Winston, something new?
      Tell us where Welch touched you…

    2. GayJay didn’t break 1% last time. I want a better LP nominee in case I break my vow and vote in the general election.

      1. That’s because GayJay didn’t campaign as GayJay.

        1. Everyone here seems to think he’s a lock on the LP nomination. They could do a lot better. Maybe try someone more libertarian, or better yet a candidate with some media/pr savvy who can get the message out.

        2. Yeah, I had to actually watch the third party debate to find out that he was gay.

          WTF? He could have locked down the gay vote.
          Don’t hide that light, let it flame!

  12. How on the hell had the world gotten so out of step with me?

    1. When you became a libertarian?

      1. Your eyes can be so cruel. Just like I can be so cruel.

  13. Sooo, I saw the first Hilary ad here in SC. Staring Eric Holder. I haven’t laughed so hard in months.

    1. What exactly would it take for her to get your vote? What’s your price?

      1. First I was gonna say ‘priceless’, and then it dawned on me that one vote in a national election is worthless, especially in CA.
        So let’s make it hurt:
        Hag, 2.5$bn and you got my vote.

        1. And THAT is how be beat them, folks.

      2. I’m not greedy; I’ll do it for two Goldman Sachs speeches.

    2. “You can trust me, because I never lie and I’m always right.”

      1. One of ua always tells the truth and one of us always lies. I tell the truth. “Oh what a lie!”

      2. You have passed the test.

  14. New ‘eviction’ story in local lefty rag, and it’s a goody: This time LL evicting nuns who run soup kitchen:

    “Nuns who help needy face eviction in S.F.’s Tenderloin”
    “The nuns are in danger of becoming as homeless as the downtrodden folks they help ? the landlord is evicting them. He raised their rent by more than 50 percent, they can’t afford it, and the lawyers are fighting it out. …
    “Here we have this insurmountable homeless problem in San Francisco, and now the people who are trying to help solve it are facing trouble,” Pappas said…
    “We are in God’s hands.””…..815676.php

    1. Con’td; too long:
      Amazingly enough, the comments mention that it’s not the LL’s job to provide cheap space for soup kitchens; if the city values it so much, let the city do so. And that ‘insurmountable problem’ is due, in some part to the nuns; SF pays bums and feeds bums to live here; you might have seen the photo of the oh-so-righteous young woman making personal luncheon deliveries to the bums:…..808319.php
      And, no, they’re not in the mythical sky-daddy’s hands, they’re in the Roman CC’s hands and somehow figuring it’s the CC’s duty (and ability; Frank could give up a PR trip, for instance) rather than the LL to pay what it costs never occurs to the twit writing the article.
      There are CCs around there; set up in the basement and put a sock in it.

      1. You know – that picture just pisses me off. I’ve got a friend of a friend who’s about as old as the guy in that picture. You know what he does? He harvests produce. He lives in CA but comes out here during our season, rents a room for a few months, and works his ass off.

        He’s ‘uneducated’ but is making enough money to have a decent car and put food on his family’s table, and he’s *not homeless*.

        The %*(& in that picture looks like he just woke up. And he got his lunch delivered. Probably figures he may as well go back to sleep now.

        1. I mentioned this yesterday but the homeless in NYC look nothing like that person. At least, the ones you see on the street. Our homeless tend to look like they really ought to be in a hospital rather than out on the street. We don’t have the gutter punks that infest SF either.

          1. Probably has to do with the weather and the fact that NYC doesn’t spend $250 mil on homeless.

            You’d have to (I would think) be having serious problems to live on the street in NYC. Anyone reasonably able-bodied would either get a job or head to somewhere warmer after their first winter on the street.

