Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden falsely claimed that 18,000 people were granted clemency during the Obama administration when he was vice president.
During an NBC News town hall Monday evening, host Lester Holt questioned Biden’s record on criminal justice reform.
Holt said that President Donald Trump “points out the criminal justice reform bill. You and Barack Obama served at a time when you had both houses of Congress and still couldn’t get some of these things done.”
“Yeah, we did,” Biden responded. “We let — 18,000 people were, got clemency.”
That’s actually close to the number of people who were denied clemency during his time in office — and only a small fraction of the number granted it.
Clemency is a way for government officials to lessen the penalties for prisoners in specific instances, and it is typically used for those with nonviolent criminal offenses.
Although the Obama administration granted 1,927 clemencies while in office, it also denied 18,749 clemency requests, along with 506 pardons.
Joe Biden just took the number of people who’s clemency petitions were denied (18,749) and instead claimed that’s how many people’s clemency petitions were approved.
— Andrew Clark 🎃 (@AndrewHClark) October 6, 2020
Both the granted and denied figures in the Obama administration were higher than any previous president.
Even though this was just another Biden gaffe, his comment should be used to take a closer look at the Democrat’s criminal justice reform record.
Biden was a sponsor of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which many say is partially responsible for issues within the federal criminal justice system today.
The bill created tough new criminal sentences, including 60 offenses that could be punishable by the death penalty, and led to an increase in incarceration rates for the next 14 years, according to the ACLU.
By comparison, President Donald Trump has made criminal justice reform a key part of his agenda.
In 2018, the president signed the First Step Act, landmark legislation designed to decrease the federal prison population and reform sentencing laws.
The Trump administration also created the Federal Interagency Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry Council and expanded Pell Grants to inmates.
Although the left claims the United States has systematic oppression in its institutions, it is supporting Biden, who has perpetuated that system during his 47 years in public office.
Someone does not have to like Trump to understand that he has a better record on criminal justice reform in four years than Biden in more than four decades.
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