Sentencing

Bill Clinton's Mendacious Defense of the 1994 Crime Bill

The former president says Republicans made him support longer sentences, which were a necessary response to 13-year-old murderers "hopped up on crack."

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ABC News

While arguing with Black Lives Matter protesters during a speech in Philadelphia yesterday, Bill Clinton made several eyebrow-raising claims about the 1994 crime bill that he signed and his wife supported:

Democrats included longer prison sentences in the bill only because Republicans demanded them. According to Clinton, Joe Biden, who was the bill's main sponsor in the Senate, said, "You can't pass this bill, and the Republicans will kill it, if you don't put more sentencing in." Yet as first lady, Hillary Clinton cited tougher sentencing rules as one of the bill's main advantages. "We need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders," she said in a 1994 speech. "The 'three strikes and you're out' for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets." After the bill passed, the Clinton administration bragged about making sentences longer.

The 1994 bill caused historic declines in violent crime. "Because of that bill, we had a 25-year low in crime, a 30-year low in the murder rate," Clinton said. "Because of that and the background check law, we had a 46-year low in the deaths of people by gun violence." It's true that violent crime has declined steadily since the early 1990s, and so have gun homicides. But that downard trend began before the 1994 crime bill took effect. While incapacitation of violent criminals played some role in that decline, the federal system accounts for a small share of the prison population, as Clinton emphasized yesterday. And to the extent that the 1994 law encouraged states to be more punitive, Clinton conceded in a 2015 interview with CNN, "we cast too wide a net and we had too many people in prison," contributing to the "mass incarceration" his wife now decries. Clinton's claim about the impact of the Brady Law, which required background checks for people who buy guns from federally licensed dealers, is even more dubious

Crack-related homicides are committed under the influence of crack. "I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children," he told protesters. "Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn't." Contrary to the picture Clinton draws, so-called crack-related homicides are not caused by stimulant-fueled aggression. A 1997 analysis of "crack-related" homicides in New York City found that 85 percent were "systemic," meaning they grew out of black-market disputes. About 7 percent occurred during crimes committed to support a crack habit. Only one homicide out of 118 involved a perpetrator who was high on crack. In other words, the vast majority of the violence that Clinton says motivated the 1994 crime bill is a predictable consequence of the prohibition policy he and his wife continue to support.

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  1. Bill Clinton cannot tell a lie. Mainly because he has no idea what is true or false anymore.

    1. Same for Hitlery? Or is she just a mendacious twat?

  2. Jigaboos hopped up on devil weed

    1. It’s okay for the first black president to use that word, not you.

      1. I first read that as “Juggalos” – sounded right to me…

        *resumes whittling*

        1. I don’t think juggalos can afford weed. Don’t they smoke dried cat shit?

  3. Sooo…was the crime bill good or bad? Seems to me Republicans should be getting any “credit” for crime rates.

    1. Isn’t it obvious? The credit for the crime reduction goes to the donkeys, and the blame for the mass incarceration and police violence goes to the elephants.

      You’d know this stuff if you’d gone to journalism school (or just read the NY Times).

  4. Politicians are masters of making memory malleable to fit a current argument or narrative.

    It’s brilliant and displays a clear understanding of human nature. Take something you did a long time ago and make it sound better than it was. Who is going to check it? Your voters? Yeah right.

    Hence, I was a super star track athlete in high school when in fact you were just a star or less.

    1. Heck, I had a pocket full of horses, fucked the shit out of bears, threw a knife into Heave and could kill with my stare!

        1. Hey, I know Heave. He’s a bit of a slut though.

      1. Did you save the children?

      2. I heard Servator has like 30 goddam dicks

        1. How does he preserve them? I’m asking for a friend.

      3. Get some therapy!

    2. Politicians are masters of making memory malleable to fit a current argument or narrative.

      And middle management.

  5. Serious question: What is the Clinton campaign strategy in allowing/having Bill beat up Obama? While Hillary keeps talking “build on O’s successes”, Bill is like “all the O administration stuff is really bad”. Even some “good cop, bad cop” interpretation doesn’t make much sense to me.

    1. He probably, on some level, doesn’t want her to be President.

      1. That crossed my mind. “Whoever was involved in Obama’s foreign policy was obviously incompetent.”

    2. It makes sense to me: you get to have it both ways. Hillary can take all the credit for anything good and Bill can distance her from anything bad.

      1. So, if it weren’t for those damn Republicans and the rest of the Obama administration, Hillary could have achieved great things?

    3. I see it as an early pivot to the general election. A sort of inoculation of being too far left. You apparently get one “Sister Souljah” moment per presidential campaign.

      1. A sort of inoculation of being too far left.

        “I’m a *progressive*, alright — but one who *gets things done*!”

    4. Do things have to make sense for progtards to support them? I never got the impression they did.

  6. I can only imagine the bullshit revisionist history we will get from Obumbles supporters in ten years. Will they still blame everything wrong with the world on Bush?

    1. Yes, and the GOP congress.

      1. This. It will be the obstructionists fault. Obama’s only fault was being too optimistic about the GOP’s willingness to put aside its racism.

