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Michael Capuano on Crime

Democratic Representative (MA-8)

 


Supports message but not action of NFL players kneeling

While Pressley and [incumbent opponent Mike] Capuano did not disagree on much substantive policy, Pressley challenged on his vote for a so-called "Blue Lives Matter" bill which would impose harsher penalties for crimes against members of law enforcement. Additionally, in a recent debate, Capuano said that he supported the message of NFL players who have chosen to kneel in protest against police brutality but questioned the tactics. Pressley has said that she supports both the action and the message.
Source: The Daily Beast on 2018 Massachusetts 7th House race , Sep 2, 2018

Criminal justice system is institutional racism

Asked about recent controversial comments made by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was speaking at a university in New Orleans where she described the criminal justice system as "racist," Pressley and Capuano found solidarity with Warren's statement, though Capuano offered a caveat. "I think it's more than just intentional racism, I think it's institutional racism," Capuano said, lauding local officials for their efforts to address criminal justice reform. "But I want to be real clear: I think most people in the criminal justice system are trying to do the right thing and trying to get it right."

Referring to the disproportionate number of minorities incarcerated as "modern day slavery," Pressley touted her efforts on Boston City Council to reform the system and called for bail and sentencing reform to be part of the solution.

Source: WGBH 89.7 FM Radio on 2018 Massachusetts 7th House race , Aug 15, 2018

Voted for terrorist death penalty as part of larger bill

Capuano once voted to sanction the execution of terrorists. [In response Capuano's criticism of Martha Coakley's death penalty brief], a Coakley spokeswoman highlighted Capuano's vote in December 2001 to authorize the United States to execute terrorists who bomb public areas or government buildings. "I'm against the death penalty, but if we're going to have one, than there are few people more deserving of it than those who committed those particularly heinous crimes," Capuano told the Boston Herald at the time.

"It's particularly ironic to hear criticism on this issue from the only candidate in this race who has actually voted in favor of the death penalty, Mike Capuano," the Coakley spokeswoman said.

Capuano has defended his vote by saying the legislation was much broader than the death penalty issue and included stronger laws in terrorism cases.

Source: Matt Viser in Boston Globe, "Death Penalty Brief" , Nov 7, 2009

Death penalty is out of step with progressive Massachusetts

Capuano yesterday blasted Attorney General Martha Coakley's decision to get involved in an Alabama death penalty case, saying the man they are vying to succeed in the Senate, Edward M. Kennedy, "would have never supported this position."

"She is out of step with the progressive values of the Commonwealth," Capuano said in a statement.

In September, Capuano sought to highlight Coakley's evolution on the issue. Coakley previously favored the death penalty in two instances.

Source: Matt Viser in Boston Globe, "Death Penalty Brief" , Nov 7, 2009

Opposes the death penalty

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.mikecapuano.com, "About" , Oct 1, 2009

Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes

Source: Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test , Nov 1, 2008

Thoroughly review sentencing for non-violent crimes

Source: Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test , Nov 1, 2008

Voted YES on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes.

Congressional Summary:Adopts the definition of "hate crime" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person. Provides technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of hate crimes, including financial grant awards.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN CONYERS (D, MI-14):This bill expands existing Federal hate crimes law to groups who are well-known targets for bias-based violence--they are sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. These crimes of violence are directed not just at those who are directly attacked; they are targeting the entire group with the threat of violence.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LAMAR SMITH (R, TX-21): Every year thousands of violent crimes are committed out of hate, but just as many violent crimes, if not more, are motivated by something other than hate--greed, jealousy, desperation or revenge, just to name a few. An individual's motivation for committing a violent crime is usually complex and often speculative. Every violent crime is deplorable, regardless of its motivation. That's why all violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted. Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system--equal justice for all. Under this bill, justice will no longer be equal. Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime. This is the real injustice.

Reference: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act; Bill HR.1913 ; vote number 2009-H223 on Apr 2, 2009

Voted YES on expanding services for offenders' re-entry into society.

H.R.1593: Second Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety Through Recidivism Prevention or the Second Chance Act (Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass). To reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and to improve reentry planning and implementation.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. CONYERS: Some 650,000 men and women are leaving the Federal and State prisons each year. While the vast majority of the prisoners are committed to abiding by the law and becoming productive members of society, they often encounter the same pressures & temptations that they faced before prison. More than two-thirds of them are arrested for new crimes within 3 years of their release. This exacts a terrible cost in financial terms as well as in human terms. The Second Chance Act will help provide these men and women with the training, counseling and other support needed to help them obtain & hold steady jobs; to kick their drug and alcohol habits; rebuild their families; and deal with the many other challenges that they face in their efforts to successfully rejoin society.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. GOHMERT: The programs that are sought to be renewed are ones we don't have information on how successful they were. I can tell you from my days as a judge, there was some anecdotal evidence that it looked like faith-based programs did a better job of dramatically reducing recidivism. In addition:

Reference: Second Chance Act; Bill HR1593 ; vote number 2007-1083 on Nov 13, 2007

Voted YES on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons.

