Mike Pence on Crime

Republian nominee for Vice President; Governor of Indiana; former Representative (IN-6)


Require police to wear body cameras

Q: Should police officers be required to wear body cameras?

Mike Pence's answer: Yes

Tim Kaine's answer: Yes

Gary Johnson's answer (Libertarian Party): Yes, this will protect the safety and rights of police officers and citizens

Donald Trump's answer: No, it should be a police department's or officer's choice to wear one

Q: Should convicted felons have the right to vote?

Mike Pence's answer: Yes

Tim Kaine's answer: No

Gary Johnson's answer (Libertarian Party): Yes

Donald Trump's answer: No

Q: Should prisons ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles?

Mike Pence's answer: Yes

Tim Kaine has not answered this question yet.

Gary Johnson's answer (Libertarian Party): No, it is necessary for violent criminals who are a danger to themselves and other inmates

Donald Trump's answer: No

Source: iSideWith.com analysis of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 1, 2016

Law enforcement is not a force for racism or division

Q: Senator Tim Scott, who is African-American, recently spoke on the Senate floor. He said he was stopped seven times by law enforcement in one year.

KAINE: A U.S. senator!

Q: He said, "I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness, and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you're being targeted for nothing more than being just yourself." What would you say to Senator Scott about his experiences?

PENCE: I have the deepest respect for Senator Scott, and he's a close friend. And what I would say is that we need to adopt criminal justice reform nationally. I signed criminal justice reform in the state of Indiana, and we're very proud of it. I worked when I was Congress on a Second Chance Act. We have got to do a better job recognizing and correcting the errors in the system that do reflect on institutional bias in criminal justice. But what Donald Trump and I truly do believe is that law enforcement is not a force for racism or division in our country.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Bringing up "implicit bias" demeans police officers

Police officers hear the bad-mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism. That has got to stop. When an African-American police officer in Charlotte was involved in a police action shooting that claimed the life of Keith Lamont Scott, it was a tragedy. Clinton actually referred to that moment as an example of implicit bias in the police force; when she was asked whether there was implicit bias in law enforcement, her only answer was that there's implicit bias in everyone in the US. We ought to stop seizing on these moments of tragedy. We ought to assure the public that we'll have a full and complete and transparent investigation whenever there's a loss of life because of police action. Enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation of implicit bias every time tragedy occurs.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Inner-city families should want stop-and-frisk

Law enforcement in this country is a force for good. They truly are people that put their lives on the line every single day. But I would suggest [that] what we need to do is assert a stronger leadership at the national level to support law enforcement. You just heard Kaine reject stop-and-frisk. I would suggest to you that the families that live in our inner cities that are besieged by crime [would benefit from it].
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Police officer are the best of us; restore law & order

Police officers are the best of us. And the men and women, white, African-American, Asian, Latino, Hispanic, they put their lives on the line every single day. And let my say, at the risk of agreeing with you, community policing is a great idea. It's worked in the Hoosier state. And we fully support that. Trump and I are going to make sure that law enforcement have the resources and the tools to be able to really restore law and order to the cities and communities in this nation.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line

Donald Trump has never turned his back on the working men and women who serve and protect us at home and abroad. It has been a heartbreaking time for the women and men in our law enforcement community. In this time of great testing for them, let's let them know here and now, all across this country, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line of law enforcement in America.
Source: Speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention , Jul 20, 2016

OpEd: even-minded on ending racist police brutality

Many are curious to know what is Pence's stance on Black Lives Matter? Depending on your viewpoint, it's either unfortunate or positive that Gov. Pence hasn't said much about the Black Lives Matter movement. Unfortunate in that there's no way to know his true feelings on BLM, but positive in that he hasn't publicly spoken out in bigotry or jumped to conclusions.

What he has said publicly paints him as fairly even-minded when it comes to the controversial movement aimed at ending racist police brutality. While he called the shootings of police officers in Dallas last week a "horrific ambush," he didn't blame Black Lives Matter for the shooting, which in 2016, makes him the Republican equivalent of the Dalai Lama. Pence went on to say that his heart goes out to the two men who lost their lives at the hands of police before the Dallas shootings as well, though he didn't mention their names. Pence hasn't proven himself to be racist (or at least anti-BLM).

