Mike Pence on Crime

Republian nominee for Vice President; Governor of Indiana; former Representative (IN-6)


Expedited death penalty for mass shooters

Let me speak to the mass shootings issue. Look, I'm someone that believes that justice delayed is justice denied. And as a father of three, as a grandfather of three beautiful little girls, I am sick and tired of these mass shootings happening in the United States of America. And if I'm president of the United States, I'm going to go to the Congress of the United States and we're going to pass a federal expedited death penalty for anyone involved in a mass shooting so that they will meet their fate in months, not years.

It is unconscionable that the Parkland shooter is actually going to spend the rest of his life behind bars in Florida. That's not justice. We have to mete out justice and send a message to these would-be killers that you are not going to live out your days behind bars. You're going to meet justice in the system.

Source: Fox Business 2023 Republican primary debate in Simi Valley , Sep 27, 2023

Don't go easy on bail reform; don't defund the police

Q: How much of what we are seeing happening around this country is a result of those COVID lockdowns? And is your administration in part to blame for how we got here?

PENCE: Well, I think what's in part to blame is the Democrats been talking about defunding the police for the last five years. And we ought to be funding law enforcement, particularly in our major cities at unprecedented levels. And yet Democrats and liberal prosecutors in major metropolitan areas continue to work out their fanciful agendas, to do bail reform and go easy. What we need is strong commitment to law enforcement. We need leadership in Washington, D.C., that will marshal the resources of the states, marshal the resources of the American people. But when I'm president, we're going to extend those tax cuts. And we're going to block grant funding back to the states with a growing economy and educational choice and law enforcement. We will bring our cities back.

Source: Fox News 2023 Republican primary debate in Milwaukee , Aug 23, 2023

We need to get serious and tough on violent crime

I have to believe that the criminal element in this country has been emboldened by the radical left's defund the police movement, and, in a very real sense, has helped foment some of the crime that we see today. I, frankly, think we need to take a step back from the approach of the FIRST STEP Act. We need to get serious and tough on violent crime. And we need to give our cities and our states the resources to restore law and order to our streets.

I think if you engage in a mass shooting that claims lives, you should face execution not in years, but in months. We ought to have expedited due process that ensures that anyone that engages in a mass shooting in this country knows that they will meet their fate within a year and a half. I think that's closer to justice than anything that we have today.

Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jun 7, 2023

No interest nor intention of pardoning January 6 lawbreakers

We cannot ever allow what happened on January 6 to happen again in the heart of our democracy. And I will stand by the decisions and the due process of court and our laws. And I have no interest or no intention of pardoning those that assaulted police officers or vandalized our Capitol. They need to be answerable to the law.
Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jun 7, 2023

Radical left responsible for NYC prosecution of Trump

I'm taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States at a time when there's a crime wave in New York City, the fact that the Manhattan D.A. thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority I think just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left in this country. It just feels like a politically charged prosecution here. For my part, I just feel like it's just not what the American people want to see.
Source: ABC This Week on 2023 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 19, 2023

Yes to justice for George Floyd; no to riots

I trust our justice system. There's no excuse for what happened to George Floyd. Justice will be served, but there's also no excuse for the rioting and looting that followed. Flora Westbrook is with us here tonight in Salt Lake City. Just a few weeks ago, I stood at what used to be her salon. It was burned to the ground by rioters and looters. And Flora is still trying to put her life back together.
Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah , Oct 7, 2020

Riots aren't peaceful protest; wrecking statues isn't speech

President Donald Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to peaceful protest, but rioting and looting is not peaceful protest, tearing down statues is not free speech. Those who do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Let me be clear: the violence must stop -- whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha. Too many heroes have died defending our freedoms to see Americans strike each other down. We will have law and order on the streets of America.
Source: Speech at 2020 Republican National Convention , Aug 26, 2020

Called ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio a "champion of the rule of law"

Pence had kind words for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was pardoned by President Trump after a federal judge held him in criminal contempt. Pence introduced Arpaio as "another favorite, a great friend of this president, a tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law." It was interesting choice of words, considering Arpaio was charged by federal prosecutors and convicted of contempt of court for refusing to stop his department's unconstitutional racial profiling of Latino residents.
Source: Reason Magazine on Trump Administration , May 2, 2018

Require police to wear body cameras

Q: Should police officers be required to wear body cameras?

Mike Pence's answer: Yes

Tim Kaine's answer: Yes

Gary Johnson's answer (Libertarian Party): Yes, this will protect the safety and rights of police officers and citizens

Donald Trump's answer: No, it should be a police department's or officer's choice to wear one

Q: Should convicted felons have the right to vote?

Mike Pence's answer: Yes

Tim Kaine's answer: No

Gary Johnson's answer (Libertarian Party): Yes

Donald Trump's answer: No

Q: Should prisons ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles?

