Rudy Giuliani released the criminal justice plank of his campaign platform today. Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, was known for being tough on crime as Mayor of New York City. He pioneered the zero tolerance approach to policing and is widely credited with reducing crime in the Big Apple.
Giuliani announced that his point man for this issue would be Bernard Kerik. Kerik was appointed NYC police commissioner by Giuliani and was subsequently convicted on corruption offenses and other charges. Campaign spokesman Mike Duhaime explained that Kerik's experience with both sides of the criminal justice system made him an appropriate choice.
Expanding on his zero tolerance approach, Giuliani's plan calls for federalizing most criminal matters from the most serious offenses all the way down to parking tickets, to make the criminal justice system more efficient. In what may be the most controversial aspect of the plan, the sentencing process will be simplified as the death penalty will be mandatory for all offenses. Civil libertarians protested this in the streets of San Francisco.
The candidate responded to the criticism: "We need strong measures in these difficult times. By being tough on crime at home, we show strength to the terrorists abroad. ... This plan will also help the environment, as the US population should be reduced by 50% within 20 years. With fewer people, we will contribute less to global warming." While the ACLU announced its opposition to the plan, many liberal groups, including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the Al Gore Fan Club, announced their support for it because of global warming concerns.