Tag Archives: Jurisprudence

NYPD cop murdered by criminal who was released early

Crime rates in major cities, all Democrat-run
Crime rates in major cities, all Democrat-run

I keep hearing all these compassionate Democrats complaining that too many people are behind bars.  The solution? Release lots and lots of prisoners.

The leftist Washington Post reports on efforts by the Obama administration to release harmless drug offenders at the federal level:

The Justice Department is set to release about 6,000 inmates early from prison — the largest one-time release of federal prisoners — in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades, according to U.S. officials.

The inmates from federal prisons nationwide will be set free by the department’s Bureau of Prisons between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2. About two-thirds of them will go to halfway houses and home confinement before being put on supervised release. About one-third are foreign citizens who will be quickly deported, officials said.

[…][Democrat Attorney General Eric]Holder supported the change, but he proposed more restrictive criteria that would exclude people who had used weapons or had significant criminal histories. But the Sentencing Commission decided to leave the decisions to individual judges.

It always seems to be the Democrats who want to release criminals and confiscate the guns of law-abiding civilians. The Republicans always want to put criminals in jail and let law-abiding civilians defend themselves.

Anyway, let’s see what happened in New York where one of these harmless drug-offenders was allowed to go free, thanks to the rules made by one of the most Democrat-dominated cities in the United States.

The Washington Times reports:

The suspect in the fatal shooting of a New York police officer was only on the street because he was not sent to jail earlier this year for dealing crack as part of a diversion program for drug offenders.

Tyrone Howard, 30, had a lengthy rap sheet featuring 28 arrests since age 13 when he pleaded guilty again in May to selling crack at an East Harlem public-housing complex. He was sentenced to two years in jail but rather than being sent behind bars, he was ordered into an outpatient drug-rehabilitation program for that period.

The diversion program is designed to reduce overcrowding in the city’s jails, and courts in New York and across the country are increasingly turning to rehabilitation and treatment options rather than incarceration for drug offenses.

[…][A] spokesman for the New York state court system said that Howard was an addict and thus should not be in jail for drug offenses.

“Actually, he’s the perfect candidate in many ways” for diversion programs, state court system spokesman David Bookstaver told The Associated Press in an interview.

[…]According to NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill, Howard was wanted in connection with a gang-related shooting in Manhattan in September but police couldn’t find him for arrest — even though he was on supervised release for two years.Howard didn’t show up for status meetings and would not be home when investigators made repeated efforts to find him there.

An arrest warrant was issued for Howard on Sept. 21.

Howard’s long criminal record included two terms in state prison since 2007 on drug-related charges. He also was arrested in connection with a 2009 shooting, but the AP said the disposition of that case was unclear.

OK so that’s one measly case. Let’s see the aggregate numbers so we can make a real conclusion here.

This is from the radically leftist BBC:

Nearly half of prisoners released from prison go on to commit further offences, government figures indicate.

The percentage re-offending went up for the second year on a row to 49.4% – but is lower than in 2002 when 55% of prisoners committed further crimes.

The statistics show re-offending rates by women went up by four times that for men – by 16.4%, compared with 4.2%.

The National Audit Office recently found reoffending in England and Wales costs the taxpayer up to £10bn a year.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) assesses re-offending rates by measuring the number of further offences committed by a group of criminals in England and Wales within a year of their release.

Those let out in the first three months of 2008 committed 37,178 offences within a year.

Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve said the prison system was “dilapidated and overcrowded” and was “failing to turn offenders around”.

He said: “Half of prisoners commit another recordable offence within a year of release.

If you don’t believe the BBC, believe the peer-reviewed academic study:

This study explores the recidivism outcomes of 1,804 serious and violent delinquents sentenced under a blended sentencing statute and released early by juvenile correctional authorities without continuing their blended sentence in adult prisons. Released at an average age of 19, roughly 50% of releases were rearrested for a felony-level offense postrelease. The remaining 50% of all releases did not incur a postrelease arrest or were rearrested for an offense no higher than a misdemeanor. Measures for assaultive institutional misconduct and prior delinquent adjudications were predictive of recidivism in models examining rearrest for any offense and rearrest for a felony only. Substance abusers, gang members, those with a gang-related commitment offense, and homicide-related state commitments were significantly more likely to be rearrested for any offense postrelease. This article ends with a discussion of implications specific to this high risk cohort of released delinquent offenders.

If you really want to do something about the crime rate, then government needs to promote natural marriage and stability during parenting. That’s not what selfish adults want to hear, but it is what works to lower crime rates. Instead of paying women to have fatherless babies outside of marriage, we should pay them to get married and have kids and stay together to raise the kids. That’s what REALLY lowers the crime rates, and empties the prisons. It probably doesn’t help that we are throwing pastors out of the prisons, either.

Look. We all have to decide whether we have more sympathy for convicted criminals, or whether we have more sympathy for law-abiding taxpayers. Democrats are there to serve the criminals: give them goodies and disarm their victims. Republicans are there to serve the law-abiding taxpayers, and let them defend themselves from criminals. Please vote accordingly.

