Hillary Clinton Urges An End To Some Bill Clinton Justice Policies


Hillary Clinton says there's “something wrong” with criminal justice in the U.S., but a lot of what Clinton finds wrong can be traced to her husband's presidency, says Politico. Bill Clinton embraced harsher sentencing guidelines, cut education funding for prisoners, and expanded the flow of military equipment to local police in the 1990s, when violent crime was surging and tough policies played well in the political center. With Baltimore in flames and bipartisan concern about mass incarceration rising, both Clintons are now calling for reform. Hillary called for an end to mass incarceration, but she didn’t say that she lobbied liberal lawmakers to support her husband's 1994 crime bill, which included $9.7 billion in prison funding and tougher sentencing provisions.

She took aim at the militarization of police forces, but didn’t mention that a program signed by her husband in 1997 increased the flow of those weapons from the Pentagon to local police departments. “Where we are today partly can be attributed to what went on in the '90s,” said Marc Schindler of the Justice Policy Institute. “That includes who was in the White House, who was in Congress, who was in state houses across the country.” Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) noted that Hillary had “cheerfully supported” her husband’s policies in the 1990s. She had been scheduled to speak at Columbia University's annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum since last year. She felt compelled to weigh in on the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of severe injuries sustained in police custody in Baltimore, setting off riots there.

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