    2. They are already pining for “single payer” because the compromises Obama made to ACA to satisfy the complaints of the Republicans is the obvious reason for its failure.

  7. Instead of following news stories, reading the news and pundits, etc.about all the controversies and back-room deals and denials, wouldn’t it be simpler to just watch House of Cards? (which I just started to do, last week).

    1. I’ve actually considered doing this too, but am a little afraid of another surreal experience like I had watching “Wag the Dog” during the Bill and Monica kerfuffle.

  8. Republicans made him support longer sentences

    also, BOOOOOOOOOOOOSH Sr.

  9. Bill Clinton’s Mendacious Defense of the 1994 Crime Bill
    The former president says Republicans made him support longer sentences, which were a necessary response to 13-year-old murderers “hopped up on crack.”

    Bill Clinton? Mendacious? Say it aint so!

    Isn’t that the way psychopaths are? It’s never ever their fault?

  10. How about the sexual assaults he (allegedly) committed? Were they his fault or did the bitches insist on it?

    1. They were a necessary response to politicians “hopped up on testosterone.”

      1. Interns will be safer once Viagra is rescheduled by the DEA.

  11. In my book

    1984 or Everybody Poops

    1. Why not both?

      “Everybody Watches You Poop”

  12. What happened to the red ink in the arrow of the “H”? Do they only use blew when Bill is speaking?

    1. They can’t keep a consistant color schema to their “Hospital on the Right” sign.

      1. Bill and Hilllary have trouble with their rods and cones.

  13. Clinton lies like a Trump? Or lies like CNN? The only reason Bill’s lies work is the lapdog media dutifully report them as fact. Do you really expect them to be critical of their hero?

    Just reminds me that everybody’s saying Trump is going to beat Hillary to death with Bill’s serial piggery if she raises the women issue, forgetting that Donald’s Alpha Male supporters favor treating women like pigs and Hillary’s supporters deny reality wrt Bill and Bill got elected twice lying like a Trump so he’s obviously the reigning champ in the heavyweight lying-your-ass-off division. I mean, the same media who were the frontline troops defending Bill’s Big Blowjob, successfully convincing the electorate that it was much ado about nothing, are now somehow certain Trump’s going to succesfully attack Hillary on the matter. Who the hell do they suppose is going to be telling the story? If the media withstood the attacks of half the damn country they can certainly blow off Trump.

  14. How many 13-year-old murderers hopped up on crack did Bill Clinton put in jail? I’m guessing, zero. Bill needs to lay off the Geritol. It’s making him craaaaaazzzzzzzyyyyyyy!

    1. You’re probably right, but he helped execute a black retard so he’s got that going for him.

  15. Vince Foster does not agree.

  16. The source you site to claim crime rates were going down before 1994 doesn’t back up your claim like you say it does. Figure 1 there shows that the real down turn in crime rates starts in 1994.

    1. The peak was in 1990 and it looks like it dropped off a cliff in 1993. Any drop in the homicide rate seen from 1994 onwards can’t be distinguished from that preexisting trend.

      1. ok, but where’s your Practical Graphing Companion advice?

    2. The graph on page 6? Here’s a fun lil trick: put your finger on the peak of the graph then scroll the page down until the horizontal axis meets your finger. My finger reads 1990.

      1. Here’s an even better one–simply read the graph and note that the homicide rate started down in 90, started back up in 92, and cratered in 94.

      2. What reason do you have to suggest that it wasn’t simply a local maximum like in 1981? Trends move up and down all the time, it’s possible this bill went into effect during a natural down turn.

  17. So why didn’t the Democrats revise, repeal or replace all this bad legislation when they controlled the House and Senate, and the presidency after Obama’s election? I’m still waiting to read about Sander’s pre-2008 bills to thwart the banking collapse that happened in 2008.

  18. “Because of that and the background check law, we had a 46-year low in the deaths of people by gun violence.”

    How does this fit into the Democrat narrative that guns are wrecking everything today?

    Uh-oh, it sounds like even the left might not be too happy with ol’ blue dress! He’s accidentally telling some truths in between his lies!

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  20. People are sick of the injustice.
    He doesn’t get it, so many people out there have had family put in prison.
    Anyone who can defend such deep injustice that incarcerated so many just looks like a sad old drunk.
    In the last 24 hours he and Hilary basically put Bernie in the White House.

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  26. Jacob, I love your stuff, but you misread Bill’s statement: “I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children.” There is no causal connector between the two parts of the sentence.

    1. Gang leaders get 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack.
    2. And gang leaders send 13-year-old kids (but not necessarily ones hopped up on crack) out to murder other African-American children.

    The second part, when you parse it out like that, is not very different from your “85 percent [of crack-related murders] were “systemic,” meaning they grew out of black-market disputes.” “Systemic/disputes” sounds a lot like “sent them out.”

  27. OMG, Bubba was not entirely truthful?
    Oh, the Humanity!
    Well, he is after all a Progressive Democrat.

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