Ex-con Cunningham campaigning for Asa Hutchinson | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ex-con Cunningham campaigning for Asa Hutchinson

Posted By on Sun, Jul 13, 2014 at 4:39 PM

click to enlarge NEW  OUTLOOK: Ex-con Cunningham campaigning for Asa and criminal justice reform.
  • NEW OUTLOOK: Ex-con Cunningham campaigning for Asa and criminal justice reform.
We've reported before that Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a famously corrupt Republican congressman, would be settling in Arkansas after completion of his prison sentence. Huffington Post has caught up with Cunningham in Hot Springs Village, where, among other activities, he's campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson.

Three years later, Cunningham says he has a lot on his plate: He's active in his church, he's volunteering with his local fire department, and he even says he's setting up meet-and-greets and fundraisers for Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas. (Luckily for "Duke," Arkansas automatically restores voting rights for felons once their term of probation has ended.)

He says he's working, too, on criminal justice reform.

"Unfortunately, some of my Democrat colleagues were right and I was wrong on some issues as far as criminal justice," Cunningham said, specifically regretting votes for mandatory minimums for drug crimes that take discretion away from federal judges and give federal prosecutors a tremendous amount of leverage over defendants.

"We have taken out of the judge's hands the ability to be merciful in some reasons or to do the right thing," Cunningham said. "I've heard case after case where the judges have said, 'I wish I could help you, but my hands are tied.' I want to untie the hands of our judges."

Welcome aboard, Duke. And by all means vote. Just have that ID handy. (You do know, don't you, that voting rights for felons makes many Arkansas Republicans very unhappy. See, they think all criminals vote Democratic.)

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