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Dave Ross

We can all agree on this!

"We're not a soft on crime state. I hope we get the reputation of being a smart on crime state," said Texas Governor Rick Perry, endorsing an end to mandatory sentencing. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Attorney General Eric Holder has addressed the idea of cutting prison sentences for many non-violent drug traffickers.

What’s surprising is who else supports this.

Like Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has said, “Texas is a tough on crime state.”

The problem began when politicians, eager to be seen as tough on crime began agitating from mandatory sentences, sometimes really mandatory sentences: do the crime, do the time.

Well now, we’ve learned two things, it doesn’t reduce crime, it costs a heck of a lot of money and I guess a third thing too: It can turn a non-violent drug user into a permanently unemployable burden on the taxpayer – or even a ticking time bomb by the time they’re released.

So the Attorney General is officially endorsing an idea now supported by the Independent U.S. Sentencing Commission to cut penalties for non-violent offenders.

That’s actually nothing new for Holder himself, but what may surprise you is who else endorses the idea.

“We’re not a soft on crime state. I hope we get the reputation of being a smart on crime state,” said Perry, endorsing an end to mandatory sentencing.

And look who else! Legendary anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist, “This is not some moderate liberal thing, this is getting to punishing real criminals and keeping the cost down so we don’t have to loot the American tax payers to fill prisons with people who aren’t a threat to other people. But if you leave them in prison long enough, you get additional problems that cost money and cost lives.”

Makes sense.

So then you have two bona fide conservatives on the same page as the ACLU which means these changes ought to be adopted anytime now.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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