Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for Governor of the Commonwealth, spoke this morning at CPAC, where he raised some eyebrows by taking on the “tough on crime” approach of conservatives. Red Alert Politics has the story:
Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli attacked his “fellow tough-on-crime conservatives” for getting too ”excited to lock up every convict and throw away the key” in a surprising twist during the first speech of the day at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.“If we really believe that no one is beyond redemption, then we need to stop throwing away that key,” the Virginia Attorney general added.
Cuccinelli, who is running for governor in Virginia, said he wanted to “be a mighty voice for those who have been convicted of a crime but remain in prison because no one is willing to argue their innocence.”
“Conservatives should lead the campaign to changing the culture of corrections in America,” he called out to the crowd of conservatives.
While Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed a similar sentiment yesterday, Cuccinelli’s message is more forceful because he has staked his ground as a social conservative. Various state legislatives have enacted criminal justice reforms promoted by the Right on Crime initiative. These reforms not only lessen criminal penalities and focus on rehabilitation, they also save taxpayers money.
There are certainly those who disagree with Cuccinelli, but his comments this morning are symbolic of the shift currently taking place in the conservative movement.