Obama and Defendants' Rights: Progressive Or Not?
Posted on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 09:33:00 AM EST
Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)
Where does Obama stand on criminal justice issues? Is he really a progressive? Will he stand up for the rights of the criminally accused ... or just those of the wrongfully charged or convicted?
He's been quick to point out his admirable work in Illinois getting legislation passed to require mandatory taping of police interrogations and enact some death penalty and racial profiling reforms. He has complained about the racial disparity in crack-powder cocaine sentences and once advocated abolishing mandatory minimums. (For Obama in 2004 on abolishing mandatory minimums, see this video clip at 1:00 minute in.)
More recently, he has retreated to promising a review of mandatory minimum sentences.
Since the mainstream media seems incapable of presenting anything but his words promising change, hope, optimism and a "working majority" (meaning compromise with Republicans) I took an afternoon to research his record going back to 1998.
The results, some progressive and laudatory, others decidedly not, as well as my prior posts on his crime record and statements as U.S. Senator and presidential candidate, are detailed below:
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