            1. No, we spend a billion or more and that’s just housing. I guess that’s less per capita than SF but still.

              1. And don’t think for a moment there isn’t constant pressure to spend ever moar.

        2. I live not far from there and use Division often so I recognize some folks; those are both women.
          Regardless, you are correct. The bum in question is largely involved in ‘organizing’ the other bums in that enclave, and I’m hoping they don’t take over the street.
          She is more than capable of honest work, but not about to do so, since it would require ‘selling out’; you know that pathetic self-justification for fucking off…

          1. Ha I was unsure of that person’s gender and deliberately avoiding it.

      2. Wife reminds me there is RCC, oh, eight blocks from there (10th and Howard), boarded up. The congregation moved out long ago, it’s sitting empty as the church pays ZERO taxes on its land so there’s no reason to do other than keep the cops employed running out squatters.
        Why, ol’ commie Frank could open that up for the nuns to cook food and let the bums sleep where they may out of the weather, right? I mean he’s forever whinging on about how the poor need help and ‘someone’ should do something about it.
        Hey, eddie! Tell us how the RCC is just wunnerful, beating on some LL while that church is sitting vacant!

        1. I would think you’re the expert on all things San Francisco.

          Plus I could only get one of the articles you linked – the other was behind a paywall.

          The article that *wasn’t* behind a paywall only gave the nuns’ side, either because the landlord was out of reach in India or because the reporter wasn’t interested in both sides.

          As to the boarded-up church, one of the nuns is quoted as saying, “We need another place, maybe a church.”

          If you think there are more worthy objects of your charity than San Francisco’s homeless, then by all means consider helping needy Catholics in places like the Mideast and Ukraine via the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (see also the link in my handle)

    2. I stayed in the tenderloin last time I was in SF. It was nice.

      1. Original Joe’s used to be there, and the riff-raff politicos never showed up like they do now that it’s in North Beach.
        Hell, I saw Ed Lee in there several weeks ago at dinner and that commie Peskin standing outside at lunch not long ago, looking like he wondered if they’d let him in.

        1. I was at hotel Mark Twain. Not bad. Walked around to see the local fair. VERY tame compared to Dallas or Houston .

          1. The T-loin’s only really dangerous if a dope deal goes bad; Hunter’s Point or Visitation Valley is where you want to go for real gut-wrenching.

            1. I thought maybe growing up poor and spending time in shelters in San Diego desensitized me, like it was my super power or something.

              1. Dunno, maybe.
                Wife and I used to park a block away from Joe’s and walk, but I did keep an eye on things.

            2. I had a friend who worked a hotel in the Loin in the nineties and boy there were some tales. Has it improved?

  15. The most direct way to reduce crime is to enact and enforce policies that will reduce the number of males between the ages of 17 and 25. China did the gender opposite and had an economic explosion. This was caused by Nixon going to China, free trade treaties, and globalism. So we’re told, but maybe not.

    What was the impact of China’s one-child rule in making it a male-dominated culture? Why will human mom’s, with a Sophie’s choice, save the boy over the girl, in aggregate?

    I don’t know. I’m dumb as box of rocks on this type of topic. Just noticing. But I am amazed that almost no one in academia (the pop variety) is even curious.

    1. “The most direct way to reduce crime is to enact and enforce policies that will reduce the number of males between the ages of 17 and 25. China did the gender opposite and had an economic explosion.”

      Or they had an economic explosion and did this at the same time. The reason no one’s doing anything about it is there seems very little connection between the two.
      Did you know “Kennedy” and “Lincoln” both used the same brand of toothbrush?

      1. Sure, but what brand of tinfoil did they both make their hats out of?

    2. Bullshit. Human males between between the ages of 17 and 25 are far and away the most the criminal.

      1. Most criminal of what? Humans? Bullshit. Most violent, maybe.

      2. widget|2.8.16 @ 10:03PM|#
        “Bullshit. Human males between between the ages of 17 and 25 are far and away the most the criminal.”

        And that has to do with an economic explosion exactly how?

        1. His argument seems to be a riff off of Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics argument of how there is a correlation between legalized abortion and reduced crime.

        2. I don’t know, Sevo. I’m just kicking around a thesis for an academic topic. Is there a relationship between the one-child rule in China, with it’s male-favorable demographic and it’s rise to economic power? I say it’s a taboo subject.

