By Arthur Rizer
September 16, 2016
The phrase “criminal justice reform” is loaded with emotional impact. To some, the words translate to “soft on crime,” which has been a political mantra and damning epithet for more than 30 years. To others, it represents subjugation of the poor and minorities. Laws passed during the 1980s under the label of “reform” created vast sentencing disparities between powder and crack cocaine offenses, with crack crimes receiving sentences up to 100 times longer than those associated with powder cocaine crimes. It was not missed that crack addicts were largely economically bereft, disproportionately black, and living in the inner cities of America.
That sentiment will no doubt come to the fore as the U.S. House of Representatives plans to take up a legislative package this coming month that takes a balanced approach to criminal justice reform. Some fear these changes, believing we are on the cusp of a nationwide crime wave. In fact, on the national level, crime continues to go down. But more importantly, conservatives should welcome these reforms as long-overdue efforts to preserve fairness, protect taxpayers and reinstate the cherished values of federalism. … read more.