Voters besieged with scary events and frightening rhetoric mostly swung in the opposite direction at the ballot box last week. That’s expanded an encouraging bipartisan reform climate for newly elected, or re-elected, governors, DAs and legislators—if they’re willing to take heed, says a leading justice commentator.
The victories of reform-minded prosecutors like John Creuzot in Dallas County last week could signal a “sea change” in public support for reductions in mass incarceration and the easing of sentencing guidelines, advocates and experts tell TCR.
The measure was among numerous criminal justice-related initiatives on gun control, police training and marijuana approved by voters Tuesday. One big standout: Ohioans rejected an amendment to keep low-level drug offenders out of prison.
The president tweeted that anyone caught voting improperly would be subjected to “Maximum Criminal Penalties.” Critics, who say there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, complain that Trump is trying to intimidate voters.
Florida on Tuesday may restore voting rights to 1.4 million residents who have completed their sentences. That would leave only Kentucky and Iowa with lifetime bans on voting by those who have committed felonies.
Joe Arpaio, sheriff in Phoenix’ Maricopa County for 24 years, will try to succeed Sen. Jeff Flake, who is retiring. Arpaio was defeated for reelection in 2016 and pardoned by President Trump on a contempt of court conviction.