John Kasich on Crime

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


Spared 7 death-row inmates; executed 15 more

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has finished dealing with executions for the remainder of his time in office. The Republican governor spared seven men from execution during his two terms in office, including commutations on March 26 and July 20. Kasich allowed 15 executions to proceed.

Kasich "appreciates the gravity of this authority and therefore carefully considers these cases to make decisions that further justice," said a spokesman. Ohio resumed executions in 1999 under Gov. Bob Taft after a 36-year gap. Taft said he's now opposed to capital punishment except in the most severe cases.

Sparing inmates is not the political death knell it might have been in decades past, thanks to concerns about innocence raised by DNA testing and the role of severe mental illness on some offenders' behavior. "Kasich's decisions to commute reflect a societal shift away from an unquestioning belief in the value of the death penalty or at least the value in every case," said a University of Dayton law professor.

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer on 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race , Jul 30, 2018

Rehab, not prison, for low-level offenders

The local judges now are not sending everybody to prison when they're a low offender. And I want to thank the judge, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, because we work with judges to bring rational thinking into this and to keep them in the local community where they can be rehabbed, get their life back, and the public can be safe. We have now the lowest entry into our state prisons in 27 years. It's starting to work.
Source: 2018 Ohio State of the State address , Mar 7, 2018

Black Lives Matter means the system doesn't work for them

Kasich is the governor of Ohio, the site of one of the most horrific incidents that animate Black Lives Matter. Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park when he was shot & killed by police in November 2014. It was also in Cleveland where two unarmed people were fatally killed when police fired on their car 137 times in 2012.

So when Kasich met with The Post's editorial board, I had one question: When you hear the phrase "Black lives matter," what do you hear? "Well, what I hear is that there are people that are in this country who think the system not only doesn't work for them," he said, "but it works against them."

Kasich then unleashed a torrent of information on everything he had done for the African American community. There was the commission to heal the fractured trust between police and people of color. He talked about efforts to reform the schools and welfare. And he boasted about signing a law to "ban the box" and reducing prison recidivism.

Source: Washington Post on 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race , Apr 21, 2016

Police must understand challenges of black community

I asked Gov. Kasich what he would say to fellow Republicans who might be upset with [Kasich's support of "Black Lives matter"] and who don't think there is a problem. "What would I say? Tough," Kasich said.

What struck me as a breath of fresh air was really Kasich being consistent. What he told us was in keeping with what he has been saying for months now, [like this excerpt from a] CNN interview last August]: "Black lives matter, especially now, because there's a fear in these communities that, you know, justice isn't working for them. But it's about balance. The community has to understand the challenges of police, and the police have to understand the challenges of the community."

There's something about that "especially now" that reveals a person who heard his constituents and understands their fears and concerns. This is exactly where the Republican Party ought to be in 2016. Working on tough issues and expanding the reach of the GOP while adhering to its conservative principles.

Source: Washington Post on 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race , Apr 21, 2016

Ban the box: no criminal history check on job applications

Gov. Kasich signed into law a bill that will bar public employers from including on job applications questions concerning an applicant's criminal background. The signing of the "ban the box" vote comes amid growing national concern that the job application check box about a person's criminal history can deter offenders from seeking jobs and can cause employers to miss out on qualified workers.

Earlier this month, the Ohio Senate voted overwhelmingly, on a 32-1 vote, to "ban the box" for public-sector jobs. Under the bill, a public employer would still be allowed to do a background check and reject applicants with recent or relevant offenses. But the record check gets done later in the process, usually after an interview. The bill does not apply to people seeking private employment.

Kasich earlier instructed the state's human resources department to "ban the box" in June, by voluntarily adopting the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and Ohio Organizing Collaborative's recommendations.

Source: Cincinnati Enquirer on 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race , Dec 23, 2015

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

Cops & Kids Plan: put more police on the street

Geoff Canada founded the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families in New York City. The Rheedlen Center was asked to operate one of the first Beacon Schools.

In 1990 the city of New York decided to open a number of "Beacon Schools." The idea was to redesign existing schools to become multi-service centers that would be open afternoons and evenings, every day of the year. The Beacon Schools were part of a "Cops & Kids Plan" that would also put more police on the street.

"It was a sound strategy," Geoff says. "This isn't rocket science. You put more police on the street and you give kids more positive options."

