Justice Reform Is At An Historic Crossroad

first_imgJustice Reform Is At An Historic Crossroad Bob Barr Bob Barr for TOWNHALLWhile professional athletes like second-string NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick engage in immature “protests” over some perceived peeve with our country’s criminal justice system, Republicans in Congress are diligently working to meaningfully improve America’s justice system. Whether they succeed in their historic effort, however, remains up in the air and its future may very well be decided this week.Currently, three bills pending in the U.S. House – the Sentencing Reform Act, the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act, and the Criminal Code Improvement Act — remain backed by bipartisan coalitions both inside and outside the government. As anyone who has maintained even a passing acquaintance with congressional goings-on in recent years knows, cooperation between Left and Right on any issue is unusual; and something that is extremely rare on a matter as substantive as criminal justice reform.While the “social justice” movement espoused by far Left radicals like Black Lives Matter has poisoned much of the public debate surrounding justice reform, genuine criminal justice reform lead by Republicans in the House and Senate, is a truly worthy cause that all conservatives should support. As highlighted recently in remarks by FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon in support of the proposals, “Our justice system is in crisis. Our prison populations and budgets have ballooned out of control. Americans are being crippled by sentences disproportional to their crime. Our system should rehabilitate and reform those in need, not warehouse nonviolent offenders and burden our nation.”Far more than in the past, support for criminal justice reform among conservatives is growing; with many of the reforms touching on principles long-favored by conservatives. For example, even as the current proposed reforms strengthen due process rights – a principle not always championed by traditional conservatives – at the same time they would begin to reverse the trend toward systemic over-criminalization that long has bothered conservatives, and which distracts police officers from pursuing real criminal activity such as violent crimes.Also, the reforms incorporated in the pending legislation would help to keep families together; a benefit conservatives have argued for years would dramatically help reduce poverty and steer young people away from future criminal behavior. And, perhaps most important to conservatives, the Sentencing Reform Act alone is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to save $769 million in taxpayer funds, by finally addressing prison overcrowding.Criminal justice reform truly is a historic win for conservative values. Unfortunately, this is precisely why its critics resort to fear-mongering, not facts, in attempting to derail this landmark effort.One need only look to several conservative states that have enacted similar criminal justice reform bills, to see the benefits of what is now being proposed nationally. States including Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina have witnessed significant drops in incarceration rates and criminal recidivism, as a direct result of state-level criminal justice reforms. Taxpayers in these states have enjoyed the added benefit of saving millions of dollars that would otherwise be spent on a broken system. “Texas used to spend billions locking people up for minor offenses,” former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who helped spearhead reform in his state, remarked on his efforts. “We implemented common sense policies that made not only Texas tough, but also smart on crime.”Perry justifiably calls these results “extraordinary,” noting that already the crime rate in the Lone Star State has dropped to its lowest levels since 1968, while saving its taxpayers nearly $2.0 billion.This is why the efforts now underway in Congress, spearheaded by GOP leaders Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, are so critical. The current prison crisis worsens with each new inmate added to the federal prison system by an outdated sentencing structure that allows for little, if any discretion for judges to differentiate between drug kingpins and non-violent, low level offenders. And, with more than 4,000 federal criminal laws on the books already, and countless more overlapping regulatory and state laws, criminal justice reform reduces the risk that innocent and otherwise non-violent offenders will be swept into the ruinous criminal justice system that should be focusing on the truly heinous criminals.We stand at the crossroads of a truly historic moment in America, in which a decades-overdue overhaul of the criminal justice system promises to make our country a far better place in which to pursue the American dream. The conservative case for sentencing reform is clear, and the time for action is now.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Watenga, Waiswa not part of Vipers squad for CECAFA

first_imgVipers SC will represent Uganda at this year’s CECAFA Kagame cup (Photos by Agencies)CECAFA Kagame Cup Tanzania 2018June 28th-July 13Reigning Uganda Premier League champions Vipers SC will depart the country for Tanzania on Wednesday afternoon to take part in the 2018 CECAFA Kagame cup.Just hours before their departure, they have named a contingent of 30 personnel that will represent the Kitende based side at the regional championships.20 of them will be players, including a host of those that they have just acquired in the running transfer window but some notable names do not appear anywhere on the list.First choice goalkeeper Isamail Watenga has been left home amidst rumors that he will be departing Vipers for greener pastures continue to surface. The custodian who has been Vipers’ first choice goalkeeper ran out of contract last month and negotiations between his camp and the club over a new club have broken down.Ismail Watenga ran out of contract last monthThe other notable omissions include defender Halid Lwaliwa who has been strongly linked with a move to rivals KCCA, Moses Waiswa, midfielder Tom Masiko, goalkeeper James Alitho and striker Moussa Clovis Mbayi.Want away forward Erisa Ssekisambu who is believed to been in advanced talks with Kenyan giants Gor Mahia has also been left out along with left-back Dan Birikwalira.New signings Bashir Sekagya, Rahmat Ssenfuka, Fred Okot and Ibrahim Kiyemba make the squad that also features the returning duo of defender Aggrey Madoi and midfielder David Owori .Madoi and Owori are just returning from season long loan spells at Police FC and Proline respectively.Aggrey Madoi (right) was at Police FC last season.Vipers SC will play the CECAFA Kagame Cup opener on Friday against Zanzibar’s JKU at the Chamanzi stadium on at 2pm.Vipers will have a day’s rest and will return to action on Sunday against Azam FC at 07:00pm at the the same venue.The Venoms’ last group fixture will be played on Wednesday, 04-07-2018 against Katar FC.The traveling contingent:Players.Eric Kibowa, Bashir Sekagya, Yayo Lutimba, Aggrey Madoi, Fred Okot, Ibrahim Kiyemba,Ashraf Mandela, Bashir Asiku,Geoffrey Wasswa, Taddeo Lwanga,Brian Nkuubi, Frank Tumwesigye, Brian Kalumba,Rahmat Ssenfuka, Milton Karisa,Dan Sserunkuma, Steven Mukwala, Pius Wangi,Duncan Sseninde,David OworiOfficials.Miguel Da Costa (head coach), Edward Golola(assistant coach), Edward Ssali, Eddie Kaweesa,Mathias Kasagga, Eddie Butindo, Peter Lwanga, Abdu Wasike, Sandra Awori,Kenneth MuwangaThe CECAFA Kagame cup group stage:Group A.Azam FC (Tanzania)Vipers SC (Uganda)JKU FC (Zanzibar)Katar FC (South Sudan)Group B.Rayon Sport (Rwanda)Gor Mahia (Kenya)Lydia Ludic (Burundi)Ports FC (Djibouti))Group C.Singida FC (Tanzania)APR FC (Rwanda)Simba SC (Tanzania)Dakadaha (Somalia)Comments Tags: Ismail Watengamoses waiswavipers sclast_img read more