State of Tennessee Archives: on Crime


Marquita Bradshaw: We need restorative justice & overhaul of justice system

I support community policing, restorative justice and signed the justice guarantee pledge. Restorative justice is a theory of justice that focuses on repairing the harm caused by the crime. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that allow stakeholders to meet. In Tennessee, we need a fundamental overhaul of our justice system to ensure that we all are being held to an equal interpretation of the law, not one rooted in racial and income bias. When we do this, it will lead to a transformation of people, relationships, and communities.

I support universal background checks, and research [on] gun deaths and injuries in the same way it researches other health issues in order to find workable solutions.

I support the full legalization of recreational marijuana. We need to lead Tennessee in this industry.

Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website MarquitaBradshaw.com Aug 26, 2020

Bill Hagerty: Uphold the rule of law; stop ANTIFA

We have seen criminals and ANTIFA anarchists hijack First Amendment protests with a campaign for violence and crime. Dismantling and defunding our police departments will throw our country into chaos. Who will answer the call when you're family needs help? The dismantling and defunding of law enforcement in America is not the solution. Bill will work to uphold the rule of law, stop ANTIFA, and fight to secure appropriate funding and support for our law enforcement officers.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website TeamHagerty.com Jul 1, 2020

Bill Hagerty: Supports death penalty for human trafficking

Human trafficking affects every county in Tennessee. While Tennessee has been a leader in the fight to end this modern-day slavery, more must be done. Human traffickers--those who knowingly, intentionally exploit others and force them into modern-day slavery--should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that includes the death penalty. Human trafficking is one of the most atrocious crimes, and he fully supports the death penalty for these criminals.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website TeamHagerty.com Jul 1, 2020

Bill Hagerty: Use Insurrection Act against domestic terrorism

President Trump has already taken decisive leadership in recognizing ANTIFA as a terrorist organization. America is rooted in the rule of law. We cannot have another night of violence. It has to stop now. Period. If we don't, it propagates lawlessness. To better protect our cities and communities from further danger, President Trump should use the Insurrection Act to its fullest extent. Mobilizing our military forces across the country will show that we will not tolerate domestic terrorism.
Source: 2020 Tennessee Senate campaign website TeamHagerty.com Jul 1, 2020

Bill Lee: Increase penalties for firearm theft & reckless endangerment

First and foremost, we must be tough on crime. Last year, we cracked down on fentanyl traffickers, and this year I propose increasing the criminal penalties associated with theft of a firearm and increasing the criminal penalties associated with reckless endangerment of a police officer or first responder.
Source: 2020 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature Feb 3, 2020

Bill Lee: Improve supervision; encourage hiring of former prisoners

First, we want to expand our recovery courts so that veterans and those struggling with addiction or mental health challenges will have access to specialized supervision. Second, we want to improve our use of community supervision, including at the end of a prison sentence. Third, we want to encourage those leaving prison to secure employment by revising the occupational licensing process and encouraging employers to hire the formerly incarcerated.
Source: 2020 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature Feb 3, 2020

Bill Lee: Electronic monitoring for low-risk offenders

One area of reform is our use of community supervision for low-risk offenders. It costs about 20 times more to incarcerate someone than to put them under community supervision, and the latter leads to better outcomes. One of the first things we will do is add funds to the Electronic Monitoring Indigency Fund and add the use of GPS monitoring so that low-risk, non-violent individuals can keep their jobs and provide for their families instead of spending unnecessary time in jail.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature Mar 6, 2019

Bill Lee: Volunteer to mentor degree-seeking inmates

We are launching the Volunteer Mentorship Initiative to equip Tennesseans throughout our state to mentor fellow Tennesseans who are currently in prison. And I'm signing up tonight as the first volunteer. This initiative will begin by working with Tennessee-based non-profits to pair degree-seeking inmates with mentors on the outside as they seek better opportunities for themselves during their time in prison and their first days back in their communities.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature Mar 6, 2019

James Mackler: Prosecutor JAG in military, and in criminal law afterwards

Mackler has practiced law in the past. He's worked in criminal law and more recently has specialized in legal issues involving unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, by providing businesses legal advice on their use.

Before those stints, Mackler spent three years as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot with the 101st Airborne Division after he had put aside his legal work for the Army in 2001 following the attacks on 9/11. His military service included a deployment to Iraq.

Mackler, who continues serving in the Tennessee Air National Guard, earned his Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge and an Air Medal for "bold and audacious piloting." After his service in Iraq, Mackler transferred to the Judge Advocate General Corps, where he was a military prosecutor.

