Tuesday, June 21, 2016

California Is Proving That The 1994 Crime Bill Worked

In 1993, America's violent crime and homicides hit all time records.  In response, the then-President Bill Clinton signed into law the massive "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994".  Known simply today as the Crime Bill of 1994.

While the bill had many provisions, those that provided mandatory minimum sentences and the 3-strikes rule have come under fire in recent years.  The reason is that these provisions have been blamed for the overcrowding of our prisons.  This problem, known politically as "mass incarcerations," has been a key issue for the likes of Hillary Clinton who wants to, according to her website: "End the era of mass incarceration, reform mandatory minimum sentences, and end private prisons". Even her husband, who signed the Crime Bill, has publicly stated his regrets for that law.  Both bowing to the pressures being exerted by activists in this election year.

Of course, leave it to Californians to take matters into their own hands and reduce their "mass incarceration" problem with the passage of the ballot initiative known as "Proposition 47" and the passage of Assembly Bill "AB109".  The result of which made certain that some crimes would be downgraded to misdemeanor status with only limited jail time rather than  prison; and that other prisoners would see early releases.

While California may have seen their prison overcrowding problems reduced, in Nevada -- especially in Clark County where Las Vegas is situated -- crime is going through the roof, The murder rate in Clark County is double what it was last year. California's leniency in sentencing, is at least partly to blame.   That's because many of the newly arrested were from California, and were also beneficiaries of Proposition 47 and AB109.  Also, Los Angeles, too, has seen its crime rate spike.  But, supporters of Proposition 47 point out that spiking crime rates exist in many major cities such as Chicago, and therefore, "47" shouldn't be singled out as the reason.

Here's the simple fact.  The study by the Bureau of Justice statistics found that 56% of those arrested for violent crimes had prior arrest records.  Thus, if you "early out" criminals, there is definitely going to be a higher incidence of crime; and especially murder.  I think California is definitely proving that the 1994 Crime Bill was the right thing to do.   Especially when you consider that gun-related murders in this country, have fallen from 18,253 in 1993 to 8,124 in in 2014.  A 75% reduction.

Do we really want to go back to the good old days of 1993 by putting criminals back on the streets?


Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_Crime_Control_and_Law_Enforcement_Act

Bill Clinton renounces his 1994 crime bill: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/241247-bill-clinton-renounces-his-1994-crime-bill

Hillary Clinton on the Issues: Criminal Justice Reform: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/criminal-justice-reform/

California Proposition 47: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_47_(2014)

Overview of AB109: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/docs/realignment-fact-sheet.pdf

Las Vegas Blames California For Spike In Crimes: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/05/19/las-vegas-blames-california-for-spike-in-crimes/

Homicides increase 100 percent in Clark County between 2015 and 2016: http://news3lv.com/news/local/homicides-increase-100-percent-in-clark-county-between-2015-and-2016

Here's Where L.A.'s Biggest Crime Increases Are Happening: http://www.laweekly.com/news/heres-where-las-biggest-crime-increases-are-happening-6549370

Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/ascii/vfluc.txt

Gun related murders 1993: https://www.google.com/search?q=gun+related+murders+1993&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

FBI: Murder Victims By Weapon Type: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/expanded-homicide-data/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2010-2014.xls

No comments: