State of West Virginia secondary Archives: on Crime

Don Blankenship: Past criminal conviction not a barrier to running for office

In 2010 an explosion at a coal mine operated by Massey Energy killed 29 men. In 2015 Don Blankenship, the former C.E.O., was sent to prison for conspiring to violate mine safety standards. Blankenship is one of 4 Republicans with criminal convictions running for office this year, several of whom may well win their party's nominations. There is a much broader list of Republican politicians facing credible accusations of huge ethical lapses who nonetheless emerged victorious in G.O.P. primaries.
Source: N.Y. Times on 2018 West Virginia Senatorial race Mar 26, 2018

Patrick Morrisey: More funding, more equipment, more hiring for state police

Source: Twitter posting on 2018 West Virginia Senate race Feb 18, 2018

Patrick Morrisey: Tougher sentences for drug kingpins

Morrisey created the state's first ever substance abuse fighting unit, and his office reached the largest settlement with pharmaceutical distributors in the state's history. He also ramped up the state's educational efforts to fight substance abuse. He w
Source: 2018 West Virginia Senatorial website Oct 1, 2017

Paula Jean Swearengin: End mandatory minimum sentencing

Judicial discretion has eroded due to the politicization of law enforcement. Loss of discretion means that judges are compelled to deliver sentences that are often harsher than the crime committed. If discretion is given back to the courts, judges may have greater latitude in delivering a sentence that gives an individual in the system a chance to get his or her life back on track, rather than waste away in prison for years.
Source: 2018 West Virginia Senate campaign website Jul 17, 2017

Jim Justice: Stiffer laws for drug pushers; treatment for addicts

I want to fix the drug problem. If we don't fix the drug problem in this state, it will cannibalize you. We have to have stiffer laws. A drug pusher that rolls in here from Detroit and selling drugs, he ought to know that this is not going to be a fun program if we catch him. We absolutely have to have a pathway to get our people that are hooked on these terrible drugs back into the community. We have to do something with all the prescription drugs. But we have to have treatment facilities too.
Source: 2017 West Virginia State of the State address Feb 8, 2017

Evan Jenkins: Tough on crime, but open to reforms

I'm tough on crime. I think people have responsibilities and they should be held accountable, but I served on the Governor's Justice Reinvestment Plan in West Virginia to try to use the money that is already in the system to get treatment in our prisons. We have felony prisoners come up for parole, but they have not had the classes needed to be eligible. I do believe in reforms in that area, but I also feel responsible about holding people accountable.
Source: The Register-Herald on 2018 West Virginia Senatorial race Oct 27, 2016

Earl Ray Tomblin: Take preventative approach to juvenile justice

Following recommendations from my Commission on Juvenile we launched comprehensive juvenile justice reform that provided $600,000 in new funding to establish truancy diversion programs in each county. Since launching its own program in 2010, Putnam County has seen significant improvements in overall student attendance and achievement. Truancy referrals have dropped in half and four-year graduation rates have increased from 78% to 90% during that same period.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to West Virginia legislature Jan 13, 2016

Michael Folk: Supports capital punishment; supports prosecuting minors

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support reducing prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes?

A: Yes.

Q: Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?

A: Yes.

Source: West Virginia State 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Pat McGeehan: No capital punishment; don't prosecute minors as adults

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: No.

Q: Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?

A: No.

Q: Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?

A: No.

Source: West Virginia Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Joe Manchin III: Accelerated parole system for non-violent offenders

Like most states, West Virginia is facing a dramatically increasing prison population we simply cannot sustain. We are always going to be tough on crime, but we must adopt a different approach or we will have an insurmountable problem.

Tonight I am introducing a bill that will streamline our parole system and use our prisons to keep violent offenders where they belong--locked up. This accelerated parole system has been tested in other states and is one part of an overall plan to free up our prison resources.

This program would only be open to non-violent offenders and those convicted of crimes that do not involve a child. And, we will be working with West Virginia State University for the combined purpose of expanding our work-release program and renovating the former Rehabilitation Center in Institute. We are not being soft on crime--we are being smart on crime.

Source: West Virginia 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Jay Wolfe: Support the use of the death penalty

Source: West Virginia Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Aug 8, 2008

Jay Wolfe: Mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs

Source: West Virginia Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Aug 8, 2008

Bob Wise: $1.5M to raise pay for police and prison guards

Although we value their work, those who guard us against crime are paid far less in West Virginia than in our surrounding states. This is particularly true in the correctional system. After completing the required training, the starting salary for a correctional officer is $18,000. Severely understaffed and overworked, our correctional officers are spending long days in close quarters with dangerous and unpredictable criminals. I ask you to pass legislation that will provide a $2,000 annual raise for correctional officers.

Our State Police, too, are not paid adequately in accordance with the burden they carry. And, we are unable, in this tight budget year, to give them all they deserve. But I have set aside $1.5 million in the budget to offer an adjustment in the trooper longevity schedule that will reward our troopers for remaining on the job.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of West Virginia Politicians: secondary Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Crime.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Crime:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 27, 2021