Pete Buttigieg on Crime

Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor


Country is shockingly over-incarcerated

Q: Who would be at the top of your pardon list for possible presidential pardons?

BUTTIGIEG: I would start with nonviolent drug offenders caught up in the racial disparities of the failed war on drugs. I actually think presidential clemency power can be an important part of how we de-carcerate a country that is shockingly over-incarcerated. It's bad enough just by the numbers, but when you add to that the racial disparities of who has been incarcerated often for nonviolent offenses, or those who have aged out of being any threat and could contribute in their communities.

Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 with Erin Burnett , Feb 18, 2020

Systemic racism has penetrated into police departments

On my watch, drug arrests in South Bend were lower than the national average, and specifically to marijuana, lower than in Indiana. But there is no question that systemic racism has penetrated to every level of our system, and my city was not immune. I took a lot of heat for discussing systemic racism with my own police department, but we've got to confront the fact that there is no escaping how this is part of all of our policies.
Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH , Feb 7, 2020

Legalize pot and help those incarcerated unfairly

I am calling for us to take up reforms that end incarceration as a response to possession and make sure that we legalize marijuana and do it retroactively with expungements to correct the harm done in so many cases of incarceration, disproportionately of black and brown Americans where the incarceration did far more harm than the offense it was intended to deal with.
Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH , Feb 7, 2020

Broken criminal justice system kindest to rich and guilty

There's no difference in America between blacks, whites and Latinos for using drugs or dealing drugs. But if you are African-American, you are almost four times more likely to be arrested and incarcerated. So much comes down to privilege. We have a criminal justice system that treats you better if you're˙rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent. We can demonstrably show that there are 17,000 people unjustly incarcerated in America.
Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

Felons should be allowed after release from prison

Pete Buttigieg on Felon Voting: Restoring voting rights after prison.

FOUR CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Cory Booker; Andrew Yang; John Hickenlooper; Elizabeth Warren.

TWO CANDIDATES say felons should be allowed to vote WHILE incarcerated: Beto O`Rourke; Bernard Sanders.

A number of Democratic presidential candidates have adopted a more cautious approach, saying that voting rights should be restored after prison.

For instance, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said "I do believe that when you are out, when you have served your sentence, then part of being restored to society is that you're part of the political life of this nation again. And one of those things that needs to be restored is your right to vote."

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

End cash bail; it hits low-income Americans

Buttigieg on Cash Bail Reform: End it.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; John Delaney; Tulsi Gabbard; Kirsten Gillibrand; Beto O`Rourke; Bernard Sanders; Elizabeth Warren.

Candidates who advocate ending the cash bail system argue it disproportionately hits low-income Americans.

THREE CANDIDATES say "Reform or reduce it": Kamala Harris; Amy Klobuchar; Andrew Yang.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Eliminate private prisons

Peter Buttigieg on Private Prisons: Eliminate them.

NINE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Cory Booker; Julian Castro; John Delaney; Tulsi Gabbard; Kamala Harris; Bernard Sanders; Elizabeth Warren; Marianne Williamson; Andrew Yang.

Many Democrats have called for ending or not renewing the federal government's contracts with private prison companies. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has released a detailed proposal on her plan to abolish private prisons.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Abolish capital punishment

Peter Buttigieg on Capital Punishment / Death Penalty: Abolish it.

13 CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Cory Booker; Julian Castro; Bill de Blasio; John Delaney; Tulsi Gabbard; Kirsten Gillibrand; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Beto O`Rourke; Bernard Sanders; Eric Swalwell; Elizabeth Warren; Andrew Yang.

Candidates who have called for abolishing capital punishment altogether say inmates sentenced to death should have their sentences commuted to life without parole.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Supports constitutional ban on death penalty

The death penalty has been one of many examples where racial discrimination has played out. It's time to join the ranks of nations that have put the ugliness of capital punishment behind them. And while I'm pleased to see states taking this step, and I believe the federal government can and should take this step, too, at the end of the day it is the kind of thing that deserves to be in our Constitution.
Source: NPR Morning Edition, "Election 2020: Opening Arguments" , Jul 11, 2019

Move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism

Q: Your community has recently been in uproar over an officer-involved shooting. The police force in South Bend is now 6% black in a city that is 26% black. Why has that not improved over your two terms as mayor?

BUTTIGIEG: Because I couldn't get it done. My community is in anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting, a black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer. And I'm not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. It's a mess. And we're hurting. And until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism, whatever this particular incident teaches us, we will be left with the bigger problem of the fact that there is a wall of mistrust put up one racist act at a time, not just from what's happened in the past, but from what's happening around the country in the present. I am determined to bring about a day when a white person driving a vehicle and a black person driving a vehicle, when they see a police officer approaching, feels the exact same thing.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

I believe in police accountability and will implement it

Gov. John HICKENLOOPER [former mayor of Denver, regarding a shooting in Buttigieg's town by a white police officer of a black man, where the police body camera was not turned on]: We had a shooting when I first became mayor, 10 years before Ferguson. And we diversified the police force and did de-escalation training. The real question that America should be asking is why, five years after Ferguson, every city doesn't have this level of police accountability.

