02.01.2016 1

Sen. John Cornyn: Mass criminal release shows ‘empathy’

JohnCornyn

By Rick Manning

“It doesn’t hurt to show that you actually care. This is a statement that is not just symbolic, but actually shows that you care about people. It doesn’t hurt to show some empathy.”

That was Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) in the New York Times, endorsing legislation that will result in the early release of thousands of federal prison inmates.

Cornyn, whose sense of empathy must have developed at Washington, D.C. cocktail parties, should prove he truly cares for people whose neighborhoods have been ravaged by drugs and violent crimes by moving to those one of those neighborhoods so he can see for himself the impact of releasing early thousands of hardened drug kingpins and violent criminals back on to the streets of America.

Cornyn’s ‘empathetic’ conscience needs to meet the reality of the street, where a 77 percent recidivism rate amongst released prisoners is the norm, with 25 percent of those crimes being violent and nature. This is something Cornyn would have been acutely aware of when he was an Associate Justice to the Texas Supreme Court as well as the state’s Attorney General who once famously argued that Texas’ death penalty law should be the model for the nation.

A truly empathetic response is to protect neighborhoods and not to release criminals en masse. And the best action that Congress can take is to reject any legislation that releases thousands of criminals early.

What is truly remarkable is that while in the Senate minority, Cornyn argued vociferously against early criminal release in 2011 in a letter when the sentencing commission implemented retroactive sentencing reductions of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

And again in 2014 when the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 was proposed, the precursor of the current legislation, Cornyn objected citing the nation’s “historic heroin epidemic” and warning of tens of thousands of “additional murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, and incidents of arson.”

If anything, the rise of the use of heroin has become more endemic since 2014, and the streets more dangerous. What’s more in that same letter, Cornyn wrote this about these same drug traffickers that he would release early today, “The notion that drug traffickers are non-violent is simply incorrect.”

Cornyn continued, “Among other factors disputes over money cannot be settled with a lawsuit. Violence and threats are the norm.

It is impossible to reconcile Cornyn’s new-found empathy for hardened criminals with the clear facts of his 2010 and 2014 letters where he took exactly the opposite stance against early criminal release.

Just in Dec. 2015 on the Senate floor Cornyn called the opportunity to let more prisoners go early “magical.” Magical?

An enterprising reporter might ask about his newfound faith in the good will of violent drug kingpins who he apparently now thinks should be put back on the streets of America.

When did John Cornyn’s empathy switch from the victims of the destruction of families, friends and communities to the purveyors of death resting safely in federal prison?

What happened to John Cornyn?

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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