Hillary vs. Obama: Who is Trying Harder to be "Tough on Crime"?

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article today by Bob Egelko comparing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on crime issues.

Shorter version: They are pretty similar and not particularly liberal (certainly not as much as I would like them to be.)

There are some things I take issue with. For more on Obama's record on crime and defendants' rights, see my earlier analysis here.

It's true, as the article says, that while both support the death penalty, Obama worked to revise it in Illinois to prevent wrongful convictions and Hillary was an early and consistent supporter in Congress of the Innocence Protection Act.

But neither one opposes the death penalty for the guilty. Obama, for example, supported legislation in Illinois to increase crimes eligible for the death penalty -- specifically for those convicted of brutal murders of the elderly and mentally disabled. (Chicago Tribune, May 2, 2001, available on Lexis.com) He also supports it for heinous crimes.

In 2004, for the first time since the 1980's, the Dems, at the insistence of John Kerry, dropped the death penalty from their platform. Will Obama or Hillary pledge to keep it out? I doubt it.

On mandatory minimums, the article implies Obama is opposed to them while Hillary is not.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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