Tucker Carlson Slams Governor Lee For Being Soft On Crime

Image Credit: Gov. Bill Lee / Facebook & Gage Skidmore / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Following the kidnapping and murder of kindergarten teacher and mother Eliza Fletcher preceding the gunning down of four victims and the injuries of three in mass shooting event, all taking place in Memphis, Fox Nation’s Tucker Carlson laid much of the blame at the feet of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and his soft-on-crime policies.

On his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, he said, “This is happening in a city that is collapsing due to violence.”

Carlson reiterated the fact that Fletcher’s murderer, Cleotha Abston, had been recently released early from a state prison for a previous crime and was not under supervision or parole at the time of his attack on Fletcher.

“Her killer had just gotten out of jail on a kidnapping charge.  He was let out years early.  So, he got out and committed the same crime, this time with murder,” Carlson said.

Carlson stated there are a number of reasons this is happening.  He said, “The governor of Tennessee – believe it or not is a Republican – called Bill Lee ran on a platform of criminal justice reform. That means letting violent people out of prison early. In pursuit of that effort he recently declined to endorse a so-called ‘truth in sentencing’ bill which would have required people convicted of violent crimes to serve their sentences. As Lee said last year, quote, ‘There are too many people in prison who don’t need to be there.’”

Later, Carlson even called Governor Lee a liberal.

Earlier this year, House Speaker Cameron Sexton, and the Senate’s Lt. Governor Randy McNally sponsored a bill to require that violent criminals serve 100% of their prison sentences. The aim of the new legislation was to keep the most dangerous criminals from reoffending by keeping them behind bars.

However, Governor Lee allowed the bill to become a law without his signature.

The legislation faced significant opposition from the Lee administration, but Lee has yet to veto any bills he doesn’t agree with, so instead, he sent a letter to Sexton to McNally explaining his position.

“My concern with HB2656/SB2248 is that data does not support the basic premise of the legislation. Similar legislation has been enacted before and resulted in significant operational and financial strain, with no reduction in crime.  Widespread evidence suggests that this policy will result in more victims, higher recidivism, increased crime and prison overcrowding, all with an increased cost to taxpayers,” Lee wrote.

However, Sexton pointed out that a 2020 U.S. Sentencing Commission report found tougher sentences reduce crime and the rate of return to prison by offenders after release. He contended law enforcement officials backed the legislation for that reason.

Sexton said that it is a lawmakers’ job to protect people and support law enforcement, adding that the state could build more prisons if necessary.

“Either we value life or we don’t; this legislation was about the most violent crimes committed in our state. It’s hard to stand with victims & law enforcement by going easy on criminals,” Sexton said.

Following the violent events in Memphis, Lee traveled to Memphis to meet with state police, who helped apprehend the suspect of a mass shooting that left four dead and three wounded.

Since Abston had been released early from prison, and the suspect in the mass shooting was released early after pleading guilty to a lesser crime, Lee said in a press conference that “Convenient plea deals cannot come at the cost of justice.  Soft on crime plea deals have real consequences, and they are preventable. Those consequences were on full display Wednesday night.”

Lee also touted some of the laws he has signed, including requiring mandatory supervision for offenders on release from prison and heightening penalties for violent gun crimes, gun theft and drug trafficking.

Lee said, “In the past three years, we have made some significant steps toward strengthening public safety in our state.”

However, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations’ crime statistics database, crime in the Volunteer State has increased by more than 17% since Lee’s inauguration.

Of note, none of the anti-crime laws passed during Lee’s time in office work retroactively.  They only apply to future convictions.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

17 thoughts on “Tucker Carlson Slams Governor Lee For Being Soft On Crime

  • September 15, 2022 at 4:53 pm
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    Time to vote “rinos” out of office. Bill Lee is one of the biggest. His record speaks for itself. People November 8th is the date on, which we the people need to make our voices heard. Don’t be silent any longer.
    In God we trust not government man.
    Have a blessed day

    Reply
    • September 15, 2022 at 5:15 pm
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      Wayne, I have an even better idea! Let’s not vote them for them in the first place. For example, when a bloke runs for governor who is in his late middle age and has never expressed the slightest interest in politics other than to get a tax break for his heating/air conditioner company and he is running against a lady who has a 77% Heritage score after a long career in Congress, while 77% ain’t great, I would vote for the lady as a surer bet for us to get reasonably conservative government.

      Reply
      • September 16, 2022 at 3:34 pm
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        Sir, I don’t know which lady you speak of because you did mention her name. But you are correct that a score of 77% especially if a person has been in “congress” for long time is not very good. But I would take into consideration what their moral values are also. We should do the most extensive job of vetting the candidates that we are considering voting for. Knowledge is a powerful tool. I have done a lot of research on the candidates that are running for office. Some are qualified and some are definitely not. I know for one thing I usually vote republican but I will not not vote for Bill Lee.
        In God we trust not government or man.
        Have a blessed day.

        Reply
  • September 15, 2022 at 5:14 pm
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    Carlson has it just about right. I’m so disappointed there are no conservatives running against Lee. He’s a rhino just like most of them. We have a justice problem in the whole country. People who kill other people need to be executed. That’s justice. Having taxpayers foot the bill to keep them incarcerated for decades is not justice.

    Reply
  • September 15, 2022 at 5:34 pm
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    As a Tennessee resident I sent a note to Gov. Lee regarding this issue, but just like the last 4 times I sent my concerns to the Governor, I never get a response back from him or his staff. I just hope the Tennessee Republican party can find a true conservative for the next election.

    Reply
  • September 15, 2022 at 6:10 pm
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    I worry a lot about Bill Lee. He leans RINO much of the time. I would like to see someone look further into his relationship with China.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2022 at 11:43 pm
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      Kate you can be that person.

      Reply
  • September 15, 2022 at 6:38 pm
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    Lee is all talk, no action. He will be seeking higher office after his next term.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2022 at 11:44 pm
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      Well that isn’t going to happen. The only reason he is up for reelection is no one ran against him

      Reply
  • September 15, 2022 at 8:54 pm
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    I will not vote for Lee, yes I know he is the only Republican running for Governor. Disgusted with the whole lot.

    Reply
  • September 15, 2022 at 9:29 pm
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    Tenn. needs a Governor like Ron DeSantis, Not a Yes man!!!

    Reply
  • September 16, 2022 at 1:11 am
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    The problem is the primary has already happened. So the chance of voting Lee out is slim to none. This discussion needed to be had about 6 months ago.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2022 at 11:12 am
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    MAYBE we need to take a good look at who is doing most of the crime, just watch the news every night.

    Reply
  • September 16, 2022 at 6:48 pm
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    We want Curtis Carney and the TN GOP know it that’s why they illegally took him off the ballot to run against Bill CCP Lee 🤬

    Reply
  • September 23, 2022 at 4:15 pm
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    How about a write in for Governor?

    Garry Humble?

    He’s a great guy. Conservative. Christian. Sound. Trustworthy.

    Reply

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