Sunday, August 07, 2005

10th item promised in the Republican Contract with America

The 10h item promised in the Republican Contract with America was

"The taking back our streets act, an anti-crime package includer stronger truth-in-sentencing, "good faith" exclusionary rule exemptions, effective death penalty provisions, and cuts in social spending from this summer's crime bill to fund prison construction and additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools."

This is a very difficult promise to grade since it is so large. I have to say that they TRIED to accomplish some of these items in 1995. We will look at each point separately.

1. Stronger truth-in-sentencing and "good faith" exclusionary rule exemptions. This was done with The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. This act basically established much narrower sentencing guidelines to be used. It took power AWAY from the courts and the courts were forced to follow Federal guidleines. I do not think that this act was a good piece of legislation; however, it did work towards fulfilling the promise...

More infomration can be lcoated at
<http://www.pixi.com/~itmc/Sentencing.html#anchor3882751>

2. Effective death penalty provisions. This has been a complete failure. We still spend WAY too much money trying to execute criminals that deserve to be executed.

3. They promised to cut spending on social programs and to increase funding to build more prisons and to make our citizens and children safer. This has also been a dismal failure. Spending on social programs has SKYROCKETED under The Republicans. They have increased spending on social programs MORE then The Democrats ever dreamed of doing. We have not built a significant number of new prisons as promised. Our prison system is WAY TOO overcrowded.

As far as safety, a lot of crime statistics are generated by the government. I found some government statistics that tend me support the fact that we are safer now. I have found an equal number of government statistics that tend to make me think we are not safer. The truth tends to be in the middle; I imagine we are about the same as we were before this promise.

This promise has to be counted as another failure...

Scorecard of Republican Contract with America:
Broken Promises 7
Kept Promises 3

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