John Kasich on Crime

Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President


Save money by converting prisoners to taxpayers

Q: You talk about the fact that, when you die, you're not going to be asked at the pearly gates if you cut enough government spending, but did you help people who need it most? Beyond Medicaid domestically, where else does that principle guide you?

A: Well, it relates to things like early childhood education, poor kids, people who are in prison, giving them a chance to get their lives back if they want to earn their way there. But let me say that I knew that, number one, we would save money by taking people out of prison and letting them get a job where they could become a taxpayer. To me conservatism is giving everybody a chance to be able to be successful.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 16, 2015

Community must understand challenge of police & deadly force

Q: On police violence against innocent people: are you doing enough in Ohio to ensure that routine traffic stops, routine 911 calls, don't end up with dead bodies?

A: We came out with a unanimous recommendation to create a statewide policy on the use of deadly force, and examination and recruiting and hiring practices [amongst police forces]. And now it is really critical that the community understands the challenges of police and that police can understand what is going on inside the community.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 9, 2015

Death penalty is consistent with justice & Christian values

Q: Would you support ending the death penalty in Ohio?

KASICH: I don't agree with that. Look, we're just looking for the drugs that we need to administer it. And in this debate, sometimes we forget the victims. Listen, I review all these cases. And to some people I've said we will let them stay for life in prison if I wasn't certain of who did what. But I've had these grieving families come to see me. And look, it's about justice. It isn't about revenge, it's about justice. And I support the death penalty and will continue to do that, because a lot of times, families want closure when they see justice done.

Q: What about religious objection to the death penalty?

KASICH: I think it's consistent with my Catholic faith. If I didn't, I'd have to exorcise it. But look, at the end of the day, I'm also a secular official, right? I'm also the governor. Now, it doesn't mean that my faith doesn't influence me. But I have a job to do as administrator of the state of Ohio.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 31, 2015

My policies worked to integrate police and community in Ohio

Q: There's a lot of tension in your home state recently over the not guilty verdict in the case of Michael Brelo, a Cleveland police officer who shot at a car over 100 times. What's your take on this?

KASICH: Well, regardless of whether the verdict was right or wrong, the people of Cleveland should be proud of themselves for being a model of non-violent protest. When there are large numbers of people who do not think the system works for them, we have to respond to it. That's why I created a task force on integration police into the community. And there were two recommendations up front: a policy regarding the use of deadly force, statewide in Ohio, and secondly research into the recruiting and enrollment of minority police officers. We've got to make sure that people in these communities know that there's an opportunity for them that there is hope, that people and authority are listening, that there will be solid responses.

Source: ABC This Week 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 24, 2015

Columbine victims showed courage by not renouncing God

In the aftermath of the tragic school shootings at Columbine High School outside Denver, in April 1999, our Bible group got together. Among the compelling story lines to emerge in the wake of that tragedy was the story of a young female victim. Reportedly, she was asked by one of the shooters if she believed in God. She replied, "You know I do." According to some accounts, she was further asked to renounce her belief or she would be shot, but she would not waver.

What strength! What conviction! What courage!

We kept coming back to the ghastly reality that this young woman in Colorado was promptly shot for her conviction. We sat in awe of this young woman.

Yes, true courage only surfaces when you're put to a test, and we were only considering that test in theory. It wasn't real; it was metaphor. To that poor girl at that Colorado high school, though, the heat from the fiery furnace was all too real. And the difference was everything.

Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p. 73 , Jun 15, 2010

It's God's job to judge if punishment fits the crime

There's a wonderful adage in the Bible: "Don't judge another person when he has a speck in his eye, because you have a log in your own." I read a line like that and set it alongside the stuff of my life and come to the conclusion that judgment is not our job. It's God's job to sort that stuff out.

And let's not forget that justice doesn't always happen here on earth. When we think in our own minds that somebody is getting away with something he shouldn't or that a certain punishment wasn't severe enough to fit the crime, we get frustrated. Sometimes we see justice on this side of the grave, but I have the faith to believe that the ultimate judge, the highest judge, will bring justice in the long run.

But that's justice--sometimes now but many times later.

Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p.212 , Jun 15, 2010

Columbine: Community involvement, not new laws

[Regarding the Columbine High shootings, Kasich said that] passing laws in Congress to address schoolhouse violence wasn’t the way to respond to the event. “I prefer to leave it to the families and communities,” he said. “The easiest thing to do is pass a series of laws and say, okay, that fixed it. The harder responsibility is yours and mine,” he continued. “It’s whether you become a Little League coach or spend more time with the neighbor’s kids, that’s what fixes it.”
Source: The Concord (NH) Monitor, “Fly Fishing”, 5/2/99 , May 2, 1999

Voted NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons.

Vote on an amendment that would reduce the funding for violent offender imprisonment by and truth-in-sentencing programs by $61 million. The measure would increase funding for Boys and Girls Clubs and drug courts by the same amount.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Scott, D-VA; Bill HR 4690 ; vote number 2000-317 on Jun 22, 2000

Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime.

Vote to pass a bill to appropriate $1.5 billion to all of the states that want to improve their juvenile justice operations. Among other provisions this bill includes funding for development, implementation, and administration of graduated sanctions for juvenile offenders, funds for building, expanding, or renovating juvenile corrections facilities, hiring juvenile judges, probation officers, and additional prosecutors for juvenile cases.
Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 1501 ; vote number 1999-233 on Jun 17, 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

Voted NO on replacing death penalty with life imprisonment.

Amendment to replace death penalty crimes in the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill with life imprisonment.
Bill HR 4092 ; vote number 1994-107 on Apr 14, 1994

Supports capital punishment for certain crimes.

Kasich supports the CC survey question on capital punishment

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Capital punishment for certain crimes, such as first degree murder & terrorism"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q8 on Aug 11, 2010

More prisons, more enforcement, effective death penalty.

Kasich signed the Contract with America:

[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:

The Taking Back Our Streets Act:
An anti-crime package including stronger truth in sentencing, “good faith” exclusionary rule exemptions, effective death penalty provisions, and cuts in social spending from this summer’s crime bill to fund prison construction and additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA4 on Sep 27, 1994

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Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016