Source: Bustle.com, "Pence On Black Lives Matter": 2016 Veepstakes , Jul 17, 2016

Reduce crime, not penalties for crime

The Indiana criminal code will be updated after House Bill 1006 was signed into law by Gov. Pence. That bill will replace Indiana's A through F felony system with a 1 through 6 system (1 being the most severe). It's the first major overhaul of the state criminal code since 1978. The governor says he's interested in reducing prison populations. But he wants do that by reducing crime, not by decreasing penalties on some crimes. "I think we need to focus on reducing crime, not reducing penalties," he said.
Source: Indiana Economic Digest on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race , May 21, 2016

I support the death penalty; justice demands it

Q: Do you see down the line in Indiana any chance that the death penalty would be removed from law?

PENCE: I don't see that prospect in the state of Indiana. I support the death penalty. I believe justice demands it in our most heinous cases. But I think what you see in high relief here is a part of the American experiment that explains a lot of the prosperity and success our nation has had for more than two centuries and that is to allow states to have the freedom and flexibility to craft policies, whether it be in the area of criminal justice or whether be in the area of economic policy, in the area of education, in the area of health care, I would argue that will allow the states to be those laboratories of innovation and to reflect the values and the ideals -

Source: 2014 CNN "State of the Union" interview of Mike Pence , Feb 23, 2014

Voted NO on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes.

Congressional Summary:Adopts the definition of "hate crime" as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994: a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person. Provides technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of hate crimes, including financial grant awards.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN CONYERS (D, MI-14):This bill expands existing Federal hate crimes law to groups who are well-known targets for bias-based violence--they are sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability. These crimes of violence are directed not just at those who are directly attacked; they are targeting the entire group with the threat of violence.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LAMAR SMITH (R, TX-21): Every year thousands of violent crimes are committed out of hate, but just as many violent crimes, if not more, are motivated by something other than hate--greed, jealousy, desperation or revenge, just to name a few. An individual's motivation for committing a violent crime is usually complex and often speculative. Every violent crime is deplorable, regardless of its motivation. That's why all violent crimes should be vigorously prosecuted. Unfortunately, this bill undermines one of the most basic principles of our criminal justice system--equal justice for all. Under this bill, justice will no longer be equal. Justice will now depend on the race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other protected status of the victim. It will allow different penalties to be imposed for the same crime. This is the real injustice.

Reference: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act; Bill HR.1913 ; vote number 2009-H223 on Apr 2, 2009

Voted YES on expanding services for offenders' re-entry into society.

H.R.1593: Second Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety Through Recidivism Prevention or the Second Chance Act (Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass). To reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, and to improve reentry planning and implementation.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. CONYERS: Some 650,000 men and women are leaving the Federal and State prisons each year. While the vast majority of the prisoners are committed to abiding by the law and becoming productive members of society, they often encounter the same pressures & temptations that they faced before prison. More than two-thirds of them are arrested for new crimes within 3 years of their release. This exacts a terrible cost in financial terms as well as in human terms. The Second Chance Act will help provide these men and women with the training, counseling and other support needed to help them obtain & hold steady jobs; to kick their drug and alcohol habits; rebuild their families; and deal with the many other challenges that they face in their efforts to successfully rejoin society.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. GOHMERT: The programs that are sought to be renewed are ones we don't have information on how successful they were. I can tell you from my days as a judge, there was some anecdotal evidence that it looked like faith-based programs did a better job of dramatically reducing recidivism. In addition:

Reference: Second Chance Act; Bill HR1593 ; vote number 2007-1083 on Nov 13, 2007

Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance.

Pence co-sponsored reducing recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance

Legislative Outcome: Became Public Law No: 110-199.
Source: Second Chance Act (S.1060/H.R.1593) 08-S1060 on Mar 29, 2007

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Page last updated: Nov 06, 2016