They are evidence of intent. Success is a different question entirely, which is largely predicated on Congress. Remember, only Congress can introduce legislation. Sanders ran on the back of Medicare for All, but the odds of that actually getting passed even if he became president would have been very low. I don't know if Biden will be successful in his goals regarding criminal justice, as I don't know what Congress will look like next year, but a crime bill from the 80s does virtually nothing to predict what his stance will be when he becomes president. Any politician who has been on the job for more than a few years will have seen their positions shift over time. That is simply how both humans and politics work.
All I’m saying is records don’t lie, politicians do. There’s no reason to believe a liar has changed. They will say what is popular. If you want more recent records, look at Biden’s VP pick. Harris, a state prosecutor of all things, opposed legalization of marijuana in her state. She co-authored an opposition letter to stop it’s passage, and was successful. 2016 it finally passed without her endorsement. Records show, in her 5 years, Harris sent 1,500 people to state prison (not just jail) for MariJuana related offenses and increased drug dealer convictions from 50% to 75%. Now she created the MORE act. Which I have to read still, but it could be a step in the right direction.
when I see a police turn it’s lights on I don’t think, “oh good, they caught a bad guy.” Instead I think, “Oh those poor people are being extorted for money.”