Voted YES on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes.
Congressional Summary:Adopts the definition of "hate crime" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person. Provides technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of hate crimes, including financial grant awards.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN CONYERS (D, MI-14):This bill expands existing Federal hate crimes law to groups who are well-known targets for bias-based violence--they are sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. These crimes of violence are directed not just at those who are directly attacked; they are targeting the entire group with the
threat of violence.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LAMAR SMITH (R, TX-21): Every year thousands of violent crimes are committed out of hate, but just as many violent crimes, if not more, are motivated by something other than hate--greed, jealousy, desperation or revenge, just to name a few. An individual's motivation for committing a violent crime is usually complex and often speculative. Every violent crime is deplorable, regardless of its motivation. That's why all violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted. Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system--equal justice for all. Under this bill, justice will no longer be equal. Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime. This is the real injustice.
Reference: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act;
; vote number 2009-H223
on Apr 2, 2009
Voted YES on expanding services for offenders' re-entry into society.
H.R.1593: Second Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety Through Recidivism Prevention or the Second Chance Act (Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass). To reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and to improve reentry planning and implementation.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. CONYERS: Some 650,000 men and women are leaving the Federal and State prisons each year. While the vast majority of the prisoners are committed to abiding by the law and becoming productive members of society, they often encounter the same pressures & temptations that they faced before prison. More than two-thirds of them are arrested for new crimes within 3 years of their release. This exacts a terrible cost in financial terms as well as in human terms. The Second Chance Act will help provide these men and women with the training, counseling and other support needed to help them obtain
& hold steady jobs; to kick their drug and alcohol habits; rebuild their families; and deal with the many other challenges that they face in their efforts to successfully rejoin society.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. GOHMERT: The programs that are sought to be renewed are ones we don't have information on how successful they were. I can tell you from my days as a judge, there was some anecdotal evidence that it looked like faith-based programs did a better job of dramatically reducing recidivism. In addition:
There are some provisions that allow for too much administration. That is going to build a bigger bureaucracy.
Dismissing all charges if someone completes drug rehab under another provision I think is outrageous. You are going to remove the hammer that would allow you to keep people in line?
We also have a provision to teach inmates how they can go about getting the most welfare before they leave prison and go out on their own.
Reference: Second Chance Act;
; vote number 2007-1083
on Nov 13, 2007
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'].
Holden co-sponsored increasing funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program
COPS Improvements Act of 2007 - Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to make grants for public safety and community policing programs (COPS ON THE BEAT or COPS program). Revises grant purposes to provide for:
the hiring or training of law enforcement officers for intelligence, antiterror, and homeland security duties;
the hiring of school resource officers;
school-based partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and local school systems to combat crime, gangs, drug activities, and other problems facing elementary and secondary schools;
innovative programs to reduce and prevent illegal drug (including methamphetamine) manufacturing, distribution, and use; and
enhanced community policing and crime prevention grants that meet emerging law enforcement needs.
Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to:
assign community prosecutors to handle cases from specific geographic areas and address counterterrorism problems, specific violent crime problems, and localized violent and other crime problems; and
develop new technologies to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in crime prevention.
Source: COPS Improvements Act (S.368/H.R.1700) 07-S368 on Jan 23, 2007
Holden co-sponsored Crime Victim Restitution and Court Fee Intercept Act
Requires the chief justice of the highest court of any state that wishes to collect past-due, legally enforceable state judicial debts to designate a single state entity to communicate judicial debt information to the Secretary of the Treasury.
Directs the Secretary, upon receiving notice from such an entity that a named person owes a past-due, legally enforceable state judicial debt, to pay such debt from any tax refund due to such person.
Defines "state judicial debt" to include court costs, fees, fines, assessments, restitution to victims of crime, and other monies resulting from a judgment or sentence rendered by any court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction handling criminal or traffic cases in the state.
Holden co-sponsored more prison cells; more truth in sentencing
To encourage each State to adopt truth in sentencing laws and to help fund additional spaces in the State correctional programs as needed.
Provide grants to States to build, expand, or operate space in correctional facilities in order to implement specified "truth in sentencing" requirements.
Requires a State, to be eligible for funding under this Act, to have in effect throughout the State such requirements, including provisions which:
restrict parole, good-time credit release, or other forms of early release to require that criminals convicted of crimes of violence serve at least 85% of the sentence imposed by a judge or jury;
require the sentencing authority to allow the defendant's victim or the victim's family the opportunity to be heard regarding the issue of sentencing;
allow as a sentencing option a "life sentence" without the possibility of parole; and
provide that the victim and the victim's family shall be notified whenever such defendant is to be released.
Source: Truth in Sentencing Act (H.R.3584) 1993-H3584 on Nov 20, 1993
Life imprisonment for repeat sexual predators.
Holden co-sponsored restricting parole for repeat sexual predators
Expresses the sense of the Congress that States should:
more seriously consider the relatively high recidivism rate of sexual offenders when deciding whether to plea bargain with first-time sexual offenders and whether to grant parole to sexual offenders; and
review their treatment and parole supervision programs for sexual offenders to assure that such programs are fulfilling their goals.
Whoever violates provisions regarding aggravated sexual abuse after previously having been convicted of another State or Federal sexual abuse offense shall be imprisoned for life.
Establish guidelines for State programs requiring any person who is convicted of a sex offense to register and keep up to date a current address with a designated State law enforcement agency for ten years after being released from prison
Maintain on-line availability of information obtained under this Act
Carry out a study of persistent sexual predators and to report to the Congress and the President.
Source: Protection from Sexual Predators Act (H.R.3990) 1994-H3990 on Mar 9, 1994
Prevent luxurious conditions in prisons.
Holden co-sponsored preventing luxurious conditions in prisons
To amend the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 to prevent luxurious conditions in prisons. The "No Frills Prison Act" requires each State, to be eligible for truth in sentencing incentive grants, to demonstrate that it:
provides living conditions and opportunities within its prisons that are not more luxurious than those that the average prisoner would have experienced if not incarcerated;
does not provide to any such prisoner specified benefits or privileges, including earned good time credits, less than 40 hours a week of work that either offsets or reduces the expenses of keeping the prisoner or provides resources toward restitution of victims, unmonitored phone calls (with exceptions), in-cell television viewing, possession of pornographic materials, instruction or training equipment for any martial art or bodybuilding or weightlifting equipment,
or dress or hygiene other than as is uniform or standard in the prison; and
in the case of a prisoner serving a sentence for a crime of violence which resulted in serious bodily injury to another, does not provide housing other than in separate cell blocks intended for violent prisoners, less than nine hours a day of physical labor (with exceptions), any release from the prison for any purpose unless under physical or mechanical restraint and under constant supervision of at least one armed correctional officer, or any viewing of television.
Source: No Frills Prison Act (H.R.663) 95-HR663 on Jan 24, 1995