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5 Noteworthy Quotes About 1994 Crime Bill When It Was Signed

By    |   Tuesday, 26 May 2015 04:44 PM

President Bill Clinton’s signing of the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 marked the passage of the US’ largest and most extensive crime bill. The bill was a response to 1994’s high violent crime rate, which according to FBI Crime Reports, steadily decreased from 1994-2013.

At the time of its passage, the bill managed to gain bipartisan congressional support. Below are five noteworthy quotes about the bill’s signing:

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1. “Gangs and drugs have taken over our streets and undermined our schools. Every day we read about somebody else who has literally gotten away with murder.” - One of President Clinton’s most well-known remarks regarding the 1994 Crime Bill, this quote relays the problem the bill aimed to solve and the reason for its passage.

2. "We have a chance to pass the toughest, smartest crime bill in the history of the United States.” - The New York Times reported President Clinton’s optimism in the bill’s abilities during a 1994 televised news conference.

3. “We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders. The ‘three-strikes-and-you’re-out’ for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets.” - Hillary Clinton, then first lady and current Democratic presidential candidate expressed her staunch support for the three strikes provision of the bill in 1994 at the Annual Women in Policing Conference. The three strikes provision heightens the likelihood that repeat offenders will serve a life prison sentence.

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4. “Some of the provisions are absolutely awful…it’s time to stop fiddling and pass a crime bill.” - Rep. William J. Hughes (D-NJ) admitted to The New York Times that the bill had serious problems. Representative Hughes’ comment shows how strongly some representatives wanted the bill to pass despite numerous changes and compromises as a result of partisan disagreements.

5. "This is, however, on balance, and narrowly so, a smart and a tough bill." - Rep. John D. Dingell ‘s (D-MI) expression of his narrow support of the 1994 Crime Bill to the New York Times emphasizes the extensive bipartisan compromise the bill had to undergo. Rep. Dingell also called the bill’s ban on assault weapons “obnoxious.”

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President Bill Clinton's signing of the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 marked the passage of the US' largest and most extensive crime bill.
1994 crime bill, noteworthy quotes, signed
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 04:44 PM
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