I’ve mentioned the Koch brothers here in the past, and have observed that despite their support for a number of things (the arts, medical research, the ACLU) that liberals also support, their opposition to Leviathan-style government has made them (as a commenter at Reason once said) “the Slendermen of the progs.”
Well, as it happens, Charles Koch has found another political cause, according to an article in the Wichita Eagle:
Ten years ago, he began giving money to support efforts by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train defense lawyers and reverse what some see as a national trend to get tough on crime, which has resulted in the tripling of the incarceration rate since the 1980s and has stripped the poor of their rights to a legal defense.
He’s going to give more to that effort, he said.
“Over the next year, we are going to be pushing the issues key to this, which need a lot of work in this country,” Koch said. “And that would be freedom of speech, cronyism and how that relates to opportunities for the disadvantaged.”
The nation’s criminal justice system needs reform, “especially for the disadvantaged,” Koch said, “making it fair and making (criminal) sentences more appropriate to the crime that has been committed.”
Among other things, Koch would like to see it become easier for non-violent felons to have their records expunged (an option that, while available, is too complicated and expensive for many people to take.)
I’m not sure where I stand on this, knowing only too well that non-violent criminals sometimes graduate to violence. Still, I think it will be interesting to see if the folks on the other side of the aisle will acknowledge that their bete noire doesn’t always disagree with them.
Ah, who am I kidding? Thinking is much harder than following orders, whether from the left or right.