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Sam Brownback on Crime

Republican Sr Senator (KS)


Spent nights in jail & homeless shelters to study causes

I think I may be the only person up here on this stage that’s spent a couple nights in jail, of my own volition, and I went in to look at the system. I spent a night in a prison in Kansas and I spent a night in a prison in Louisiana. I’ve stayed in homeless shelters. And you hear about it very fast. And you get a feel for it about how people have become loners and went to crime, in some cases, and then caught and want to turn their lives around. So it spawned me to push the Second Chance Act.
Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University Sep 27, 2007

Death penalty only for bin Laden-level criminals

Q: Do you want to see the death penalty continued?

A: We need a culture of life. I have difficulty with the death penalty. This is an individual, though, that has committed a heinous crime. I think we should limit the death penalty to cases only where we cannot protect the society from the individual, such as when Osama bin Laden is caught. We need to be able to use it then. But we should use this very limited and only in that circumstance, in order to talk and to teach a culture of life in America.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University Sep 27, 2007

Second Chance Act: faith-based & cuts recidivism in half

Q: Name one reform that you would endorse to assure young Blacks and Latinos that they will have equal justice in America’s courts.

A: I pushed the Second Chance Act through the Committee on the Judiciary, and what it’s primarily focused on is to help people if they have been caught and they are in prison, that they not go back again. Because right now in the United States of America, if you go to prison, the chances of you going back are two-thirds, 66 percent. That is a travesty that that number is that high. This bill in five years we cut it in half. A lot of it is faith-based institutions. A lot of it is mentorship and work programs. So we can help people that are chains they can’t break themselves.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University Sep 27, 2007

Opposes “hate crimes” legislation

Q: I was arrested, jailed, and was charged under Pennsylvania’s hate crimes law. I faced up to 47 years in prison plus a $90,000 fine for attempting to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a homosexual pride event with those who are trapped in bondage to that lifestyle. If elected, can we count on you to veto any so-called “hate crimes” legislation?
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Prosecute all illegal adult pornography

Q: The Bush Justice Department is reticent to prosecute any but the worst hardcore pornographers--and most often, only the smaller companies that produce such filth. Meanwhile, hardcore pornographers have found their way into major hotel chains. Would your administration prosecute all illegal adult pornography, including so-called white-collar pornographers?
Source: [Xref Paul] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Voted NO on reinstating $1.15 billion funding for the COPS Program.

Amendment would increase funding for the COPS Program to $1.15 billion for FY 2008 to provide state and local law enforcement with critical resources. The funding is offset by an unallocated reduction to non-defense discretionary spending.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

This amendment reinstates the COPS Program. I remind everyone, when the COPS Program was functioning, violent crime in America reduced 8.5% a year for 7 years in a row. Throughout the 1990s, we funded the COPS Program at roughly $1.2 billion, and it drove down crime. Now crime is rising again. The COPS Program in the crime bill worked, and the Government Accounting Office found a statistical link between the COPS grants and a reduction in crime. The Brookings Institution reported the COPS Program is one of the most cost-effective programs we have ever had in this country. Local officials urgently need this support.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

The COPS Program has some history. It was started by President Clinton. He asked for 100,000 police officers. He said that when we got to 100,000, the program would stop. We got to 110,000 police officers and the program continues on and on and on.

This program should have ended 5 years ago or 6 years ago, but it continues. It is similar to so many Federal programs that get constituencies that go on well past what their original purpose was. It may be well intentioned, but we cannot afford it and we shouldn't continue it. It was never thought it would be continued this long.

Reference: Biden Amendment; Bill S.Amdt.529 on S.Con.Res.21 ; vote number 2007-110 on Mar 23, 2007

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 NO on maintaining right of habeas corpus in Death Penalty Appeals.

Vote on an amendment to delete provisions in the bill that would make it harder for prisoners who have been given the death penalty in state courts to appeal the decision on constitutional grounds in the federal courts ['Habeas Corpus'].
Bill HR 2703 ; vote number 1996-64 on Mar 14, 1996

Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder.

Vote on a bill to make it harder for prisoners who have been given the death penalty in state courts to appeal the decision on constitutional grounds in the federal courts.
Bill HR 729 ; vote number 1995-109 on Feb 8, 1995

Rated 25% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes.

Brownback scores 25% by CURE on rehabilitation issues

CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants) is a membership organization of families of prisoners, prisoners, former prisoners and other concerned citizens. CURE's two goals are

  1. to use prisons only for those who have to be in them; and
  2. for those who have to be in them, to provide them all the rehabilitative opportunities they need to turn their lives around.
The ratings indicate the legislator’s percentage score on CURE’s preferred votes.
Source: CURE website 00n-CURE on Dec 31, 2000

Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance.

Brownback co-sponsored reducing recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance

Legislative Outcome: Became Public Law No: 110-199.
Source: Second Chance Act (S.1060/H.R.1593) 08-S1060 on Mar 29, 2007

Other candidates on Crime: Sam Brownback on other issues:
KS Gubernatorial:
Mark Parkinson
KS Senatorial:
Jerry Moran
Joe Bellis
Lisa Johnston
Pat Roberts
Todd Tiahrt

Newly appointed in 2009;
special election in 2010:

DE:Kaufman (D)
CO:Bennet (D)
IL:Burris (D)
MA:Brown (R)
NY:Gillibrand (D)

Announced retirement as of 2010:
CT:Dodd(D)
DE:Kaufman(D)
FL:Martinez (R)
FL:LeMieux(R)
IL:Burris(D)
IN:Bayh(D)
KS:Brownback(R)
KY:Bunning(R)
MO:Bond(R)
ND:Dorgan(D)
NH:Gregg(R)
OH:Voinovich(R)
PA:Specter(R)
UT:Bennett(R)
WV:Byrd(D)
WV:Goodwin(D)


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Page last updated: Oct 29, 2010