William Barr said he would “faithfully enforce” the new bipartisan criminal justice reform law, which President Trump signed, despite a record of tough-on-crime policies and harsh sentences for violent criminals in his past tenure as attorney general.
Here's what Barr said about his views at that time:
“I don’t think comparing the policies that were in effect in 1992 to the situation now is really fair. I think the time was right to take stock and make changes to our penal system based on current experience, so I have no problem with the approach of reforming the sentencing structure and I will faithfully enforce that law.”
In a nod to criminal justice reform advocates concerned about his record, Barr recognized that the crime rate has "substantially fallen" since he left the department in the early 1990s and says that he would "diligently implement" the First Step Act, a bill that Congress overwhelmingly passed last year to overhaul prison laws.
Yet he also put himself in the same category as his tough-on-crime predecessor, saying, "like Attorney General Sessions, I believe we must keep up the pressure on chronic, violent criminals."