          1. widget|2.8.16 @ 10:15PM|#
            “I don’t know, Sevo. I’m just kicking around a thesis for an academic topic.”

            You ought to examine it for plausibility before floating it out in public; there’s a reason the “Kennedy”/”Lincoln” correlation isn’t an academic topic and it has nothing to do with ‘taboos’.

            1. A skeptical look at moral preening is out of bounds now?

              1. widget|2.9.16 @ 12:16AM|#
                “A skeptical look at moral preening is out of bounds now?”

                Uh, WIH do you presume that to mean? I’m pretty sure that you have no connection with ‘skeptical’ at all.
                Stupid presumptions of causality are properly rejected out of hand. Claims of fantasy need fantastic support, and you have yet to offer anything other than what dope-smokers see as “evidence”.
                Got anything other than that? Let’s see it.

                1. Got anything other than that? Let’s see it.

                  I have never played Vegas poker, but unlike you, I don’t pretend I have.

                  1. I should point out that I have lost far more money in the stock market this past two weeks than I would have ever lost at a gambling table.

                    I spent many an afternoon with my grandpop playing cards. I should have known better.

                    1. It isn’t a horrible line of thought, it’s quite a good one actually. This has been touched on elsewhere, which others may know and you may not. McCloskey was a good place to start on the notion of “human capital”, though I personally find she glosses over China’s speculative bubbles despite getting Hong Kong’s utilization of it’s most valuable (arguably only, other than the harbor) resource. She is a published expert and I am not, so make of that what you will.

      3. That’s . . . you know really dependent on what you mean by ‘criminal’.

        That they break the most laws? I could buy that. But I bet Obama has killed more people than any hundred US males 17-25.

        I bet HRC has been more corrupt and underhanded than any hundred of them.

        Young men aren’t subtle. They’ll shoot you in the face and let you see them coming to do it.

        Its the old fuckers of any gender who will smile, tell you how much you mean to them, and then shake you hand so they can stop you from defending yourself while one of their hatchet men comes up behind you and cuts your throat.

        They’ll stand there and watch you die with a smile on their face and a ‘its not personal’ on their lips.

    3. It’s another one of those disconnects between what was adaptive when we were still subject to natural selection, and what makes sense now that we have a civilization. Boys and young men died at a much faster rate than females back then.

    4. I’m pretty sure China’s economic growth has a lot do with the fact that Mao so fucked up the country that there was no place to go put up and the Commies that succeeded him allowed some free market policies.

      And you began your post by talking about crime rates only to then talk about the economy which aren’t the same thing.

      1. Deng, good Ole deng. Economics in advance- that was Deng. Then Tankman- the bravest fucking human being I’ve ever seen- killed that for a while. Now it’s all oligarchy and cartels, but slowly it gets better. But, a shit sandwich might be better than shit stew… maybe.

        1. Yes, it is.
          Hardly ever do crowds of people now ‘democratically’ converge on those in disfavor and beat them to death.
          It’s a pathetically low bar to beat, but they do, and the population (AFAICT) is more than thankful.
          If you ask any (now old) survivors of the CR, you’ll get mostly silence. If you ask their kids, you’ll get a comment that THEY got silence when asking.

      2. Exactly. China’s economic ‘explosion’ has more to do with laxening economic policies that allow them to make use of the 3/4 a century worth of innovation that the West has created.

        Its why their economic growth is starting to level out – they’ve picked most of the low-hanging efficiency fruits.

        The one-child policy and the preference for male off-spring didn’t, IMO, *slow them down*, but now that there’s a noticeable gender imbalance they’re starting to have internal political problems related to that. That’s certainly not going to help them.

        1. There’s an entire lost generation. Family lines ending. China has 30 years before it collapses, imo. Sooner if they ever cave to pressure to pin the yuan.

          1. “There’s an entire lost generation. Family lines ending. China has 30 years before it collapses, imo.”

