Bill Clinton told news reporters the other day that he regrets passing the “three strike” bill. It’s rare for a president to admit his mistakes, but even rarer for a president to outright admit he did it just to get re-elected.
Clinton told reporters at the NAACP National Convention, “In that bill, there were longer sentences, and most of these people are in prison under state law, but the federal law set a trend. And that
was overdone; we were wrong about that.”
There was some chit chat and debate amongst bloggers, columnists and average joes whether or not this was a publicity stunt to boost his wife’s, Hillary Clinton, ratings during her bid in the Presidential Race. She is currently a fore-runner and favourite as a successor for the Democrat Party.
Being a loyal watcher of both the Colbert Report and the Daily Show, I admit I often get most of my U.S. political news from comedy shows. And I have to admit, I am not the world’s biggest supporter of Hillary nor will I ever be. She always struck me as a candidate riding on the coat tails of her husband’s success, and the notion of having another Clinton in the same generation as President makes me uneasy.
But my opinions on Hillary are neither here or there when I say, as a general gesture, Bill Clinton did something really good to admit he made a mistake as openly as he did. It is no hidden nugget of trivia when it’s reported that the U.S. has the highest percentage of incarceration than any other country in the world, especially for the jailing of minorities.
“We wound up … putting so many people in prison that there wasn’t enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out so they could live productive lives,” said Clinton, in reference to the surge of people returning to prison after their sentences.
For Bill Clinton to admit he threw a monkey wrench into an already sinking shipwreck of a justice system for just a few votes means, perhaps, there may be hope for some revamping of the American prison system. However, that remains unlikely as many prisons are owned by businesses and others are funded by the government, a system built on the premise where more prisoners means more money.
As it is, studies said that the three strikes law has done absolute zilch for reducing crime. Since 2012, approximately 12,000 people had been sentenced to jail under that law which, if you’re following, means that more people have been jailed between the years of 1994 – 2012 than some countries have in more than twice that length of time, such as Norway.
So if the three strikes law never struck fear into the hearts of diabolical criminals and diabolical-criminals-to-be, then what would be the root of America’s crime epidemic?
Unemployment and alcoholism.
What a coincidence then, that both of those things are rampant during the Global Recession, where in just the past few years, mass civil unrest has been sparked in the streets over injustice and frenzied individuals targeted groups of people in order to take out their own problems on, ignoring the fact you have to be a massive jerk to murder a bunch of people in the first place.
No need for the American people to feel so glum about everything going wrong, though. As it turns out, video games have taken the place of real homicide, where angry people can just shoot people in Call of Duty, scream a flooding serenade of obscenities to other players when they die and send female gamers death threats over the inter–
Oh, dang, looks like we’re back at Square One.
Well, Bill, it’s good on you to make the first step in the American Prison Rehab Program. Hopefully other politicians will take another look at their tough love prison policies and start listening to lawyers, criminologists and social workers who have been saying the exact opposite for years.
People want to live the American Dream, not in prison for smoking pot a few times as a teenager, but as a thriving adult capable of living a long, happy life and capable to help support the economy.