Bill Clinton’s Mendacious Defense of the 1994 Crime Bill

While arguing with Black Lives Matter protesters during a speech in Philadelphia yesterday, Bill Clinton made several eyebrow-raising claims about the 1994 crime bill that he signed and his wife supported:

Democrats included longer prison sentences in the bill only because Republicans demanded them. According to Clinton, Joe Biden, who was the bill’s main sponsor in the Senate, said, “You can’t pass this bill, and the Republicans will kill it, if you don’t put more sentencing in.” Yet as first lady, Hillary Clinton cited tougher sentencing rules as one of the bill’s main advantages. “We need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders,” she saidin a 1994 speech. “The ‘three strikes and you’re out’ for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets.” After the bill passed, the Clinton administration bragged about making sentences longer.

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