            You’re going to have to define “collapse” if you hope for cred.
            China has been there for 5,000 years through various organizational arrangements; WIH is “collapse”?

        2. “Its why their economic growth is starting to level out – they’ve picked most of the low-hanging efficiency fruits.”

          That must be what my former boss is counting on. They ripped off the high tech plastic product he was exporting to them and now he’s starting to sell them some low tech commodity stuff that he claims doesn’t have enough margin in it for them to rip off. Some people never learn.

      3. You should look up Deng Xiaoping. He spent a good chunk of his life in prison as a political enemy to the hard-core Marxists in China. The Chicoms killed millions but they didn’t kill him.

        1. He was still politburo til the end.

        2. This is why I kinda like Donald Trump.

  16. Police Tribute: We are the Police

    I’m here to arrest you. You’ve broken the law. I did not write the law. I may even disagree with the law. But I enforce it.

    No matter how you plead, cajole, beg, or attempt to stir my sympathies, nothing you do will stop me from placing you in a steel cage with gray bars.

    If you run away I will chase you. If you fight me I will fight back. If you shoot at me I will shoot back. By law I am unable to walk away.

    I am a consequence. I am the unpaid bill. I am fate with a badge and a gun. Behind my badge is a heart like yours. I bleed, I think, I love. And yes, I can be killed.

    And though I am but one man, I have thousands of brothers and sisters who are the same as me. They will lay down their lives for me, and I them. We stand together, the thin blue line, protecting the prey from the predators, the good from the bad. We are the police.

    1. Even though you are Jewish and I must bake you… I might disagree with it, but it’d the law.

      1. German cops had nothing to do with the Holocost.

        1. Sure. I mean they were innocents just following orders.

        2. They didn’t enforce the law?

        3. The Gestapo didn’t care about Jews or Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    2. You’re a public servant; please clean up the mess on aisle #6.
      Thank you.

      1. Oh, and if you need help, please contact those thousands.

    3. By law I am unable to walk away.

      Somebody doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Even more than prosecutors, police have always had the ability to walk away, same as everybody else – because the *are* everybody else, just regular citizens paid to give attention full-time to the duties that every citizen has.

    4. Man, and i thought Sting was bad solo.

      1. He is the king of pain.

          1. I’d vote for weird al.

      2. “Man, and i thought Sting was bad solo.”

        That’s *FUNNY*!
        G, I’m not gonna insult you with LOL.

    5. “I am a consequence. I am the unpaid bill. I am fate with a badge and a gun. Behind my badge is a heart like yours. I bleed, I think, I love. And…


      “Sorry, I got distracted for a second.

      “Anyway, where was I? I forgot what I was saying.”

  17. This is what happens when you have an election year and a bunch of retards support Donald Trump instead of Rand Paul.

    1. You Know Who Else didn’t want retards to vote?

      1. I’m not sure, but it wasn’t the Democratic Party.

        1. Hey, eddie!
          Go upthread and tell us how the RCC isn’t supporting the nuns in the soup kitchen! I’m sure it has to do with very careful legal separations between the various business divisions, correct?
          And that empty church 8 blocks away? Frank, who speaks for GOD, can’t swing a baton and tell ’em to open it up for the poor he so desperately (claims to) favor?
          C’mon, eddie, tell us why Frank doesn’t seem to give a shit.

          1. Take a deep breath and explain what’s going on.

        2. EDDIE!
          You disappeared for the night? You think you’ll get a pass on this?
          Or are you working on a really clever denial that the RCC has anything to do with this?
          C’mon, eddie, you haven’t seen this?

  18. re: Pussy

    I saw this band play in central park a few summers back. this was the highlight of their gig

    No one was offended

    1. Wrong thread, man.

  19. The technology is so developed that we can watch videos, live streaming, TV serials and any of our missed programs within our mobiles and PCs. Showbox
    All we need is a mobile or PC with a very good internet connection. There are many applications by which we can enjoy videos, our missed programs, live streaming etc.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.