House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday quoted the Bible as she called for opening wide the gates of federal prisons to release the criminals within.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s”AM Joy,” Pelosi was asked by host Joy Reid about springing more federal prisoners on the grounds that the inmates are at risk from the coronavirus while behind bars.
“In our caucus, we are very devoted to the Gospel of Matthew — ‘when I was hungry, you fed me, when I was homeless, you sheltered me, when I was in prison, you visited me.’ And so this for us is a part of our value system,” she said.
.@SpeakerPelosi calls for release of federal prisoners: “In our caucus, we are very devoted to the Gospel of Matthew; ‘When I was hungry, you fed me, when I was homeless, you sheltered me, when I was imprisoned, you visited me.’ And so this for us is a part of our value system.” pic.twitter.com/GGN7F6llQU
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 26, 2020
Pelosi said the Congressional Black Caucus has taken a lead in developing a plan to free federal inmates that she said will be a part of future legislation.
“We will have language being developed by the Judiciary Committee to have some order and clarity so that some people can leave who really don’t need to be there, but some clarity, because what the administration is doing is confusing, and not clear. But it must be addressed. And it must be addressed,” she said.
Pelosi claimed facts alone will guide House Democrats.
“It is so very sad,” she said. “But, again, a priority for us. Again, everything should be about the truth and saying, ‘Insist on the truth.’ What are the numbers? Let’s find out. Let’s find out what this is. What are the facts?
“What is the science of this, of these people being together there unnecessarily and then in cases, some of them, having served enough of a sentence to leave, but in any event, whatever it is, that they be protected, that their health be protected. It shouldn’t be a risk of life.”
Pelosi’s comments irked many on Twitter.
I really hate when the democrats want to look good they suddenly turn everything into a scripture passage yet at the same time deny our religious rights to each of us
— just another deplorable (@melonie56241920) April 26, 2020
When I was hungry, you fed me with my neighbors forcefully taken earnings, when I was homeless, you sheltered me with my neighbors forcefully taken earnings. @SpeakerPelosi cannot justify her amoral & hedonistic worldview with a Biblical worldview; they conflict.
— Jonathan Graham (@jonathan_g_1982) April 26, 2020
“…when I was imprisoned, you VISITED me.” Which part calls for their release, Nancy?
— Aldous Huxley’s Ghost™ (@AF632) April 26, 2020
“It’s a slap in the face,” said Tracy Fehrenbacher, who was informed that the man who ran over and killed her daughter had been released from a St. Louis jail, according to The New York Times.
“Just the fact that he’s out there living, doing whatever he wants to do, and yet my daughter is never going to be able to do that again,” she said.
A small percentage of federal prisoners have been released to home confinement since a Department of Justice order in March. The DOJ has since sent guidance to the federal Bureau of Prisons that offenders being freed on the grounds that they are at risk of getting the coronavirus must have served at least 50 percent of their sentence, according to ABC News. That guidance was harsher than the initial guidance sent by the department.
The release of prisoners has become more controversial as more and more who are released commit crimes.
The New York Post reported last week that at least 50 New York City inmates who were released have been arrested again.
Some expect the situation will get worse.
“I can tell you, as the weather gets warmer and as the government eases restrictions, we’re going to see the ripple effect nationwide of almost 16,000 people that have been released from our custody. We’re going to have some issues in our streets,” Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. said in a recent appearance on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has said compassionate release is being abused.
“Like any good thing, I think people are taking advantage of the situation,” he said, according to the Post. “We still need to keep violent criminals in jail.”
Shea said many with a political ax to grind are behind the rise in inmates being freed.
“There are people that believe no one should be in jail. And some of those very same people that believe that and stated that six months ago or a year ago are now using the compassionate release to advocate for everyone getting out of jail,” Shea said. “I think everyone has to be honest about what’s going on.”
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