Source: The Tennessean on 2020 Tennessee Senate race Jan 8, 2019

Bill Lee: Sentences should be upheld and violent offenders prioritized

You can be both tough and smart on crime. I have been involved with a men's prison ministry. We work with ex-offenders to help them pursue a life of purpose inspired by Christ and achieve a chance to right past wrongs. I have come to a deeper understanding of how our criminal justice system works and how it can be improved. For one, we need truth-in-sentencing. Second, we must make sure our system prioritizes violent offenders over non-violent, creating a system that reduces recidivism.
Source: 2018 Tennessee Gubernatorial website BillLee.com Jul 4, 2018

Bill Lee: Men of Valor: re-entry program for former offenders

Lee said the 2000 death of his wife of 16 years in a horse-riding accident on the family's farm changed his life, from inspiring him to volunteer to how he viewed his work. He helped in a YMCA program aimed at assisting at-risk youth and mentored in Men of Valor, a re-entry program for former offenders.

That led him to become part of the state Higher Education Commission and a governor's task force on sentencing and recidivism. Lee said he developed "a vision for something bigger."

"What if I could make my life better for six and a half million people? That was a compelling thought to me," he said. "That is really what drove me to consider running for governor."

Source: US News & World Report on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race Apr 23, 2017

David Kustoff: Fight violent crime; advocated for death penalty

Maintaining Law & Order: The safety of our country and community will be my top priority. As the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee under President Bush, I set my sights on cleaning up government and public corruption, and fighting violent crime and drugs. I oversaw the majority of the Tennessee Waltz trials that sent Senator John Ford and 12 other defendants to federal prison. I also advocated for the death penalty and sent criminals back home to their country of origin.
Source: 2016 Tennessee House campaign website KustoffForCongress.com Nov 8, 2016

Gordon Ball: Where do the little people go for justice?

Adams wastes no time in relating what his audience may heard about the hugeness of his success as a lawyer to the details of his upbringing: "I grew up in a one-bedroom house trailer in Cocke County, Tennessee. My dad was a moonshiner, and at the time I was born he was a house guest of the federal government.

"Since '75, when I graduated from law school in Memphis, I've been trying to solve people's problems, and I've lived my life and my legal career by one thing an old farmer said to me one time. We were doing a film, and he looked right in the camera, and he said, `Where do the little people go for justice? Well, that's what my life has been about."

Source: Memphis Flyer on 2014 Tennessee Senate race Aug 6, 2014

Diane Black: Haley's Law: new criminal offenses on child abuse

Gov. Bredesen joined legislators at the Childhelp USA Children's Center in Knoxville, where he signed Senate Bill 504, also known as "Haley's Law." [Diane Black co-sponsored the bill]

The law, which creates new criminal offenses and enhances existing penalties for offenses against children, is named in honor of Haley Spicer, a child abuse survivor.

"This legislation takes the next step in protecting our state's greatest resource and most innocent citizens--our children," Bredesen said.

Source: Gov. Press release on Tennessee voting record SB504 Aug 2, 2005

Phil Bredesen: Haley's Law: new criminal offenses on child abuse

Governor Phil Bredesen today joined Tennessee legislators at the Childhelp USA Children's Center in Knoxville, where he signed Senate Bill 504, also known as "Haley's Law."

The law, which creates new criminal offenses and enhances existing penalties for offenses against children, is named in honor of Haley Spicer, a child abuse survivor.

"This legislation allows Tennessee to take the next step in protecting our state's greatest resource and most innocent citizens--our children," Bredesen said.

Source: Press release on Tennessee voting record SB504 Aug 2, 2005

Steve Cohen: Haley's Law: new criminal offenses on child abuse

Gov. Bredesen joined legislators at the Childhelp USA Children's Center in Knoxville, where he signed Senate Bill 504, also known as "Haley's Law." [Steve Cohen co-sponsored the bill]

The law, which creates new criminal offenses and enhances existing penalties for offenses against children, is named in honor of Haley Spicer, a child abuse survivor.

"This legislation takes the next step in protecting our state's greatest resource and most innocent citizens--our children," Bredesen said.

Source: Gov. Press release on Tennessee voting record SB504 Aug 2, 2005

Tim Burchett: Haley's Law: new criminal offenses on child abuse

Gov. Bredesen joined legislators at the Childhelp USA Children's Center in Knoxville, where he signed Senate Bill 504, also known as "Haley's Law." [Sen. Burchett co-sponsored the bill]

The law, which creates new criminal offenses and enhances existing penalties for offenses against children, is named in honor of Haley Spicer, a child abuse survivor.

"This legislation takes the next step in protecting our state's greatest resource and most innocent citizens--our children," Bredesen said.

Source: Gov. Press release on Tennessee voting record SB504 Aug 2, 2005

  • The above quotations are from State of Tennessee Politicians: Archives.
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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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