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.)
"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."