WASHINGTON, D.C.–Black voters are leaving the Democratic Party at an alarming rate—and joining the Republican Party of President Abraham Lincoln, now lead by President Donald J. Trump. But President Trump has connected with Ice Cube and Lil Wayne to change the economic disparities.
In 1865 we owned 0.5% of America. In 2020 we own 0.5% of America. Enjoy your day. pic.twitter.com/4HmlGDNfje— Ice Cube (@icecube) November 1, 2020
Black ministers across our Nation are having difficulties convincing Blacks to go out and vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Biden has made several disparaging remarks about Blacks for more than 45 years beginning with school busing. Biden introduced legislation to slow school segregation across America. Biden also was one of the main supporters of President Bill Clinton’s Crime Bill–known as Three Strikes You Out. Biden’s support of the crime bill–has lead to thousands of Blacks in prisons. Joe Biden called Blacks–“super predators.”
The “3 Strikes, You’re Out” law, embraced by state legislators, Congress and the President Clinton himself, imposed a mandatory life sentence without parole on offenders convicted of certain crimes.
The ACLU disagreed with Joe Biden’s support of the crime bill:
1. “3 Strikes” Is An Old Law Dressed Up In New Clothes
Although its supporters act as if it is something new, “3 Strikes” is really just a variation on an old theme. States have had habitual offender laws and recidivist statutes for years. All of these laws impose stiff penalties, up to and including life s entences, on repeat offenders. The 1987 Federal Sentencing Guidelines and mandatory minimum sentencing laws in most states are also very tough on repeaters. The government may be justified in punishing a repeat offender more severely than a first offender, but “3 Strikes” laws are overkill.
2. “3 Strikes” Laws Won’t Deter Most Violent Crimes
Its supporters claim that “3 Strikes” laws will have a deterrent effect on violent crime. But these laws will probably not stop many criminals from committing violent acts. For one thing, most violent crimes are not premeditated. They are committed in anger, in the heat of passion or under the influence of alcohol. The prospect of a life s entence is not going to stop people who are acting impulsively, without thought to the likely consequences of their actions.
Another reason why repeat offenders do not consider the penalties they face before acting is because they do not anticipate being c aught, and they are right. According to the American Bar Association, out of the approximately 34 million serious crimes committed each year in the U.S., only 3 million result in arrests.
3. “3 Strikes” Laws Could Lead To An Increase In Violence
Many law enforcement professionals oppose the “3 Strikes” law out of fear such laws would spur a dramatic increase in violence against police, corrections officers and the public. A criminal facing the prospect of a mandatory life sentence will be far more likely to resist arrest, to kill witnesses or to attempt a prison escape. Dave Paul, a corrections officer from Milwaukee, Oregon, wrote in a newspaper article: “Imagine a law enforcement officer trying to arrest a twice-convicted felon who has nothing to lose by using any means necessary to escape. Expect assaults on police and correctional officers to rise precipitously.” (Portland Oregonian, 3/94). Ironically, these laws may cause more, not less, loss of life.
4. “3 Strikes” Laws Will Clog The Courts
The criminal courts already suffer from serious backlogs. The extraordinarily high arrest rates resulting from the “war on drugs” have placed enormous burdens on prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges, whose caseloads have grown exponentially over the past decade. “Three strikes” laws will make a bad situation even worse. Faced with a mandatory life sentence, repeat offenders will demand costly and time-consuming trials rather than submit to plea bargaining. Normal felonies resolved by a plea bargain cost $600 to defend, while a full blown criminal trial costs as much as $50,000. Since most of the defendants will be indigent and require public defenders, the expense of their defense will be borne by taxpayers.
5. “3 Strikes” Laws Will Take All Sentencing
Discretion Away From Judges
The “3 Strikes” proposals differ from most habitual offender laws in that they make life sentences without parole mandatory. Thus, they tie the hands of judges who have traditionally been responsible for weighing both mitigating and aggravating circumstances before imposing sentence. Judicial discretion in sentencing, which is admired all over the world for treating people as individuals, is one of the hallmarks of our justice system. But the rigid formula imposed by “3 Strikes” renders the role of sentencing judges almost superfluous.
Eliminating the possibility of parole ignores the fact that even the most incorrigible offenders can be transformed while in prison. Countless examples are on record of convicts who have reformed themselves through study, good works, religious conversion or other efforts during years spent behind bars. Such people ought deserve a second chance that “3 Strikes” laws make impossible.
6. The Cost of Imprisoning 3-Time Losers For Life
Will Be Prohibitively High
The passage of “3 Strikes” laws will lead to a significant increase in the nation’s already swollen prison population, at enormous cost to taxpayers. Today, it costs about $20,000 per year to confine a young, physically fit offender. But “3 Strikes” laws would create a huge, geriatric prison population that would be far more expensive to care for. The estimated cost of maintaining an older prisoner is three times that required for a younger prisoner — about $60,000 per year.
The cost might be worth it if older prisoners represented a danger to society. But experts tell us that age is the most powerful crime reducer. Most crimes are committed by men between the ages of 15 and 24. Only one percent of all serious crimes are committed by people over age 60.
7. “3 Strikes” Will Have a Disproportionate Impact
On Minority Offenders
Racial bias in the criminal justice system is rampant. African American men, in particular, are overrepresented in all criminal justice statistics: arrests, victimizations, incarceration and executions.
