Biden, the Announcement, and Law Enforcement

The Story:

Former Vice President Joseph Biden is now a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States. He announced this campaign in a 3 1/2 minute YouTube video on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Background:

Biden served for 36 years in the US Senate representing Delaware, then as Vice President for eight.

During his long career in the Senate Biden of course took controversial stands. Some of these will amount to significant ‘baggage’ in the intra-party fight over the coming months. In particular, Biden’s support was critical to the passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. This law expanded the availability of the death penalty for federal offenses, created a “three strikes” rule mandating many life sentences, and eliminated the ability of low-income inmates to receive Pell Grants in order to earn a college degree while “in any Federal or State penal institution.”

The Thing to Know:

Given the current climate of US politics and the respective bases of the two major parties, the tough-on-crime aspects of the 1994 law may make it more difficult than it would otherwise have been for Biden to win the Democratic Party’s nomination, but may also make it more likely for him to win the election as a ‘centrist’ if he does secure the party nod.

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