Does Sen. Rand Paul Really Advocate Repealing Laws Against Murder, Assault?


Would presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) legalize murder and assault? Probably not, but Vox reports that what the senator said this week “illustrates an important difference between Paul and many criminal-justice reformers on the left about how to fix racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” Paul said that in his vision, “Any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.” The problem is that that describes pretty much every law that incarcerates a lot of people in the U.S., including not only the nonviolent drug offenses Paul often rails against but also violent crimes and property crimes.

The majority of people in prison in the U.S. are doing time in state prisons, and most of them have been convicted of violent crimes. Across every single category of crime that the Bureau of Justice Statistics publishes data for, non-Hispanic whites make up a smaller percentage of the prison population than they do of the nation at large.

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