During a town hall on CNN on Wednesday, 2024 Republican presidential candidate former Vice President Mike Pence stated that “we need to take a step back from the approach of the First Step Act” and “we need to take a step back and rethink the First Step Act.” And called for making criminal penalties tougher.
Pence said, “I…believe it’s going to be important that we get a lot more serious about serious offenders. Look, we passed what was called the First Step Act at the federal level, President Trump signed it into law. When I was governor of the State of Indiana, we signed similar legislation. But in the legislation that we passed, we not only created an opportunity to try and reduce recidivism, people going back to prison over and over again, to give them a new start in life, to make an honest living, but we also raised the penalties. We raised the penalties on serious offenders. And I must tell you, with this crime wave in our cities that is claiming incomprehensible numbers of lives…I frankly think we need to take a step back from the approach of the First Step Act. We need to get serious and tough on violent crime, and we need to give our cities and our states the resources to restore law and order to our streets. And I promise you, we’ll do that, if I’m your president.”
Moderator Dana Bash then asked, “I’m not sure if you saw, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has said that if he’s elected, he wants to repeal the First Step Act. What’s your response to that?”
Pence answered, “I just said, I think we need to take a step back and rethink the First Step Act. We’ve got a crime wave in our major cities. And I think now, more than ever, we ought to be thinking about how we make penalties tougher on people that are victimizing families in this country. So, on that point, I would agree with others.”
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