The fight in Pennsylvania for a crucial U.S. Senate seat illustrates some of the policy differences between parties when it comes to criminal justice, reports WHYY. Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman he believes the justice system needs reform because it is "unforgiving and vindictive." Fetterman's opposes Pennsylvania's automatic life sentences for first- and second-degree murder convictions. He argues for changes to make criminal justice more equitable. Fetterman said he supports "effective diversion programs for nonviolent offenders." His Republican opponent, celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz, argues against Fetterman's sentencing reform ideas.
Fetterman favors "common sense" gun laws, while Oz calls the proposals overbearing. Fetterman backs universal background checks and red flag laws as proactive efforts to get illegal guns off the streets. Oz opposes red flag laws and opposes laws that make it harder to possess. Oz believes that all law-abiding citizens should be allowed to buy guns. Both candidates support funding the police. Fetterman prioritizes oversight, police accountability, and violence prevention.