Sheldon Whitehouse on Crime
Democratic Jr Senator, previously attorney general
A: I’m a firm believer in re-entry programs that help people released from prison find jobs, housing, and education and turn their lives around. I also strongly support drug treatment and intervention initiatives, like drug courts, that offer alternative sentencing for non-violent, drug-related offenses.
A: Except in very specific ways set out by law, the justice system is entitled to what’s called “every person’s evidence.” So, if someone is prosecuted for a crime that might entail a long jail sentence or even the death penalty, and if a journalist has information proving he’s innocent, you want to get that information out.
Q: The perception among journalists is that unnamed sources are, or ought to be, subject to the same confidentiality as the doctor-patient privilege.
A: At present there is no newsperson’s privilege in the same way that there’s a doctor/patient privilege. The fight should be to get the determination made as to when and where the shield law or newsperson’s privilege is appropriate.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
This amendment reinstates the COPS Program. I remind everyone, when the COPS Program was functioning, violent crime in America reduced 8.5% a year for 7 years in a row. Throughout the 1990s, we funded the COPS Program at roughly $1.2 billion, and it drove down crime. Now crime is rising again. The COPS Program in the crime bill worked, and the Government Accounting Office found a statistical link between the COPS grants and a reduction in crime. The Brookings Institution reported the COPS Program is one of the most cost-effective programs we have ever had in this country. Local officials urgently need this support.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
The COPS Program has some history. It was started by President Clinton. He asked for 100,000 police officers. He said that when we got to 100,000, the program would stop. We got to 110,000 police officers and the program continues on and on and on.
This program should have ended 5 years ago or 6 years ago, but it continues. It is similar to so many Federal programs that get constituencies that go on well past what their original purpose was. It may be well intentioned, but we cannot afford it and we shouldn't continue it. It was never thought it would be continued this long.
National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network Act - Authorizes grants to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence to work in collaboration with the American Bar Association Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and other organizations to create, recruit lawyers for, and provide training, mentoring, and technical assistance for a National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network.
Requires the Office on Violence Against Women of the Department of Justice to designate five states in which to implement the pilot program of a National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Referral Project and distribute funds under this Act.
Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study and report to Congress on the scope and quality of legal representation and advocacy for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, including the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
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MA:Gabriel Gomez(R,lost special election)
Senate races Nov. 2014:
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