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DeSantis pitches Iowans on a rigged justice system to help conservatives

DeSantis pitches Iowans on a rigged justice system to help conservatives
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In a campaign speech to Iowans on Sunday, GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis vowed to pursue clemency for conservatives charged with crimes in regions he deems hostile to Republicans. 

The Florida governor, whose presidential campaign has taken on water in recent months, dangled this red meat to the conservative base in response to a question about “woke” judges.

DeSantis suggested to the crowd in Eldridge, Iowa, that conservatives should receive “clemency” if they’re prosecuted or convicted in jurisdictions perceived as liberal. He added that this should apply in particular to Washington, “because D.C. is a brutal, brutal jurisdiction, the jury pool is very, very left-wing and it’s … just not fair for a conservative to be in front of that.”

He went on to say:

The only thing you can do is say — and I will do this — there needs to be one standard of justice in this country. And so if somebody is prosecuted or has been convicted and they can show that they were treated disfavorably because they’re in a faction of society that the ruling elites don’t like, then I think they would be eligible to potentially get clemency and get some relief.

DeSantis then dubiously claimed Black Lives Matter protesters have been treated with kid gloves compared to anti-abortion protesters. 

Conservative lawmakers (with occasional help from the Biden administration) have tried to strip Washington residents — 45% of whom are Black — of their independence when it comes to criminal justice and legal proceedings.

It’s hard to see that as anything but a potential get-out-of-jail-free card for right-wing wrongdoers.

As law enforcement authorities have sought accountability for former President Donald Trump and others involved in his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results, Republicans have falsely claimed that these charges indicate a two-tiered justice system that is weaponized against conservatives. 

DeSantis’ proposal helps highlight the dubiousness of those claims, given it could essentially afford conservatives a special pathway to elude punishment. It’s hard to see that as anything but a potential get-out-of-jail-free card for right-wing wrongdoers.



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