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O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities

O'Rourke endorses progressive criminal justice priorities
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBeto O'Rourke: Ted Cruz 'guilty of sedition' in Capitol insurrection Boebert appears to carry gun on Capitol Hill in new ad 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics MORE (D-Texas) endorsed a series of progressive criminal justice proposals Thursday in an essay for the Brennan Center for Justice.

In the essay, published Thursday alongside others from fellow 2020 contenders such as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders says he's raised .8 million for charity after mittens meme Former Sanders press secretary: Further means-testing of COVID-19 aid 'unconscionable' Leahy expected to preside over impeachment after health scare MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSenate Democrats reintroduce DC statehood bill Sen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized What the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform MORE (D-Calif.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Biden agenda, Trump impeachment trial dominate Klobuchar says Senate impeachment trial of former official is constitutional: 'We have precedent' MORE (D-Minn.), the Texas lawmaker announced support for several priorities firmly in line with the Democratic Party's left wing.

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Among the proposals he endorsed included plans to end cash bail at the state level, make for-profit prisons illegal, and end mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

The former Texas congressman also vowed to confront the "over-policing of black and brown neighborhoods" as well as ending the federal prohibition on marijuana.

"Ultimately, this is about ensuring that every single one of us — regardless of race, ethnicity, or class — can live to our full potential with equal rights and equal dignity. We will build a future that is more just, more fair, and more prosperous for every single person," O'Rourke wrote on Twitter.

O'Rourke's endorsement of criminal justice reform proposals came as his campaign has struggled to make headway against a crowded field of competitors, and the former congressman regularly polls in the single digits behind higher-tier contenders such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Science denialism in the new administration Jill Biden to offer input on helping reunite separated immigrant families: report MORE and Sanders.

His poll numbers have receded since entering the race with millions of dollars in fundraising earlier this year, and he has reportedly worked to relaunch his campaign with a media tour after months of low-key events with voters.