Why is the GOP Still Pushing the Left’s Decarceration Agenda?

Written by Daniel Horowitz

Reducing sentences for our already under-incarcerated criminal population is a great goal of George Soros. Yet for the past 15 years, this dystopian objective has been supported by the Kochs and other libertarian front groups that convinced Republicans — and, eventually, Donald Trump — to join the jailbreak bandwagon.

Now, despite the ubiquitous recognition that we have a violent crime problem because of weak deterrent power against criminals, particularly juveniles, the Koch-funded groups continue to wield influence among Republicans to further weaken the criminal deterrent rather than strengthening it.

There is a reason we enjoyed a drop in crime under tougher drug laws, and there is a reason we are seeing a resurgence in crime now.

These same organizations are dead silent when it comes to the January 6 trials, which should be their Super Bowl — the one example where their “over-criminalization” and “over-incarceration” talking points are on point.

Watch any Republican campaign ad, and you will see universal condemnation of the “Biden crime wave,” with the portrayal of violent, decaying blue cities. You’d think this would indicate Republicans have finally learned their lesson and come to regret joining Soros and the left to release criminals en masse in red states and pass the federal First Step Act.

Yet when it comes to actual legislation, not only are Republicans failing to push for tougher sentencing, but they continue, at the behest of Koch-funded groups such as Right on Crime, to push lighter sentencing for drug traffickers, gangbangers, repeat felons, parole violators, and violent juvenile criminals.

Just last month, Republican-aligned advocacy groups allied with Mark Zuckerberg-funded Fwd.us to hollow out Mississippi Senate Bill 2174, which originally proposed mandatory minimums for car theft, despite originally passing the Senate with every Republican and three-quarters of Democrats. The bill was gutted before heading to the governor for his signature.

SB 2175, which would have established mandatory minimums for possession of stolen property, died in conference committee. Instead, the legislature wound up passing yet another bill expanding parole, which was championed by Right on Crime.

For some reason, despite the supposed awareness of the crime wave, every legislative effort from Republicans and their think tanks seems to be aimed at coddling the criminal, not victims of crime. And no, none of these bills targets the overzealous prosecution of political opponents.

Given the ubiquitous nature of juvenile crime, and carjackings in particular, it’s shocking how we still can’t get tougher sentencing even in red states.

And in the GOP-controlled U.S. House, where lawmakers are constantly blaming Joe Biden for crime and drugs, the Judiciary Committee has failed to pass a single tough-on-crime bill — beefing up sentencing, limiting supervised release, or getting tough on drug traffickers and gun felons that the Justice Department refuses to prosecute. Instead, GOP members have sponsored and marked up bills that seem to focus on the well-being of criminals.

Armstrong’s bill highlights why we have so many repeat violent offenders who barely serve time in prison despite robust rap sheets.

Last November, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee considered a bill by U.S. Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) to make it more difficult to impose longer sentences for career criminals. Armstrong aspires to be the next governor of North Dakota. Without much thought, the committee members unanimously passed H.R. 5430, which would prohibit judges from considering “acquitted conduct” when sentencing someone for later convictions. Acquitted conduct is defined either as a charge for which the defendant was found not guilty or any conduct underlying any charge that was dismissed after a motion for acquittal.

Armstrong’s bill highlights why we have so many repeat violent offenders who barely serve time in prison despite robust rap sheets. We are not discussing first-time offenders here. These are people who have just been convicted of a crime.

It is prudent for a judge to consider the totality of circumstances. Often, it’s clear that these criminals have committed many other crimes but got off on technicalities. You can’t convict someone for that, but if the facts are proven by a preponderance of evidence (but not beyond a reasonable doubt) that a defendant was involved in other crimes, it makes sense for the judge to lean toward the higher end of sentencing guidelines.

Keep in mind, these are people in the federal system who generally have long rap sheets.

Isn’t it ironic that these same organizations and politicians who hate mandatory minimums because they supposedly hamper a judge’s ability to look at the totality of circumstances to rule more leniently are suddenly offended by the discretion of a judge to sentence more strictly?

None of this is about reform but about one-sided leniency to take an already shrinking prison population (down 28% over the past decade while crime increases) and diminish it as quickly as possible. None of these people are pushing legislation to rein in abusive January 6 prosecutions. By definition, a bill like H.R. 5430 is aimed at habitual degenerates who are constantly in court, not for first-time misdemeanor offenders like the January 6 defendants.

H.R. 5430 passed 23-0, but some prominent anti-jailbreakers, such as U.S. Representatives Chip Roy (R-TX), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ben Cline (R-VA), and Ken Buck (R-CO) were not present. While it’s unclear how they would have voted, it’s interesting that the bill was timed for consideration when the other side of the debate would not be aired.

It’s also peculiar that Republicans unanimously decry the drug crisis, but they have declined to pass a single bill toughening sentencing on even the most hardened traffickers of the most dangerous drugs, like fentanyl. Instead, they have proposed several bills promoting even more leniency for drug peddlers.

Armstrong, a criminal defense attorney by trade, has also introduced H.R. 1062, which would eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Under current law, the criminal penalty for possessing 18 grams of crack cocaine is the same as possessing one gram of powdered cocaine, meaning the bill would give possessing equal amounts of either drug the same penalties. It is now roundly condemned by mindless race-panderers in both parties.

The bottom line is crack cocaine traffickers are more than twice as likely as powdered cocaine traffickers to involve weapons in their crimes. Crack cocaine traffickers are also the most likely to be rearrested — nearly 60% are rearrested within a few years of release, often for violent offenses.

There is a reason we enjoyed a drop in crime under tougher drug laws (which affect many other crimes), and there is a reason we are seeing a resurgence in crime now. Armstrong and other members of the Judiciary Committee have introduced other bills perpetuating the myth that people are in federal prison for low-level drug offenses, even after we’ve already released anyone who could possibly fit that description. Yet bizarrely, Republicans have yet to introduce a bill to toughen any area of criminal law.

Evidently, the crime wave has not gotten bad enough. I shudder to think what needs to happen before Republican special interests realize where “criminal justice reform” is coming from and where it is headed. It’s just a shame that January 6 defendants and all those targeted for political beliefs don’t seem to benefit from these “reforms” for “low level, first-time” offenders. No, that sentiment is reserved for Black Lives Matter rioters in the streets.

This article was originally published by BlazeMedia.com.

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of TheBlaze and host of the Conservative Review podcast. He writes on the most decisive battleground issues of our times, including the theft of American sovereignty through illegal immigration, the theft of American liberty through tyranny, and the theft of American law and order through criminal justice “reform.”