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Sen. Cruz: Smarter Sentencing Act Is Common Sense

Joins bipartisan group in support of legislation to reduce mandatory minimums

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) for a bipartisan press conference in support of the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015.
Transcript of Sen. Cruz’s remarks is below.
“The issue that brings us together today is fairness. What brings us together is justice. What brings us together is common sense. This is as diverse and bipartisan array of members of Congress as you will see on any topic and yet we are all unified in saying commonsense reforms need to be enacted to our criminal justice system. Right now today far too many young men, in particular African American young men, find their lives drawn in with the criminal justice system, find themselves subject to sentences of many decades for relatively minor non-violent drug infractions. We’ve seen the impact of these kind of reforms in the states, the states are laboratories of democracy. My home state of Texas implemented similar reforms and from 2005 the state of Texas has seen a 22 percent decrease in crime and a 12 percent decrease in expenditures on criminal justice. These are basic common sense. It’s also a matter of justice.
“All of us agree, if you have violent criminals, if you have criminals who are using guns, who are using violence, who are dealing drugs to children, the criminal justice system should come down on them like a ton of bricks. But at the same time we need to recognize that young people make mistakes, and we should not live in a world of Le Miserables, where a young man finds his entire future taken away by excessive mandatory minimums. I want to commend Senator Lee, Senator Durbin, for their leadership on this. It’s not easy to bring together this broad bipartisan coalition, but it’s an issue that matters. It’s an issue of justice. I’m proud to stand together and I hope that this same group, and an even larger group, can stand together in a few months at a signing ceremony where this legislation becomes law.”