Presidential candidates often talk about national security -- issues of defense spending, counter-terrorism policy and protecting the country from outside threats. But at this point in the process, the candidates running for the 2012 Republican nomination have spoken much less about the dangers that lurk in our own towns and neighborhoods.
With the final debate before next week’s Florida primary taking place tonight, HLN’s Nancy Grace is looking at some of the issues that hit closer to home and affect you and your family on a daily basis. What would the candidates do to keep killers off the streets and save our children from sexual predators?
Do the candidates support the death penalty and under what circumstances? Where would they draw the line when it comes to pardons and early release of criminals? Do they favor tougher sentences and stricter monitoring for convicted sex offenders? Will they devote resources to putting more police on the streets and provide support to law enforcement?
How far are these candidates willing to go to protect you and your children?
One crime-related issue that did arise in the campaign recently was voting rights for convicted felons. At a January 16 debate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who supported a bill allowing felons who have completed their sentences to vote, challenged former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney about his position on the matter.
"I don't think people who have committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote again,” Romney said, though Santorum then questioned why he did not try to change the law to stop ex-cons from voting in Massachusetts while he was in office.
In 2003, Rep. Ron Paul voted against a bill to support a national Amber Alert program. However, according to the Congressional Record, he explained that he thought Amber Alert systems had been successful on a state level but he felt a federal program “is neither constitutionally sound nor effective law enforcement.”
Paul has also argued that the war on drugs is “a detriment to personal liberty” and suggested it may be less successful than prohibition was in the 1920s. In contrast, Newt Gingrich said in a Yahoo! News interview in November that he opposes giving states control over legalization of marijuana and that the federal government should be more aggressive in prosecuting drug offenses.
The Nancy Grace team has asked the campaigns of the four republican candidates and President Obama about all of these issues and more. We also looked at their records and their public statements to see where they stand on keeping our streets safe.
What do you want to hear from the candidates about crime and public safety? What questions would you ask them? Call in tonight at 8 p.m. to talk to Nancy and our panel of experts: 1-877-NANCY-01
Nancy Grace Special: Candidates & Crime airs Thursday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST only on HLN.