This imbalance is largely the result of the “war on drugs.” Although studies show that drug use among blacks and whites is comparable, many more blacks than whites are arrested on drug charges. Why? because the police find it easier to concentrate their forces in inner city neighborhoods, where drug dealing tends to take place on the streets, than to mount more costly and demanding investigations in the suburbs, where drug dealing generally occurs behind closed doors. Today, one in four young black men is are under some form of criminal sanction, be it incarceration, probation or parole.
Because many of these laws include drug offenses as prior “strikes,” more black than white offenders will be subject to life sentences under a “3 Strikes” law.
8. “3 Strikes” Laws Will Impose Life Sentences on Offenders Whose Crimes Don’t Warrant Such Harsh Punishment
Although “3 Strikes” sponsors claim that their purpose is to protect society from only the most dangerous felons, many of the “3 Strikes” proposals encompass a broad range of criminal conduct, from rape to minor assaults. In an open letter to the Washington State voters, more than 20 current and former prosecutors urged the public to vote against the “3 Strikes” proposal. To explain why they opposed the law’s passage, they described the following scenario:
“An 18-year old high school senior pushes a classmate down to steal his Michael Jordan $150 sneakers — Strike One; he gets out of jail and shoplifts a jacket from the Bon Marche, pushing aside the clerk as he runs out of the store — Strik e Two; he gets out of jail, straightens out, and nine years later gets in a fight in a bar and intentionally hits someone, breaking his nose — criminal behavior, to be sure, but hardly the crime of the century, yet it is Strike Three. He is sent to prison for the rest of his life.”
9. Let the Punishment Fit the Crime — A Constitutional Principle
Under our system of criminal justice, the punishment must fit the crime. Individuals should not be executed for burglarizing a house nor incarcerated for life for committing relatively minor offenses, even when they commit several of them. This principle, known as “proportionality,” is expressed in the Eighth Amendment to the Bill of Rights:
“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
Many of the “3 Strikes” proposals depart sharply from the proportionality rule by failing to take into consideration the gravity of the offense. Pennsylvania’s proposed law treats prostitution and burglary as “strikes” for purposes of imposing a life s entence without parole. Several California proposals provide that the first two felonies must be “violent,” but that the third offense can be any felony, even a non-violent crime like petty theft. Such laws offend our constitutional traditions.
10. “3 Strikes” Laws Are Not A Serious Response To Crime
The “3 Strikes” proposals are based on the mistaken belief that focusing on an offender after the crime has been committed, which harsh sentencing schemes do, will lead to a reduction in the crime rate. But if 34 million serious crimes are committed each year in the U.S., and only 3 million result in arrest, something must be done to prevent those crimes from happening in the first place.
Today, the U.S. has the dubious distinction of leading the industrialized world in per capita prison population, with more than one million men and women behind bars. The typical inmate in our prisons is minority, male, young and uneducated. More than 40 percent of inmates are illiterate; one-third were unemployed when arrested. This profile should tell us something important about the link between crime and lack of opportunity, between crime and lack of hope.
Now, the crime bill has come back to roost on Joe Biden’s bid for the White House, and the Black minister’s can not convince Black voters–like in 2016 to vote for the candidate who destroyed their families, separated children from their parents and left their communities bankrupt.
#Black ministers having difficulties getting #Black voters to go to the polls!Black churches have played a crucial role in getting voters to vote, but Black Americans aren’t excited to vote for Joe Biden! Biden doesn’t have a connection with Black voters! Pres Trump does! pic.twitter.com/qqZDq6cqM6— beenewsdaily (@BeeNewsDaily) November 2, 2020
Joe Biden served as President Barack Obama’s Vice-President, (VP) but he failed to take action as the VP to apologize to Black families for the damages that he helped to created in the Black communities until he sought the White House almost 30 years after supporting the crime bill.
Biden as VP made no effort to lobby Congress to pass a crime bill to correct the wrong that he had done in the Black communities, but President Donald J. Trump signed the groundbreaking “The First Step Act (FSA), formally known as the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act into law in December 2018. President Trump has done more in 3 years to correct the perils of the crime bill than any other President since its passage.
This legislation eliminated the “three strikes” life sentencing provision for some offenses, expanded judges’ discretion in sentencing of non-violent crimes, and more.
The First Step Act is helping inmates successfully return to society by expanding access to rehabilitative programs.
These programs addressed the risks and needs of each prisoner to promote rehabilitation.
The President’s budget included more than $400 million to expand access to First Step Act programs. President Trump has promoted second chance hiring to build on the reforms of the First Step Act and provide opportunity for all Americans.
President Trump launched the Federal Interagency Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry Council to create more second chances for those returning home from prison.
- Second chance hiring helps inmates live crime-free lives and find meaningful employment. The Administration is working to expand Pell Grants to provide education and training to inmates prior to release, helping them secure family-sustaining jobs.
- The Administration launched a “Ready to Work Initiative” to help connect employers directly with former prisoners and expand employment opportunities.
- The unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans have all reached record lows under President Trump.
- Wages are rising, with low income workers seeing the fastest gains.
- Nearly 2.5 million Americans have been lifted out of poverty, with the poverty rates for African Americans and Hispanic Americans falling to new lows in 2018.
- President Trump has advanced workforce development to ensure everyone can seize on the opportunities created in this booming economy. President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers has prompted companies to pledge employment and education opportunities for nearly 15 million Americans.
- Americans who had been left behind are coming off the sidelines, with nearly three-quarters of Americans gaining employment coming from outside of the labor force.
Source: White House Press Office and ACLU