Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson went on Fox News on Monday and attacked the criminal justice reform bill, the FIRST STEP Act, for releasing approximately 3,100 federal inmates from jail early. Reason reports that Carlson claimed that the move released “hundreds of violent criminals” into the streets.
“So far this year, more than 2,000 federal prisoners were put on the nation’s streets thanks to the FIRST STEP Act,” Carlson said. “You might remember that law. It was sold to lawmakers and the rest of us a way to ease overcrowded prisons and give a second chance to nonviolent offenders. That’s not what it’s turned into.”
But according to Reason’s C.J. Ciaramella, who called the attack “fear-mongering,” the inmates Carlson referenced were already set to be released — the FIRST STEP Act simply changed the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policy for calculating “good time” credits for good behavior, which are used to decrease sentence length. Lawmakers and advocacy groups claim the revision was made to clarify the initial legislative attempt of Congress, which was eligibility for 54 credits that was subsequently limited to 47 days thanks to calculation complications.
Although Carlson was angry about the early release of inmates, Ciaramella points out that all of them were going to be released soon anyway — the majority were already living in halfway houses or home confinement, and all are still undergoing three to five years of supervised release. Ciaramella highlights that it’s silly to believe that these inmates are somehow at a higher risk of committing crimes because they were released a few months earlier.
Tucker Carlson's fear-mongering rant about the First Step Act leaves out some pretty crucial context. As in, all of it https://t.co/LxF5Y6Wqt6— reason (@reason) July 23, 2019
Per The Inquisitr, Carlson recently made headlines when he made an appearance on Fox & Friends. According to The Daily Beast, Carlson was asked about the North Korea situation not long after he accompanied President Donald Trump to visit the hermit country’s president Kim Jong Un. Although Carlson said there’s no way to defend the regime, he did talk about the deaths that Kim has been accused of orchestrating.
“On the other hand… you’ve got to be honest about what it means to lead a country, it means killing people,” Carlson said. “Not on the scale that North Koreans do, but a lot of countries commit atrocities, including a number that we’re closely allied with…”
Most recently, Kim has been accused of assassinating his brother, Kim Jong Nam, in 2017, and his uncle Jang Song Thaek, in 2013. Many also blame Kim for the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was released by North Korea in a vegetative state and died shortly after — although per GQ, there are many theories as to what actually led to Warmbier’s death.