May 30, 2019

Booker: Biden crime bill was "awful"

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images.

In an interview with with HuffPost while visiting Iowa, Sen. Cory Booker slammed a decades-old piece of criminal justice legislation that 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden helped to pass, calling it a "shameful ... bad bill."

What's happening: Booker, who's focusing his campaign largely on criminal justice reform, said he disagrees with a 1994 bill that Biden helped author and pass to reduce crime. Opponents of the bill argue that its effects unreasonably increased rates of mass incarceration, particularly among communities of color.

The bill implemented the "three strikes you're out" rule, which expanded circumstances eligible for life sentences. The legislation also lengthened the list of crimes qualifying for the death penalty.

“I use this word sincerely. I love Joe Biden. The incentives they put in that bill for people to raise mandatory minimums, for building prisons and jails... overwhelmingly putting people in prison for nonviolent drug offenses that members of Congress and the Senate admit to breaking now. That bill was awful.”
— Cory Booker in an interview with HuffPost

The other side: Biden has pushed back against claims that the crime bill boosted such numbers, stating at a campaign event earlier this month that the bill "did not generate mass incarceration."

  • Biden further argued that the bill only applied to federal violations of the law, which make up a small portion of total prosecutions.

For the record: President Trump also blasted the bill, writing on Twitter that: “Anyone associated with the 1994 Crime Bill will not have a chance of being elected. In particular, African Americans will not be able to vote for you!”

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Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said Saturday he's considering a short-term quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, which have already taken steps to help residents isolate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted to Trump's comments by telling CNN, "This would be a federal declaration of war on states" and that it would cause "chaos."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 660,706 — Total deaths: 30,652 — Total recoveries: 139,304.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 121,478 — Total deaths: 2,026 — Total recoveries: 1,072.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Deaths surge in Italy and Spain

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has since Friday killed 889 more people in Italy and 832 others in Spain, which announced all non-essential workplaces would close for two weeks.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 on Saturday in the U.S., which leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 121,000, per John Hopkins. The number of those recovered from the virus in the United States passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Health