BUTTIGIEG: Look, we have taken so many steps toward police accountability that [I've been] denounced for too much accountability. We're obviously not there yet, and I accept responsibility for that because I'm in charge.

Rep. Eric SWALWELL: If the camera wasn't on and that was the policy, you should fire the chief.

BUTTIGIEG: Under Indiana law, this will be investigated and there will be accountability for the officer involved.

SWALWELL: But you're the mayor. You should fire the chief--if that's the policy and someone died.

Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Cut federal prison population, encourage states to follow

Q: You rolled out a proposal cutting the number of incarcerated individuals in United States in half. The vast majority of prisoners are not under federal jurisdiction. How would you make that happen?

Buttigieg: The federal government can lead by example with what we're doing in the federal system. We should also be engaging states, pressing them, and helping them get resources to do this the right way. At the federal level, it's going to take a commission gauging how we can best use clemency power to help unwind incarceration that's not meeting the intended goal and doing more harm than good.

Source: CNN State of the Union 2019 interview , Jun 16, 2019

Justice is blind; appointees should uphold that principle

Prosecution decisions shouldn't be made by politicians. Any attorney general that I would appoint is somebody who will faithfully apply the concept that no one is above the law, that everybody ought to be held accountable, whether they're a former president or whether they're somebody who's never been anywhere near the halls of power. That's the whole point. It's that justice is blind. And I will appoint an attorney general and, for that matter, justices and judges who uphold that principle.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview series , Jun 16, 2019

Restore voting rights for ex-cons, but not those in prison

When you have served your sentence, then part of being restored to society is that you're part of the political life of this nation again. And one of the things that needs to be restored is your right to vote. But part of the punishment when you're convicted of a crime and you're incarcerated is you lose certain rights. During that period, it does not make sense to have an exception for the right to vote.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 22, 2019

Death penalty is racist; mandatory minimums too

While discussing criminal justice reform at the National Action Network, Buttigieg said, "As we work to end mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenses, here too we must be intentional about fixing disparities that have deeply unfair racial consequences. It is time to face the simple fact that capital punishment as seen in America has always been a discriminatory practice and we would be a fairer and safer country when we join the ranks of modern nations who have abolished the death penalty."
Source: The Hill: 2020 Democratic primary & National Action Network , Mar 27, 2019

Concentrate law enforcement on gang-related violence

As the count of shootings rose, I learned of the Boston Miracle. In the late 1990s, during a similar crisis, community leaders tried a new approach to dealing with gang-related violence. Using rigorous analysis to map group associations, a team of researchers joined with prosecutors, law enforcement, social service providers, and faith leaders to identify and contact the people most likely to kill or be victimized. The young men (nearly always men) were gathered, in person, for a "call-in". Officials would promise to concentrate all law enforcement attention on anyone involved in the next gang killing--and also offer social services for those prepared to change before that.

The overall message was, "We'll help you if you let us & we'll stop you if you make us," and it was backed by agencies committed to keeping their promises on both enforcement and support. I decided to apply it in South Bend. A violent spring of 2014 gave way to a period of relative peace after the event. It worked.

Source: Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg, p.149-50 , Feb 12, 2019

Other candidates on Crime: Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
Incoming 2021 Biden Administration:
Defense:Lloyd Austin
State/Luxembourg:Tom Barrett
HHS:Xavier Becerra
Pres.:Joe Biden
State:Antony Blinken
DOT:Pete Buttigieg
State/Japan:Rahm Emanuel
State/Turkey:Jeff Flake
HUD:Marcia Fudge
State/India:Eric Garcetti
Attorney General:Merrick_Garland
DOE:Jennifer Granholm
DOI:Deb Haaland
V.P.:Kamala Harris
Climate:John Kerry
NASA:Bill Nelson
DHS:Alejandro Mayorkas
NASA:Bill Nelson
DOC:Gina Raimondo
Domestic Policy:Susan Rice
Public Liaison:Cedric Richmond
State/Mexico:Ken Salazar
State/N.Z.:Tom Udall
USDA:Tom Vilsack
DOL:Marty Walsh
Treasury:Janet Yellen

Cabinet Archives:
Biden Cabinet
Biden Administration
Trump Cabinet
Trump Administration
Obama Cabinet
Bush Cabinet
Biden Books
Trump Books
Obama Books
Bush Books
Former Trump Administration:

Former Obama Administration:
Pres.:Barack Obama
V.P.:Joe Biden
HUD:Julian Castro
State:Hillary Clinton

Former Bush Administration:
Pres.:George W. Bush
V.P.:Dick Cheney
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
Pres.:PBill Clinton
V.P.:Al Gore
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
DOL:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
State:Madeleine Albright
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
Search for...

Page last updated: Sep 01, 2021