[Now, Geoff's] community center offers a variety of services, including job training and karate services. Tough discipline is basic to the program. The violence outside cannot be allowed in. The school is a beacon for all that is good in the community, and naturally they are resented by the drug dealers who used to control the block.

Source: Courage is Contagious, by John Kasich, p. 95&100-102 , Oct 19, 1999

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

Other governors on Crime: John Kasich on other issues:
OH Gubernatorial:
Betty Sutton
Connie Pillich
Dennis Kucinich
Jim Renacci
Joe Schiavoni
Jon Husted
Mary Taylor
Mike DeWine
Nan Whaley
Richard Cordray
OH Senatorial:
Jim Renacci
Mike Gibbons
P.G. Sittenfeld
Rob Portman
Sherrod Brown
Ted Strickland

Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.Dunleavy(D) vs.Chenault(R) vs.Huggins(R) vs.Begich(D) vs.Treadwell(D)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.Tommy Battle (R) vs.Walt Maddox (R) vs.George(R) vs.Carrington(R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.Henderson(D) vs.West(L)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D) vs.Farley(D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I) vs.Allen(R) vs.La Riva(P)
CO: Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.Doug Robinson (R) vs.Barlock(R) vs.Lynne(R) vs.Polis(D) vs.Coffman(R) vs.George Brauchler(R,A.G.) vs.Stapleton(R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Lamont(D) vs.Stefanowski(R) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R) vs.Lumaj(R) vs.Visconti(R) vs.Lauretti(R) vs.Drew(D)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Putnam(R) vs.Levine(D) vs.DeSantis(R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Cagle(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Abrams(D) vs.Levine(D)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Tupola(R) vs.Carroll(R) vs.McDermott(R)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Boulton(D) vs.McGuire(D) vs.Glasson(D) vs.Hubbell(D) vs.Porter(L) vs.Battaglia(L)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R) vs.Labrador(R) vs.Ahlquist(R) vs.Minton(D) vs.Jordan(D)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.Pritzker(D) vs.Ives(R)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R) vs.Colyer(R) vs.Kobach(R) vs.Orman(I) vs.Kelly(D)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Cummings(D) vs.Madaleno(D) vs.Jealous(D) vs.Quinn(L) vs.Schlakman(G)
ME: Mayhew(R) vs.Mills(D) vs.Boyle(D) vs.Thibodeau(R) vs.Moody(D) vs.Capron(I) vs.Caron(I)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D) vs.Schuette(R) vs.Calley(R) vs.Tatar(L)
MN: vs.Smith(D) vs.Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R) vs.Pawlenty(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Swanson(D)
MO: Greitens(R) vs.Parson(R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.Krist(D)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Jarvis(L) vs.Steve Marchand (D)
NM: Lujan-Grisham(D) vs.Pearce(R) vs.Cervantes(D) vs.Apodaca (D) vs.Jarvis(L)
NV: Fisher (R) vs.Sisolak(D) vs.Laxalt(R) vs.Schwartz(R)
NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Nixon(D) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Molinaro(R)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Husted(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Kucinich(D) vs.Sutton(D,Lt.Gov) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Whaley(D) vs.Cordray(D)
OK: Stitt(R) vs.Cornett(R) vs.Edmondson(D) vs.Richardson(R) vs.Johnson(D) vs.Powell(L) vs.Maldonado(L)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman(D) vs.Buehler(R)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Fetterman(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Barletta(R) vs.Krawchuk(L)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.Brown(D) vs.Fung(R) vs.Morgan(R)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R) vs.Templeton(R) vs.Smith(D) vs.Warren(D) vs.Bryant(R)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R) vs.Sutton(D)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D) vs.Black(R) vs.Lee(R)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.Glass(L) vs.White(D) vs.Valdez(D)
VT: Scott(R) vs.Moody(R) vs.Hallquist(D) vs.Stern(D)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D) vs.Vinehout(D) vs.Evers(D) vs.Roys(D) vs.Anderson(L)
WY: Throne(D) vs.Dahlin(R) vs.Gordon(R) vs.Rammell(R)
Gubernatorial Possibilities 2019:
KY: vs.Grimes(D) vs.Chandler(D) vs.Gray(D)
LA: vs.Edwards(D) vs.Kennedy(R)
MS: vs.Baria(D) vs.Sherman(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Lott(R)

Retiring 2018:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Page last updated: Oct 10, 2018