Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Perry signed bill vetoed by Gov. Moonbeam banning shackling of inmates giving birth

Recently Grits has written a couple of posts which received some national attention describing how Gov. Rick Perry's criminal justice record is more moderate than is often portrayed, and even more moderate than most other US governors, whether Republican or Democrat. The latest example comes out of California, where Governor Moonbeam himself, Jerry Brown, vetoed legislation that would have banned shackling pregnant women while they're in labor and/or giving birth. By contrast, in 2009 Gov. Perry signed similar anti-shackling legislation in Texas being pushed by the Texas Jail Project and the ACLU.

I tell folks all the time - though almost nobody seems to believe it - that criminal-justice issues (with the exception of the death penalty) simply don't cut along traditional liberal-conservative lines in the fashion of the usual Culture War debates, and that Texas has passed more criminal-justice reform legislation since the GOP took over the Lege than was ever even considered when Democrats were in charge. I say that not to slam the Dems or to suck up to the Republicans; it's simply, empirically true. The difference in Perry's and Brown's stances regarding shackling pregnant women while they're giving birth is just the latest example to add to the list.

1 comment:

MidCoast Kid said...

You raise an interesting point. I never expected such reforms from the GOP. Of course, Texas Democrats suffer from the old yellow dog complex -- people would elect a yellow dog if the dog declared itself a democrat -- like most Southern states. Maybe more politicians will show their true colors as things shift in the Old South.