Jeb Bush on Crime

Republican FL Governor

Adopted Three-Strike Violent Felony Offender Act

Governor Bush and the Florida Legislature have worked together to adopt public-safety reforms such as 10-20-Life, the Three-Strike Violent Felony Offender Act, and the Habitual Juvenile Offender Accountability Act. These initiatives and related laws passed in 1995-1997 have successfully reversed the lenient criminal-justice policies of the early 1990s. Thanks to the dedicated work of professional local and state law enforcement, the Governor’s leadership and the Legislature’s criminal-justice policies, Florida’s 2000, “Index Crime” rate was the lowest in 28 years. The 2000 index-crime rate, based on murder, forcible sex, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft, dropped 18% since January 1, 1999. This two-year decline in index-crime rates is the lowest ever recorded by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Source: Governor’s web site, www.MyFlorida.com, “Initiatives” Nov 7, 2001

10-20-Life: Increase mandatory minimum sentences

Source: Governor’s web site, www.MyFlorida.com, “Initiatives” Nov 7, 2001

Fewer death-row appeals; faster executions

Jeb Bush decided to run for governor in 1994, vanquishing competition in the Republican primary and leading in polls during most of the fall. He called for fewer appeals for death row inmates and speedier executions, said Florida should withdraw from Aid to Families with Dependent Children and replace it with limited temporary assistance, and called for school choice and demanded voter approval of all state and local tax increases.
Source: National Journal, the Almanac of American Politics Jan 28, 2000

Longer prison terms for gun-toting criminals

In his first 100 days, Bush’s legislative agenda met with stunning success. He canceled a plan for a high speed Miami-Orlando train, but passed a school voucher plan, got longer prison terms for gun-toting criminals, and instituted a $1 billion tax break
Source: National Journal, the Almanac of American Politics Jan 28, 2000

Build more prisons; private contracts OK

Source: Vote-smart 1998 Florida NPAT Jul 2, 1998

Alternative sentencing & rehabiliation acceptable

Source: Vote-smart 1998 Florida NPAT Jul 2, 1998

Supports death penalty

Source: Vote-smart 1998 Florida NPAT Jul 2, 1998

Stricter penalties for drug, sex, & gun offenses

Source: Vote-smart 1998 Florida NPAT Jul 2, 1998

Heinous crimes no longer news: exposure lowers norms

Because of increased exposure to the strange or abnormal, we consciously lower the parameters of what we tolerate as acceptable behavior. Consider the extensive coverage of the 1929 Valentine’s Day Massacre, involving the killing of 7 gangsters during Prohibition. In contrast, in a recent drug execution in which 3 people were slain, the story appeared only in the second section of the newspaper, at the bottom of the page. The contrast demonstrates not our approval of violent crime, but rather our trivialization of such crime, our growing accustomed to violent acts or other kinds of behavior that skirt the bounds of decency.

Crime is no longer outrageous to us. We do not put the routine stories of heinous behavior on the front page anymore because they are no longer abnormal. Only the truly outrageous makes the front page. These journalistic decisions should be taken as a warning. Do we now treat our societal dysfunctions as if they were only part of a TV show, surrealistic & out of reach?

Source: Profiles in Character, by Jeb Bush & B.Yablonski, p. 39-41 Nov 1, 1995

Supports flexible federal block grants for crime programs.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

NGA’s Position

Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA10 on Sep 14, 2001

Other candidates on Crime: Jeb Bush on other issues:
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