On the heels of President Obama’s speech to the NAACP, Bill Clinton – who rightly should have been booed off the stage – apologized yesterday for the terrible legislation he signed during his presidency that sentenced many non-violent offenders to lengthy prison terms and other young men to life sentences due to the “three strikes” rule.
“I signed a bill that made the problem worse,” Clinton told an audience at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s annual meeting in Philadelphia. “And I want to admit it.”
The omnibus crime bill that Clinton signed included the federal “three strikes” provision, mandating life sentences for criminals convicted of a violent felony after two or more prior convictions, including drug crimes.
It’s so nice that almost twenty years after he instituted one of the most prolific and terrible adjustments to the criminal justice system, primarily to fight the eternal “War on Drugs,” that he’s finally come around, isn’t it?
Clinton’s laws incarcerated millions due to misplaced mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession in small amounts, kept non-violent offenders jailed for lengthy periods of time, and of course assigned life sentences to thousands of young men who had “struck out.” He also instituted the world’s largest prison system and helped foster the burgeoning “for profit” prison industry. Here’s a bit more on our current crony capitalist prison system.
This, naturally, has cost taxpayers billions while doing absolutely nothing to actually alter the drug trade, other than to increase the violence occurring domestically and in Mexico.
So, why come out now with this apology?
It might have something to do with Rand Paul’s all out attack on Bill and current Clinton candidate, Hillary. Paul recently noted that Bill signed legislation that “put an entire generation of black men in prison” and also called Clinton’s laws the new “Jim Crow“. These are both accurate statements, and clearly Bill is choosing now to express his regret because it’s politically prudent with his wife running for President. Marc Clair and I discussed this statement on the latest episode of the “Rand Pauluses and Minuses” podcast.
The Clintons are political chameleons, changing stances to whatever is polling strongly to achieve office.
Don’t believe either Clinton’s crocodile tears. They aren’t crying for the men that were incarcerated from this abomination of a bill. They’ll only weep when their power and influence in the world has been exhausted.
Check out our full discussion of the Clintons role in further entrenching mass incarceration and Rand’s comments in the latest podcast!
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