FORT WORTH, Texas–During the Texas State Republican Convention, Breitbart Texas interviewed Congressman Blake Farenthold, a Republican representing Texas’ 27th Congressional District, about criminal justice reform, an issue that has been gaining prominence recently among conservatives, and earning bipartisan support in Congress this year.
Stating his support for the Smarter Sentencing Act, Farenthold explained, “We’ve got to have tough criminal laws to punish criminals, but what’s happened in the federal system is we’ve taken the discretion away from our judges, especially with our sentencing guidelines,” citing the Texas sentencing reforms as a better model.
Asked about the issue of drug legalization, Farenthold said that the lack of reliable, long term studies on the effects of marijuana made him cautious about rushing to legalize – “better safe than sorry…let’s get the science done before we make a decision.” Once again, he cited support for the way Texas approached the issue, and the expansion of alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders. “The purpose of the criminal justice system is both to rehabilitate and to punish. If we can rehabilitate somebody, that’s a huge, huge win.”
Earlier this year, Breitbart Texas covered some of the criminal justice reforms signed into law by Governor Perry in a guest column by Vikrant Reddy of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Sarah Rumpf is a political and communications consultant living in Austin. You can follow her on Twitter at @rumpfshaker.