With midterm elections fast approaching, some Democrats are now seeking to distance themselves from either their own or their party’s anti-cop “defund the police” rhetoric and various soft-on-crime policies that progressive prosecutors and elected officials have implemented across the country over the past few years.
One example is Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), the Democratic nominee for Ohio’s open Senate seat, who himself had previously pledged to release around one million convicted criminals from prison and to eliminate the cash bail system for accused criminals, Breitbart reported.
ACLU promotes how to cut the prison population by half
In 2019, the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union promoted an effort to reduce the nation’s prison population by at least 50 percent and offered up a “roadmap” of how that could be accomplished.
Some of the ACLU’s ideas in that regard included decriminalizing the possession and use of all illicit drugs, ending cash bail and pretrial incarceration for individuals who’d been arrested for any crime, reducing sentencing recommendations and eliminating “mandatory minimums” and “three strikes” laws, and granting clemency to inmates who were old, sick, or had already served a lengthy period of time.
The ACLU then distributed that “roadmap” to all of the Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 cycle and asked: “Will you commit to cutting the nation’s prison and jail population in half?”
Ryan agrees with effort to reduce incarceration
Rep. Ryan was one of those Democratic candidates, and in 2019 he participated in an ACLU-sponsored event in New Hampshire in which he was asked directly about his “commitment to reduce mass incarceration by 50 percent during your presidency” and how he might make that commitment a reality.
The Ohio congressman began by advocating for the decriminalization and descheduling of marijuana as a controlled substance — which he immediately linked to racism, in terms of minorities facing heavier punishment than white people for marijuana crimes.
He also spoke of his idea to have police “immersion” in the communities they serve in order to confront their own inherent racial biases and, hopefully, reduce the number of arrests made in the first place, and called for the provision of more taxpayer-funded public defenders to ensure that all arrestees had “adequate representation” within the criminal justice system.
Ryan supports the elimination of cash bail
Moderator Jeanne Hruska noted that a “good portion” of the incarcerated population was “pre-trial” and asked Ryan if he supported the efforts in some states to completely eliminate cash bail as a way to hold accused criminals in custody before a trial and possible conviction.
“Yeah, I think the bail system is inherently unfair,” Ryan replied, and after recounting some of the negative consequences of arrestees being unable to post bail to be released pre-trial, added, “So, I would be for eliminating it.”
Eliminating cash bail, as has already been done or is in the works in certain Democrat-run cities and states, would mean that even many violent and career criminals arrested for things like assault, rape, or murder could not be held in custody ahead of a trial and conviction and instead would be released to the streets where a majority will inevitably re-offend and commit even more crimes against innocent victims.