Mike Pence's answer: Yes

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Gary Johnson's answer (Libertarian Party): No, it is necessary for violent criminals who are a danger to themselves and other inmates

Donald Trump's answer: No

Source: iSideWith.com analysis of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 1, 2016

Law enforcement is not a force for racism or division

Q: Senator Tim Scott, who is African-American, recently spoke on the Senate floor. He said he was stopped seven times by law enforcement in one year.

KAINE: A U.S. senator!

Q: He said, "I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness, and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you're being targeted for nothing more than being just yourself." What would you say to Senator Scott about his experiences?

PENCE: I have the deepest respect for Senator Scott, and he's a close friend. And what I would say is that we need to adopt criminal justice reform nationally. I signed criminal justice reform in the state of Indiana, and we're very proud of it. I worked when I was Congress on a Second Chance Act. We have got to do a better job recognizing and correcting the errors in the system that do reflect on institutional bias in criminal justice. But what Donald Trump and I truly do believe is that law enforcement is not a force for racism or division in our country.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Bringing up "implicit bias" demeans police officers

Police officers hear the bad-mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism. That has got to stop. When an African-American police officer in Charlotte was involved in a police action shooting that claimed the life of Keith Lamont Scott, it was a tragedy. Clinton actually referred to that moment as an example of implicit bias in the police force; when she was asked whether there was implicit bias in law enforcement, her only answer was that there's implicit bias in everyone in the US. We ought to stop seizing on these moments of tragedy. We ought to assure the public that we'll have a full and complete and transparent investigation whenever there's a loss of life because of police action. Enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation of implicit bias every time tragedy occurs.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Inner-city families should want stop-and-frisk

Law enforcement in this country is a force for good. They truly are people that put their lives on the line every single day. But I would suggest [that] what we need to do is assert a stronger leadership at the national level to support law enforcement. You just heard Kaine reject stop-and-frisk. I would suggest to you that the families that live in our inner cities that are besieged by crime [would benefit from it].
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Police officer are the best of us; restore law & order

Police officers are the best of us. And the men and women, white, African-American, Asian, Latino, Hispanic, they put their lives on the line every single day. And let my say, at the risk of agreeing with you, community policing is a great idea. It's worked in the Hoosier state. And we fully support that. Trump and I are going to make sure that law enforcement have the resources and the tools to be able to really restore law and order to the cities and communities in this nation.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line

Donald Trump has never turned his back on the working men and women who serve and protect us at home and abroad. It has been a heartbreaking time for the women and men in our law enforcement community. In this time of great testing for them, let's let them know here and now, all across this country, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line of law enforcement in America.
Source: Speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention , Jul 20, 2016

OpEd: even-minded on ending racist police brutality

Many are curious to know what is Pence's stance on Black Lives Matter? Depending on your viewpoint, it's either unfortunate or positive that Gov. Pence hasn't said much about the Black Lives Matter movement. Unfortunate in that there's no way to know his true feelings on BLM, but positive in that he hasn't publicly spoken out in bigotry or jumped to conclusions.

What he has said publicly paints him as fairly even-minded when it comes to the controversial movement aimed at ending racist police brutality. While he called the shootings of police officers in Dallas last week a "horrific ambush," he didn't blame Black Lives Matter for the shooting, which in 2016, makes him the Republican equivalent of the Dalai Lama. Pence went on to say that his heart goes out to the two men who lost their lives at the hands of police before the Dallas shootings as well, though he didn't mention their names. Pence hasn't proven himself to be racist (or at least anti-BLM).

Source: Bustle.com, "Pence On Black Lives Matter": 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 17, 2016

Reduce crime, not penalties for crime

The Indiana criminal code will be updated after House Bill 1006 was signed into law by Gov. Pence. That bill will replace Indiana's A through F felony system with a 1 through 6 system (1 being the most severe). It's the first major overhaul of the state criminal code since 1978. The governor says he's interested in reducing prison populations. But he wants do that by reducing crime, not by decreasing penalties on some crimes. "I think we need to focus on reducing crime, not reducing penalties," he said.
Source: Indiana Economic Digest on Indiana Voting Records, H.B.1006 , May 21, 2016

I support the death penalty; justice demands it

Q: Do you see down the line in Indiana any chance that the death penalty would be removed from law?

PENCE: I don't see that prospect in the state of Indiana. I support the death penalty. I believe justice demands it in our most heinous cases. But I think what you see in high relief here is a part of the American experiment that explains a lot of the prosperity and success our nation has had for more than two centuries and that is to allow states to have the freedom and flexibility to craft policies, whether it be in the area of criminal justice or whether be in the area of economic policy, in the area of education, in the area of health care, I would argue that will allow the states to be those laboratories of innovation and to reflect the values and the ideals -

Source: 2014 CNN "State of the Union" interview of Mike Pence , Feb 23, 2014

Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance.

Pence 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

Other candidates on Crime: Mike Pence on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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