Vote on an amendment that would reduce the funding for violent offender imprisonment by and truth-in-sentencing programs by $61 million. The measure would increase funding for Boys and Girls Clubs and drug courts by the same amount.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Scott, D-VA; Bill HR 4690 ; vote number 2000-317 on Jun 22, 2000

Voted NO on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime.

Vote to pass a bill to appropriate $1.5 billion to all of the states that want to improve their juvenile justice operations. Among other provisions this bill includes funding for development, implementation, and administration of graduated sanctions for juvenile offenders, funds for building, expanding, or renovating juvenile corrections facilities, hiring juvenile judges, probation officers, and additional prosecutors for juvenile cases.
Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 1501 ; vote number 1999-233 on Jun 17, 1999

Rated 78% by CURE, indicating pro-rehabilitation crime votes.

Capuano scores 78% by CURE on rehabilitation issues

CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants) is a membership organization of families of prisoners, prisoners, former prisoners and other concerned citizens. CURE's two goals are

  1. to use prisons only for those who have to be in them; and
  2. for those who have to be in them, to provide them all the rehabilitative opportunities they need to turn their lives around.
The ratings indicate the legislatorís percentage score on CUREís preferred votes.
Source: CURE website 00n-CURE on Dec 31, 2000

Moratorium on death penalty; more DNA testing.

Capuano co-sponsored a bill limiting capital punishment:

H.R. 1038, S.233:

To place a moratorium on executions by the Federal Government and urge the States to do the same, while a National Commission on the Death Penalty reviews the fairness of the imposition of the death penalty .
S.486 & H.R.912:
To reduce the risk that innocent persons may be executed [by examining DNA evidence more thoroughly].
Source: H.R.912 01-HR1038 on Mar 7, 2001

More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes.

Capuano co-sponsored the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act:

Title: To provide Federal assistance to States and local jurisdictions to prosecute hate crimes.

Summary: Provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any violent crime that is motivated by prejudice based on the race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of the victim or is a violation of hate crime laws.

  1. Award grants to assist State and local law enforcement officials with extraordinary expenses for interstate hate crimes.

  2. Award grants to State and local programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles.

  3. Prohibit specified offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

  4. Increase criminal sentencing for adult recruitment of juveniles to commit hate crimes.

  5. Collect and publish data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on gender.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR1343 on Apr 3, 2001

Require DNA testing for all federal executions.

Capuano co-sponsored the Innocence Protection Act:

Title: To reduce the risk that innocent persons may be executed.

    Summary: Authorizes a person convicted of a Federal crime to apply for DNA testing to support a claim that the person did not commit:

  1. the Federal crime of which the person was convicted; or

  2. any other offense that a sentencing authority may have relied upon when it sentenced the person with respect to such crime.

  3. Prohibits a State from denying an application for DNA testing made by a prisoner in State custody who is under sentence of death if specified conditions apply.

  4. Provides grants to prosecutors for DNA testing programs.

  5. Establishes the National Commission on Capital Representation.

  6. Withholds funds from States not complying with standards for capital representation.

  7. Provides for capital defense incentive grants and resource grants.

  8. Increases compensation in Federal cases, and sets forth provisions regarding compensation in State cases, where an individual is unjustly sentenced to death.

  9. Adds a certification requirement in Federal death penalty prosecutions.

  10. Expresses the sense of Congress regarding the execution of juvenile offenders and the mentally retarded.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR912 on Mar 7, 2001

Increase funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program.

Capuano co-sponsored increasing funding for "COPS ON THE BEAT" program

COPS Improvements Act of 2007 - Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to make grants for public safety and community policing programs (COPS ON THE BEAT or COPS program). Revises grant purposes to provide for:

  1. the hiring or training of law enforcement officers for intelligence, antiterror, and homeland security duties;
  2. the hiring of school resource officers;
  3. school-based partnerships between local law enforcement agencies and local school systems to combat crime, gangs, drug activities, and other problems facing elementary and secondary schools;
  4. innovative programs to reduce and prevent illegal drug (including methamphetamine) manufacturing, distribution, and use; and
  5. enhanced community policing and crime prevention grants that meet emerging law enforcement needs.
    Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to:
  1. assign community prosecutors to handle cases from specific geographic areas and address counterterrorism problems, specific violent crime problems, and localized violent and other crime problems; and
  2. develop new technologies to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in crime prevention.
Source: COPS Improvements Act (S.368/H.R.1700) 07-S368 on Jan 23, 2007

Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance.

