Zell Miller on Crime

Implemented two strikes law for violent felons

[In Georgia], we opened a record number of prison beds, more than 20,000, almost doubling the capacity when I took office. The additional bed capacity enabled me to end the practice in Georgia that had gone on for years of managing inmate population thro
Source: A National Party No More, by Sen. Zell Miller, p. 58 Oct 1, 2003

Strengthen “Two Strikes” law with longer sentences

Source: Press Release, “Two Strikes” Feb 9, 1998

Drunk drivers are criminals and deserve tough punishment

We all know that DUI has been a plague on our streets and highways... that it has caused unnecessary death and bloodshed. DUI criminals -- and that’s what they are, criminals -- can terrorize any one of us at a moment’s notice. It can be prevented. That is why drunk drivers have found no mercy during the Miller Administration. We passed one of the toughest DUI laws in America: Mandatory jail time for drunk drivers. Confiscation of license plates.
Source: State of the State Address, Georgia Jan 15, 1998

Two-strikes law got 1,710 ciminals behind bars

We passed “two-strikes and you’re out.” Thanks to that law, there are 1,710 violent criminals who are locked away in Georgia prisons. Collectively, those 1,710 thugs were responsible for more than 9,800 crimes, including over 4,900 violent crimes. Thanks to the two-strikes law, they are no longer a threat to the law-abiding people of Georgia.
Source: State of the State Address, Georgia Jan 15, 1998

If teens commit adult crimes, give them adult punishments

Back when our present juvenile justice system was first created, a juvenile delinquent was a youngster who stole hubcaps or shoplifted. Our present system did not envision the problems we see today -- teenagers shooting people and committing rapes; young punks running gangs and terrorizing neighborhoods. And, showing no remorse when they’re caught. These are tough hoodlums; they require tough measures.

These are adult crimes; they deserve adult treatment. That is why I will introduce legislation to require that those between the ages of 13 and 17 who commit certain violent crimes such as rape, murder and aggravated assault, be tried and prosecuted in superior court not juvenile court.

Right now, judges and prosecutors have only the discretion to try such crimes in an adult court. And if these youthful offenders are convicted, I will propose they be given an adult sentence in a special youth facility run by the Department of Corrections. These are tough measures but these are tough times.

Source: Speech in Augusta, “Youth Violence” Oct 25, 1993

For violent crime: no parole, no exceptions

Source: Press Release, “Crime Package” Jan 12, 1993

Two strikes and you’re gone: Life without parole

A person who has been previously convicted of [a violent] offense and is later convicted a second time must be sentenced to life without parole: two strikes and you’re gone. “Here’s the bottom line: We are going to end parole for violent criminals and make them serve the full sentences they receive,” Governor Miller said.

Last year, Miller won passage of a new and exact sentencing tool that meant what it said: life without parole, enabling Georgia judges and juries for the first time to sentence someone to life in prison with no chance for parole. This change is now putting away forever some of the worst murderers in the state. An additional 5,800 prison beds and more than 1,500 boot camp beds have come on line since the beginning of Governor Miller’s administration, and both the boot camp initiative and the prison building program made it possible for Governor Miller to end Georgia’s early release program.

Source: Press Release, “Crime Package” Jan 12, 1993

More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes.

Miller sponsored the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act:

Title: To provide Federal assistance to States and local jurisdictions to prosecute hate crimes.

Summary: Provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or other assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any violent crime that is motivated by prejudice based on the race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of the victim or is a violation of hate crime laws.

  1. Award grants to assist State and local law enforcement officials with extraordinary expenses for interstate hate crimes.

  2. Award grants to State and local programs designed to combat hate crimes committed by juveniles.

  3. Prohibit specified offenses involving actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

  4. Increase criminal sentencing for adult recruitment of juveniles to commit hate crimes.

  5. Collect and publish data about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on gender.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR1343 on Apr 3, 2001

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