David Keene: Prison Sentence Reform

Post Date: May 24, 2013

David Keene, former president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), wrote this eloquent essay for the National Review on May 24. Writes Keene, “Some liberal judges back in the 1970s and ’80s enraged the public by allowing felons back on the street with little more than a slap on the wrist. In response, Congress and many state legislatures enacted mandatory-minimum-sentencing laws that essentially eliminated the discretion judges had always enjoyed to make the punishment fit the crime. These laws were incredibly popular when first enacted but have created more problems than they’ve solved.

“Undoubtedly, the tough-on-crime sentiment these laws reflected has advanced our welcome, two-decade decline in drug-related and violent crime. But I have come to believe that the wholesale adoption of mandatory minimum sentencing hasn’t worked as well as everyone had hoped.”  Read more