Green Party nominee for President (Former Rep., D, GA-4)
Replace death penalty with life imprisonment
Q: Briefly state your position on the following issue: Death Penalty.
A: In 1994, I voted to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment in the Federal Criminal Statutes. In 1995
I voted in opposition to making federal death penalty appeals more difficult. In 2001, I voted to support a moratorium on the death penalty; and for funding for DNA testing; as well as to require DNA testing prior to any federal executions.
Source: Green Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire
Feb 3, 2008
End the death penalty; it's based on race & class
Reconstruction Party Manifesto point #7. We Want to End Prisons for Profit Now! We want an end to privatization of prisons and prison health services. We want an end to prison labor schemes that are little more than
corporate subsidies that provide little training or rehabilitation for inmates. We want reconciliation, transformation, preparation, rather than incarceration based on retribution and vengeance. We do not want race and class to serve as the primary
determinants of punishment. And we want an end to the death penalty.
We believe that the prison-industrial, criminal injustice complex of today still operates in many respects as a vestige of slavery. And just as punishment was meted out disparately fo
Blacks and whites during slavery, these conditions persist today. Disparities permeate the system from the laws enacted, to those who enact the laws, to those who enforce and interpret them.
Reconstruction Party Manifesto point #5. We Want to Stop the War at Home Now! We believe that disparities in sentencing and in the criminal justice system as a whole can be overcome with political will to change the policies
Source: Manifesto for a Reconstruction Party
Jan 26, 2008
Police take communities of color as rampaging ground
Unfortunately, too many police officers take communities of color as a rampaging ground. The numbers of unarmed Blacks and Latino men murdered at the hands of rogue police is unacceptable.
The police are once again becoming an occupying force rather than protection for the community.
Source: Interview with "Reconstruction Renaissance"
Jan 8, 2008
We must rethink prisons. The U.S. justice system is criminal for its injustice. Young men and women exiting such an unjust system should not be punished for the rest of their lives. They must be integrated into the productive aspects of society.
That won't happen as long as prisons are a source of wealth for stockholders. We cannot accept the continued astronomical incarceration rates where administrative remedies exist--like in the Jena 6 and the Palmdale 4 cases.
Source: Interview with "Reconstruction Renaissance"
Jan 8, 2008
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
Voted YES on maintaining right of habeas corpus in Death Penalty Appeals.
Vote on an amendment to delete provisions in the bill that would make it harder for prisoners who have been given the death penalty in state courts to appeal the decision on constitutional grounds in the federal courts ['Habeas Corpus'].
McKinney 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].
H. R. 912, 3/7/2001, Innocence Protection Act of 2001 (Delahunt, et. al.)
S.486, 3/7/2001, Innocence Protection Act of 2001 (Leahy, et. al.)
H.R.1038, 3/15/2001, National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2001 (Jackson (IL), Rodriguez, Clay, Hoeffel, Jackson-Lee (TX))
S.233, 1/31/2001, National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2001 (Feingold, Levin, Wellstone, Corzine)
More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes.
McKinney 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.
Award grants to assist State and local law enforcement officials with extraordinary expenses for interstate hate crimes.
Award grants to State and local programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles.
Prohibit specified offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
Increase criminal sentencing for adult recruitment of juveniles to commit hate crimes.
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.
McKinney 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:
the Federal crime of which the person was convicted; or
any other offense that a sentencing authority may have relied upon when it sentenced the person with respect to such crime.
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.
Provides grants to prosecutors for DNA testing programs.
Establishes the National Commission on Capital Representation.
Withholds funds from States not complying with standards for capital representation.
Provides for capital defense incentive grants and resource grants.
Increases compensation in Federal cases, and sets forth provisions regarding compensation in State cases, where an individual is unjustly sentenced to death.
Adds a certification requirement in Federal death penalty prosecutions.
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
Stricter sentencing for hate crimes.
McKinney co-sponsored stricter sentencing for hate crimes
To make sentencing guidelines for Federal criminal cases that provide sentencing enhancements for hate crimes.
Amends the Federal judicial code to require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to:
promulgate or amend existing guidelines to provide for sentencing enhancements of not less than three offense levels for offenses that the finder of fact at trial determines beyond a reasonable doubt are hate crimes; and
assure reasonable consistency with other guidelines, avoid duplicative punishments for substantially the same offense, and take into account any mitigating circumstances that might justify exceptions.
Proponents' Argument in Favor:Rep. SENSENBRENNER. This bill does not create a new Federal crime. Nothing that is presently not criminal now would be made criminal as a result of enactment. What enactment of H.R. 1152 will do is provide for enhanced criminal penalties for certain specifically designated hate crimes. As used in the bill, the term hate crime is defined as a Federal crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation of the person. Hate crimes are more serious offenses and often result in a greater level of injury to the victim and to society.
Source: Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act (H.R.1152) 1993-H1152 on Mar 1, 1993