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James Hunt on Crime

Former Democratic NC Governor


Tougher juvenile crime penalties; but let states set them.

Hunt adopted a letter to Senate leaders from 4 Governors:

The bills [Congress is working on] support many effective juvenile justice strategies, including incarceration for anyone who knowingly provides a firearm to a minor for illegal use, and additional penalties for those who illegally sell or transfer firearms or engage in drug trafficking at or near a school site, park, or other area where children and youth congregate. While many of your goals are laudable and Governors support them, we do not approve of the various mandates, restrictions, and fund set-asides in H.R. 1501 and 254. States are in the best position to determine penalties for juvenile crime. States need more, not less flexibility to deal with delinquent behavior. Flexibility is essential to allow states to continue to find out what works, developing “best practices” on proven programs, and learning from each other. Federal mandates and one-size-fits-all prescriptions short-circuit experimentation and innovation.

The nation’s Governors are deeply concerned about attempts to expand federal criminal law into traditional state criminal justice system functions. This will contribute little to reducing crime. Moreover, it undermines state and local anti-crime efforts. Governors also believe that federal concurrent jurisdiction in criminal justice efforts will be used by the federal government to impose additional burdensome mandates on state and local crime control and law enforcement officials, especially with regard to federal authority over juvenile offenders. One example is the mandate that states establish and maintain federally-prescribed “Juvenile Criminal History Record” data banks. The pending bills are not clear on what information must be provided to and will remain in the national data bases, who will have access to the data, how long the data will be maintained and made available, and how the data will be used. We also affirm states’ rights under our federal system to control access to their own data.

Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 99-NGA24 on Aug 5, 1999

Other governors on Crime: James Hunt on other issues:
AK Frank Murkowski
AL Bob Riley
AR Mike Huckabee
AZ Janet Napolitano
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
CO Bill Owens
CT Jodi Rell
DE Ruth Ann Minner
FL Jeb Bush
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
IA Tom Vilsack
ID Dirk Kempthorne
IL Rod Blagojevich
IN Mitch Daniels
KS Kathleen Sebelius
KY Ernie Fletcher
LA Kathleen Blanco
MA Mitt Romney
MD Bob Ehrlich
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
MN Tim Pawlenty
MO Matt Blunt
MS Haley Barbour
MT Brian Schweitzer
NC Mike Easley
ND John Hoeven
NE Dave Heineman
NH John Lynch
NJ Jon Corzine
NM Bill Richardson
NV Kenny Guinn
NY George Pataki
OH Bob Taft
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Don Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
TX Rick Perry
UT Jon Huntsman
VA Tim Kaine
VT Jim Douglas
WA Christine Gregoire
WI Jim Doyle
WV Joe Manchin III
WY Dave Freudenthal
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