- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Sen. Cory A. Booker, a Democratic presidential candidate, on Tuesday panned former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s push to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system, saying the “proud architect of a failed system is not the right person to fix it.”

Mr. Booker has been the most vocal critic of the chief role that Mr. Biden, also a presidential candidate, played in passing the 1994 Crime Bill that liberal activists now blame for high mass incarceration rates and ravaging minority communities.

“Joe Biden had more than 40 years to get this right,” Mr. Booker, New Jersey Democrat, said in a statement. “The proud architect of a failed system is not the right person to fix it.”

Mr. Biden rolled out his plan to strengthen the system earlier in the day.

Mr. Booker has been credited with building a strong ground game in Iowa and with investing a lot of time and energy in South Carolina, where he is focused on turning out black voters, which made up a majority of the Democratic primary electorate.

But he has yet to have a breakout moment in the race.

Mr. Booker could get his chance next week when he shares the stage with Mr. Biden on the second night of back-to-back debates featuring 20 of the candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“The 1994 crime bill accelerated mass incarceration and inflicted immeasurable harm on black, brown and low-income communities,” Mr. Booker said. “While it’s encouraging to see Vice President Biden finally come around to supporting many of the ideas I and others have proposed, his plan falls short of the transformative change our broken criminal justice system needs. “

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