Responding to a heckler critical of the 1994 Crime Bill, Bill Clinton says that in 2016, “[Y]ou don’t have anybody you can vote for who didn’t have anything to do with this.”
During a campaign event on Friday, Clinton said that Bernie Sanders “voted for the bill by the way. Hillary was the first candidate in either party to actually advocate an aggressive effort to let young people who are nonviolent offenders out of prison earlier with education and training to do that. So you don’t have anybody you can vote for who didn’t have anything to do with this.” (RELATED: Bill Clinton: Black Lives Matter Defends Black People Who Kill Other Black People [VIDEO])
After the interruption subsided, Clinton said, “The Crime Bill of 1994, which you must be talking about also contained a provision which no-one ever mentioned which forbade first time drug offenders from being covered by the excessive sentencing laws. Did you know that? I bet you didn’t.”
“Secondly, we put 100,000 police on the street and we passed an assault weapons ban with an ammunition clip limit– which along with the background check law gave us a 25-year low in crime, a 33-year low in murder, and a 46-year low in illegal deaths from guns.”
“We could not pass that bill without the higher sentencing,” Clinton claimed. “More than a year ago, I went to the NAACP and I said the sentencing laws were way overdone and we needed to lower them and when I was president, I started a process which thank goodness, President Obama has finished of letting people like these girlfriends that got enormous sentences because they wouldn’t rat out their boyfriends– even though they were innocent of anything done–letting them out of prison. I am all for this. We overdid the sentencing in the ’90s, we need to reverse it.”
“But we can do it, but the suggestion as Vice President Biden said the other day — who was a principal sponsor of the bill — the suggestion that somehow we just made all this up and we were dying to do this instead of to pass 100,000 police, to give young people serious funds to do things on the weekend and at night that would keep them out of trouble and that we did get an exemption from first-time drug offenders from being included in these sentencing laws is a mistake. You got to look at the whole record here.”
The sentencing part of the Crime Bill “was overdone and we need to fix it but I said so more than a year ago and Hillary, no anybody else.” Clinton argued.