John Katko on Crime
As a local leader in organized crime and high-level narcotics federal prosecutions, John was instrumental in formulating the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force in 2002 and overseeing all gang-related federal prosecutions since that time, bringing the first-ever successful RICO gang prosecutions to Syracuse. John's portfolio also includes work with the region's successful Weed and Seed programs and multiple high profile money laundering, health care fraud, and political and police corruption prosecutions.
A: Yes. My twenty-plus years of experience as a federal prosecutor tells me that capital punishment can be an effective deterrent. But such decisions are best left to the individual states and not Congress.
Congressional Summary: Makes the killing or attempted killing of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations [when] the defendant killed or attempted to kill a person who is authorized by law:
Opposing argument: [Sen. Bernie Sanders, Oct. 13, 2015]: "Black lives matter. The African American community knows that on any given day some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car, and three days later she's dead in jail. We need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom, and we need major reforms in a broken criminal justice system. I intend to make sure people have education and jobs rather than jail cells."
Opposing argument: [ACLU of Louisiana, July 7, 2015]: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law that makes targeting a police officer a hate crime. Passage of such bills is a top priority for a national organization called Blue Lives Matter, which was formed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. [A video captured] "police killing a black man who was minding his own business," says the director of ACLU-LA. But it was the civil rights of police officers that Edwards was concerned about, as if theirs were being routinely violated: "I'm not aware of any evidence that police officers have been victimized that would justify giving them special protection."
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Bill de Blasio
Newly-elected Democrats as of Jan.2017:
Newly-elected Republicans as of Jan.2017: