On Day 3 of confirmation hearings, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., suggested that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s compassion “could lead to bad results” when it comes to recidivism.
In response, Jackson said her “attempts to communicate directly with defendants is about public safety.”
“We should be imposing a sentence sufficient but not greater than necessary to promote the purposes of punishment,” Jackson said. One purpose, she added, is to rehabilitate people who commit a crime so they are unlikely to make the same mistake again.
Jackson described how, when she was administering justice to people as a trial judge, she explained the consequences of defendants’ actions so that they better understood the weight of their decisions. The goal, she said, was to further Congress’ direction on sentencing so that incarcerated people “can ultimately be rehabilitated to the benefit of society as a whole.”
Tillis questioned Jackson as the Senate Judiciary Committee continued its Supreme Court confirmation hearings March 23. Wednesday was senators’ final day to question Jackson, who was nominated by President Joe Biden in February to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman on the high court. On the final day of the hearings March 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from friends and colleagues of Jackson about her temperament and approach to the law.
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