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Fred Thompson on Crime

Former Republican Senator (TN)


3,500 distinct crimes means over-federalization of law

There are more than 3,500 distinct federal crimes and more than 10,000 administrative regulations scattered over 50 sections of the US Code that runs at more than 27,000 pages. More than 40% of these regulatory criminal laws have been enacted since 1973. I held hearings on the over-federalization of criminal law when I was in the Senate. You hear that the states are not doing a good job at prosecuting certain crimes, that their sentencing laws are not tough enough, that it’s too easy to make bail in state court. If these are true, why allow those responsible in the states to shirk that responsibility by having the federal government make up for the shortcomings in state law? Accountability gets displaced.

Now, there are plenty of areas in criminal law where a federal role is appropriate. More and more crime occurs across state and national boundaries; the Internet is increasingly a haven for illegal activity. A federal role is appropriate in these and other instances.

Source: Campaign website, www.Fred08.com, “Principles” Sep 1, 2007

Death penalty DOES deter murders

For decades, the self-proclaimed smart kids have been telling us that the death penalty just doesn’t work. Academia and the media have scoffed at the American people’s insistence that executions prevent murder.

However, serious researchers have applied themselves to finding the evidence. Criminologists and economists have gathered and analyzed a mountain of data, and many of them were surprised by what they found. Americans who have always supported the death penalty probably wouldn’t be surprised to find out that study after study has shown that the death penalty deters murders. Studies have concluded that some number of murders between three and 18 are prevented for every application of capital punishment.

Certainly, the use of DNA evidence to clear long-held prisoners from murder charges proves that we need to be more careful about handing out death sentences; and science must be used even more and earlier in the criminal process to protect the innocent and convict the guilty.

Source: Thompson’s blog on ABCradio.com, “Common Sense” Jun 27, 2007

Impose truth in sentencing for violent crime

Source: Congressional 1994 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1994

Voted NO on $1.15 billion per year to continue the COPS program.

Vote on an amendment to authorize $1.15 billion per year from 2000 through 2005 to continue and expand the Community Oriented Policing Services program. $600 million of the annual funding is marked for hiring additional officers [up to 50,000]
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-139 on May 20, 1999

Voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals.

Vote to table, or kill, a motion to send the bill back to the joint House-Senate conference committee with instructions to delete the provisions in the bill that would make it harder for prisoners given the death penalty in state courts to appeal.
Reference: Bill S.735 ; vote number 1996-66 on Apr 17, 1996

Voted YES on limiting product liability punitive damage awards.

Approval of a limit on punitive damages in product liability cases.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)59; N)40; NV)1
Reference: Conference Report on H.R. 956; Bill H. R. 956 ; vote number 1996-46 on Mar 21, 1996

Voted YES on restricting class-action lawsuits.

Restriction of class-action security lawsuits.
Status: Veto Overridden Y)68; N)30; P)1
Reference: H.R. 1058 passage over veto; Bill H.R. 1058 ; vote number 1995-612 on Dec 22, 1995

Voted YES on repealing federal speed limits.

Repeal federal speeding limits.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)64; N)36
Reference: Motion to table Lautenberg Amdt #1428; Bill S. 440 ; vote number 1995-270 on Jun 20, 1995

Other candidates on Crime: Fred Thompson on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010