Capuano co-sponsored reducing recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance

Legislative Outcome: Became Public Law No: 110-199.
Source: Second Chance Act (S.1060/H.R.1593) 08-S1060 on Mar 29, 2007

2016-17 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Crime: Michael Capuano on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Bob Massie
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Jay Gonzalez
Jesse Gordon
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Setti Warren
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Allen Waters
Beth Lindstrom
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
Geoff Diehl
Heidi Wellman
John Kingston
Martha Coakley
Shiva Ayyadurai

Special elections in 2017-18:
AZ-8:Franks(R, resigned in sex scandal)
AZ-8:Lesko(R, elected April 24, 2018)
CA-34:Becerra(D; appointed CA Atty General)
CA-34:Gomez(D; elected June 6, 2017)
CA-34:Ahn(D; lost primary)
GA-6:Price(R; appointed HHS Secretary)
GA-6:Handel(R; elected June 20)
GA-6:Ossoff(D; lost election June 20, 2017)
KS-4:Pompeo(R; appointed CIA Director)
KS-4:Estes(R; elected April 11)
MT-0:Zinke(R; appointed DOI Secretary)
MT-0:Gianforte(R; elected May 25)
OH-12:Tiberi(R, resigned to become a lobbyist)
OH-12:Balderson(R, elected Aug. 24, 2018)
PA-18:Murphy(R, resigned in sex scandal)
PA-18:Lamb(D; elected April 2018)
SC-5:Mulvaney(R; appointed OMB Director)
SC-5:Norman(R; elected June 20)
TX-27:Farenthold(R, resigned in sex scandal)
TX-27:Cloud(R, elected June 30, 2018)
UT-3:Chaffetz(R, resigned for unexplained reasons)
UT-3:Curtis(R, elected Nov. 7, 2017)
Retirements as of January 2019 (Republicans):
AZ-2:Martha McSally
CA-49:Darrell Issa
FL-6:Ron DeSantis
FL-15:Dennis Ross
FL-17:Tom Rooney
FL-27:Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-6:Luke Messer
KS-2:Lynn Jenkins
MI-11:Dave Trott
MS-3:Gregg Harper
NH-1:Carol Shea-Porter
NJ-2:Frank LoBiondo
NJ-11:Rodney Frelinghuysen
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NY-27:Chris Collins
NC-9:Robert Pittenger
ND-0:Kevin Cramer
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OK-1:Jim Bridenstine
PA-6:Ryan Costello
PA-7:Pat Meehan
PA-9:Bill Shuster
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-15:Charlie Dent
PA-18:Tim Murphy
SC-1:Mark Sanford
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-2:Jimmy Duncan
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-7:Marsha Blackburn
TX-2:Ted PoeTX02'>2
TX-3:Sam Johnson
TX-5:Jeb Hensarling
TX-6:Joe Barton
TX-21:Lamar Smith
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz
VA-5:Tom Garrett
VA-6:Bob Goodlatte
WA-8:Dave Reichert
WV-3:Evan Jenkins
WI-1:Paul Ryan
Retirements as of January 2019 (Democrats):
AZ-9:Kyrsten Sinema
CO-2:Jared Polis
CT-5:Elizabeth Esty
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
IL-4:Luis Gutierrez
MD-6:John Delaney
MA-3:Niki Tsongas
MI-9:Sander Levin
MN-1:Tim Walz
MN-5:Keith Ellison
MN-8:Rick Nolan
NV-3:Jacky Rosen
NV-4:Ruben Kihuen
NM-1:Michelle Lujan-Grisham
PA-1:Bob Brady
TX-16:Beto O'Rourke
TX-29:Gene Green

Challengers for November 2018 (Democrats):
DE-0:Rochester(D)
KY-6:McGrath(D)
MA-7:Pressley(D)
MI-13:Brenda Jones
MI-13:Rashida Tlaib

Challengers for November 2018 (Republicans):
CA-49:Rocky Chavez
HI-1:Cam Cavasso
ID-1:Russ Fulcher
NV-3:Danny Tarkanian
OH-12:Troy Balderson
PA-14:Rick Saccone
PA-16:Lloyd Smucker
PA-18:Rick Saccone
SC-4:Lee Bright
SC-5:Pope(R)
TX-27:Michael Cloud
UT-3:John Curtis
WA-8:Dino Rossi
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Energy/Oil
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Foreign Policy
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Gun Control
Health Care
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Immigration
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Tax Reform
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War/Peace
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Vacancies for November 2018 election:
MI-13:Conyers(D, resigned in sex scandal)
NY-25:Slaughter(D, deceased March 2018)
OK-1:Bridenstine(R; resigned to head NASA)
PA-7:Meehan(R, resigned in sex scandal)
PA-15:Dent(R; resigned May 2018)


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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2018