State of Texas Archives: on Crime

Greg Abbott: Make it a hate crime to target uniformed police officers

Unbelievably, last year ambush-style killings of police increased more than 150 percent. These murders had one thing in common: The victims were killed because of the uniform they wear.

Texas will not tolerate attacks on law enforcement officers. We will rise up as a state in support our law enforcement. I want legislation that increases penalties and makes it a hate crime for criminals who target peace officers simply because of their uniform.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Texas Legislature Jan 31, 2017

Vicente Gonzalez: Increase investments & resources for local law enforcement

Keeping America Safe: America is the land of the free and home of the brave. I support a strong Military and local first responders that keep our country and families safe.
Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Greg Abbott: 2003 Fugitive unit resulted in 4,400 more arrests

Our most precious Texans are also among the most vulnerable. Greg Abbott has made protecting children and removing dangerous predators from our communities a top priority as Texas' Attorney General.

He launched the Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units in 2003, directly resulting in the arrest of more than 4,454 fugitives, sex offenders, parole violators, and other felons.

In addition to fostering safety for our children in our communities and online, one of the most important responsibilities of the Attorney General is the collection of child support.

Child support directly benefits the children and saves Texas taxpayers money by avoiding additional state welfare costs. Under Greg Abbott's watch, the Attorney General's office has collected over $31 billion in child support for Texas children. In 2014, his office was recognized as the nation's best child support program by the National Child Support Enforcement Association.

Source: 2014 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website, Nov 4, 2014

Emily Sanchez: Opposes stricter punishment to reduce crime

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Stricter punishment reduces crime"?

A: Oppose.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

Steve Stockman: Admits being jailed in 1970s, but suing group for saying so

Stockman accused a group that supports Cornyn of lying about him, by asserting that he had been "jailed more than once" and was "charged with a felony." That is strange, because Stockman has admitted to these facts, several times.

"I may have been in jail a couple of times, two or three times," he told this newspaper. As for the felony charge, that stemmed from the time his girlfriend hid three Valium tablets in his underpants when he was reporting for a weekend in jail. "When they found that they charged me with a felony," he told the Houston Chronicle. Those interviews were back in 1995, during Stockman's first 2-year stint in Congress.

Stockman announced that he has filed a libel lawsuit in Houston against Texans for a Conservative Majority, a political action committee funded and run by Cornyn supporters. Its website,, includes the line: "He has been jailed more than once, and was charge with a felony after one such incident when authorities found Valium in his pants."

Source: Dallas News AdWatch on 2014 Texas Senate race Jan 31, 2014

David Dewhurst: Mandatory 25-year-to-life sentence for first-time child rape

David has worked with countless volunteers and activists across Texas in passing legislation that keeps our children safe and strengthens Texas families. Dewhurst will continue to fight for pro-family legislation in the US Senate.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website,, "Issues" Mar 31, 2012

Rick Perry: Life without parole for certain repeat sex offenders

The pursuit of true stability and security also requires us to maintain law and order and keep our citizens safe. Last fall, I proposed legislation targeting sex offenders, to better protect our citizens. We should empower prosecutors to seek life without parole for certain repeat sex offenders, and requiring active GPS monitoring of high risk offenders for three years after they've done their time and been released by TDCJ.
Source: 2011 Texas State of the State Address Feb 8, 2011

Randy Weber: Supports the death penalty

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: Yes.

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

A: Yes.

Source: Texas Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Randy Weber: Alternative sentencing ok; trying minors sometimes ok

Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

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

A: Too general, has to be decided on each case.

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

A: Has to be decided case by case.

Source: Texas Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Jon Roland: Supports death penalty for federal crimes

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Jon Roland: Repeal most federal criminal statutes as unconstitutional

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Rick Perry: Amachi program: break up generational cycle of incarceration

Perhaps no student population is at greater risk than the children of prisoners. 70% are destined to follow a parent's path behind bars if no one intervenes. This is a national tragedy. We must break up the generational cycle of incarceration. That is wh Texas was the first state to offer a statewide grant for the Amachi program administered by Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which mentors the children of prisoners. For the sake of these children, I ask you to continue funding this important program.
Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Rick Perry: Tough and smart: jail sexual offenders; release non-violent

When it comes to criminal justice, I believe we can take an approach to crime that is both tough and smart. I agree with our Lieutenant Governor that sexual offenders who harm our children must face tougher penalties. At the same time, there are thousands of non-violent offenders in the system whose future we cannot ignore. Let's focus more resources on rehabilitating those offenders so we can ultimately spend less money locking them up again.
Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Joaquin Castro: More community centers; more job assistance for inmates

Source: Texas 2006 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2006

Rick Perry: Vetoes ban on execution of mentally retarded inmates

Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill to ban the execution of mentally retarded death row inmates, saying the state already has numerous safeguards in place to protect them. “This legislation is not about whether to execute mentally retarded murderers,” Perry said. “It is about who determines whether a defendant is mentally retarded in the Texas justice system.”

The bill would have allowed a jury to determine during the trial’s punishment phase whether a defendant is mentally retarded. If so, the person would be sentenced only to life in prison.

Existing law takes into account whether a defendant is competent to stand trial, including whether the defendant can aid his own defense and whether a defendant was insane when the crime was committed. Prosecutors say those factors, and the fact that a jury can consider retardation as a mitigating circumstance during sentencing, are sufficient.

Source: CBS coverage of Texas Voting Records for HB 236 Jun 17, 2002

Pete Gallego: No death penalty for the mentally retarded

Legislature's Analysis, "Background and Purpose": In 1989, the United States Supreme Court decided that executing people who have mental retardation does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The decision did, however, provide for jury instructions to incorporate evidence of mental retardation as a possible mitigating factor in the imposition of the death penalty. There is some concern among Texans that the execution of these persons is unjust because persons with mental retardation may be less culpable for their crimes or may not have the capacity to understand the consequences of their actions. House Bill 236 enables defense counsel to request a hearing to determine whether a defendant had mental retardation at the time of the commission of the offense and prohibits a court from sentencing a person with mental retardation to death.

Legislative outcome: Bill vetoed by Governor Rick Perry, June 17, 2001

Source: Texas legislative voting records: HB 236 Feb 6, 2001

Rick Perry: Supports DNA testing; standards for capital defenders

    Governor Rick Perry?s proposals about capital punishment:
  1. Proposed DNA testing for cases where it can shed light on a person?s guilt or innocence. Pledged financial assistance to local police and medical examiners in this regard.
  2. Improve the quality of defense counsel for trials. Statewide standards for selecting defense lawyers, including a minimum level of experience in handling criminal felony trials.
  3. Give juries the option of sentencing capital defendants to prison for the rest of their lives, without parole, rather than executing them.
Governor Perry?s proposals recognize that Texas desperately needs to introduce rationality and fairness to a system that is out of control, and which has a high risk of executing innocent people.
Source:, Op-Ed Jan 25, 2001

Paul Sadler: End parole for repeat violent felons

Source: Texas State 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

George W. Bush: Send juvenile criminals to “boot camp”

You are responsible for your behavior -- you, not your circumstances, not society. [Now, convicted juveniles’] heads are shaved. They wear bright orange uniforms. They march in boot camp style, and they’re taught that they are responsible for the choices they make in life. [During a visit, the boys said], I committed the offense of armed robbery, Sir. I’m serving a one year minimum sentence as a consequence for my behavior, Sir. In short, they are learning. the value of discipline and respect.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M University Apr 6, 1998

Brian Babin: Broaden death penalty; more truth-in-sentencing

Source: Texas Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018