|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on June 30, 2016 at 5:50 PM|
House Speaker Paul Ryan gave a candid speech about the "State of American Politics" on Wednesday, during which he admitted that he too hasn't always lived up to what he believes is a high-standard of political discourse.
A member of the audience asked Ryan after the speech if he had been persuaded differently on any policy position he has held and was willing to admit he was wrong.
Ryan — who earlier repeated an apology he had made in 2014 for a past statement about America's supposed "makers and takers" when discussing poverty in the country — said he had been wrong about criminal justice. "One of the things that I learned is that there are a lot of people who've been in prison that committed crimes that were not violent crimes," he said. "Once they have that mark on their record, their future is really bleak."
He said that, when he came to Congress in the late 1990s, he was a staunch supporter of tough crime laws. He admitted that both his own party and Democrats overcompensated at the time. The policies, he said, "end up ruining their lives and hurting their communities where we could've have alternative means of incarceration, instead of basically destroying someone's life. I've become a late convert."
- Sentencing Law & Policy