Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images
Two portraits of William Barr arose during the second day of his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department as President Trump's election as a lawyer.
One was a brilliant and moral man who watched the dissolution of a hostage crisis on a federal prison without accidents, and another was a lawyer general secretary in the early 1990s who held views on race and police, which now seems outdated and unacceptable to many in law enforcement.
Wednesday's Testimony Before the Senate Court Committee, from a number of legal experts and civil rights defenders showed that Barr, if confirmed, will do much more than just monitor Robert Mueller's study of Russian election interference.
This study dominated the conversation on Tuesday when senators were given the chance to question Barr, but Wednesday's discussion was far-reaching.  Barr has previously served as Advocate General under President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993. He expressed support for aggressive confinement policies at that time, which led to large increases in the prison population at a time when violent crime rates were skyrocketing across the country.
"As a lawyer [Barr]mass incarceration and deprived of countless people of their freedom color and dramatically reduced their future potential," said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of NAACP. "His judicial term was characterized by extraordinarily aggressive policies that disrupted people of color."
Both Tuesday and Wednesday, democratic senators pointed to a 1992 memorandum issued by Barr's Justice Department entitled "The Case for More Incarceration."
In this paper, Barr wrote that "there is no better way to reduce crime than to identify, target and invalidate the criminals who commit staggering numbers of violent crimes on the streets."
The issue nearly 30 years later, when Barr approaches confirmation to be a lawyer again, is whether he will comply and enforce the first step law, a Criminal Review Conference Congress passed and Trump signed at the end of last year.
The law will reduce sentences for certain crimes in drug abuse, including termination of automatic life-time schemes.
On Tuesday to answer questions from Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Has committed Barr to implementing new law while defending his thinking at that time.
"The very draconian punishments on cracks were first introduced because when the crack epidemic first hit, it was like nuclear weapons went out into the city center. Community leaders at that time [were saying]" this kills us, you have to do something, "barr said "I understand that things have changed since 1992."
On Wednesday, friends of the barracks and former colleagues also said they believed he would implement the First Step Act.
"He understands the need to do more than just unlock people, "said Larry Thompson, former lawyer.
Chuck Canterbury, the president of the National Brotherhood Order, who supported the first step, said he had" full confidence "that Barr would implement new law.  Still, Johnson, of the NAACP and Marc Morial, the former mayor of New Orleans and the current president of the National Urban League, ardently spoke to confirm Barr as attorney general.
"The Ministry of Justice has for the past two years been led by a lawyer intending to restrict civil and human rights at every turn," said Morial, by Jeff Sessions, who Trump stopped from ato p DOJ in November last year. "This nation needs a general attorney who will dramatically change the course and enforce civil rights with power and independence … We are confident that William Barr will not."
Chairman of the Judiciary Sen. Lindsay Graham, RS.C. He said Barron's criticism was based on the fact that he was nominated by a Republican President and not on any disqualification. Graham questioned Johnson about whether the NAACP was actually a nonpartisan organization that it claims to be if it approves every democrat in the committee and disagrees with each republican.
"A republican's name that you can support", Graham also asked Morial. "I just can't think of a better person to choose if you are Republican than Mr. Barr in terms of experience, judgment and temperament. So, if that guy doesn't cut it, then I'm lost on whom we can choose." 19659028] William Barr supported Pardons in a former DC & Witch Hunt: Iran-Contra “/>