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Op-ed Placement

Refusal To Indict Clinton Means It’s Time For Criminal Justice Reform

Originally Published in Independent Journal Review on 7/14/16.

Legal scholars and American voters are grappling with FBI Director James Comey’s questionable rationale in failing to indict Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified documents during her tenure as secretary of state.

He says she lacked the adequate “intent” to break the law and should not be punished.

Many, no doubt, are wondering how Clinton can escape prosecution for, in Comey’s carefully chosen words, “extreme carelessness.” Suffice it to say, Comey’s reasoning was mind-boggling. It’s clear that there are two criminal justice systems: one for Clinton and another for everyone else.

Meanwhile, momentum has been building in the halls of Congress on criminal justice reform. FreedomWorks has been working in support of this effort to make changes to federal sentencing policies, implement rehabilitative programming in federal prisons and save taxpayers’ money.

These reforms are modeled after groundbreaking efforts in conservative states — including Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina — that have been shown to reduce the number of people in prison, recidivism rates, and crime. The results have been overwhelmingly successful.

But Clinton’s email scandal shines light on another aspect of criminal justice reform that, ironically, is loathed by liberals — criminal intent, or mens rea, reform.