Convicted criminal commits burglary, murder and rape hours after early release from jail

Here’s a sad, graphic news story from the NY Daily News that should make us all pause and reconsider whether the left-wing compassion crowd is right about giving lighter sentences to criminals. (H/T Dennis Prager)

Excerpt:

A 24-year-old man charged with killing an elderly couple and raping their 2-year-old great-grandchild had been released early from prison just hours before the attacks, state officials said on Tuesday.

Jerry Active was arrested on Saturday by police and has been charged in the murders of Sorn Sreap, 71, and her husband, Touch Chea, 73, and the rape of the toddler they were babysitting that night. Active is also charged with raping Sreap.

The elderly victims’ bodies had signs of blunt-force trauma, but autopsies will determine the cause of death, the Anchorage Police Department said in a statement.

[…]Active, who had pleaded guilty to breaking into a Dillingham, Alaska, home in 2009 and sexually assaulting a child and other residents, was released from prison on probation on Saturday morning after serving part of a seven-year sentence, said Kaci Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Corrections.

Do me, cases like this make it very clear that we need to be tougher on criminals. This would never have happened if this guy had been given the death penalty instead of early release for “good behavior”. What would the compassion crowd say to evidence like this? My guess is that they would say that the victims of the crime need to be more tolerant of criminals and not be so judgmental and vindictive. After all, the victims probably caused the attack and the attacker is the real victim. That’s how people on the left think.

A silver lining on today’s cloudy Supreme Court decision?

Ok, so on first blush this seems like a bad decision for conservatives. So here are a few things that I found that say that it isn’t that bad.

Here’s moderate pragmatist Dick Morris.

Excerpt:

Right now, presidential polls show Romney and Obama both in the mid-40s. The single most unpopular thing Obama has done is the health care law. Now it is going to be the lynchpin issue. It means that the election itself will increasingly be polarized around opinions of the health care law – a fifteen point loser for the Democrats.

In a real sense, the Supreme Court did not let Obama off the hook by striking down the law. Now he will have to defend it during the election.

Remember what this law does. It requires everyone to spend upwards of 7 percent of their income on health insurance or pay a fine of several thousand dollars. Neither is an attractive alternative for the young and the poor who are the president’s political base. And, with the expansion of Medicaid rejected by the Court, the government will not be there to help them.

In 2010, Democrats running for Congress (most of whom lost) did not even attempt to defend Obamacare. They put as much distance between themselves and the law as they could. But now, neither Obama nor his Senate and House candidates will have that option since the Supreme Court has kicked the football back into political play.

And here’s conservative Townhall.

Excerpt:

Over, and over, and over, President Obama assured us that this was not a tax. He was not raising taxes on the middle class (that’s what the Republicans were doing, remember?). Nope, says the CJ: ya raised our taxes. Politically, that’s going to prove troublesome for Obama this fall, and in a much more substantial way than having his “signature legislative accomplishment” overturned altogether.

For one, Roberts took away Obama’s ability to campaign against the Court. They upheld his law; he can’t do as he did after Citizens United and construe the ACA ruling as a massively political attack on the little guy and his uninsured plight. He has nothing to blame on the Justices. All they did was recharacterize the “penalty” as constitutional under the taxing power. Roberts robbed Obama of a scapegoat, and stuck Obama with an unpopular law in an election year. Ouch.

Second, Roberts has literally forced Obama to acknowledged that he broke a promise, and raised taxes. And tax increases don’t resonate well with the voters. Now, it’s doubtful Obama will assume responsibility for raising taxes – note that in his speech today, he didn’t acknowledge the Court’s reasoning for the ruling, only that they ruled in his favor. But the GOP has just added a major weapon to its arsenal: want to lower taxes? Then don’t reelect Obama.

This third observation is one that isn’t immediately eminent, but nonetheless just as important as those prior two, if not more so. Roberts has made it substantially easier to repeal Obamacare, and substantially harder to pass anything like it in the future. As noted above, Americans don’t like taxes. And thanks to the fact that many will opt to pay the tax rather than buy insurance (as that will cost less), the insurance problem in this country hasn’t been solved. The fact that we’ve settled the question of the mandate’s constitutionality means we can turn to the rest of the law, and address the flaws contained therein, and perhaps find a real solution to the healthcare crisis. As for future laws, Democrats lost the ability to hide behind “penalty” language. Roberts saw that the mandate waddled and quacked, and gave it the appropriate name. (He also forbade Congress from actually “mandating” anything, so that name isn’t even correct anymore.) The ACA barely passed the first time; future iterations of this theory are destined to fail, because Congress will have to stand up and say, “We propose to enact a new tax so as to influence your behavior.” If that isn’t the proverbial lead balloon, I don’t know what is.

So there you have it: it’s really not all bad. It’s not what we wanted, but then – as I suspect Obama will learn in the coming months – we must remember to be careful what we wish for.

UPDATE: I have been told that if something is a tax, then it only has to get 50 votes in the Senate to repeal it, and not 60. I’m not sure if this is correct. Additionally, Romney got $3.2 million in donations the day the Supreme Court made their decision. So that is good news for sure.

That’s the silver lining. It’s a big cloud, but there is a small silver lining.

UPDATE: Wes sent me this full list of all the taxes contained in Obamacare. All we have to do now is win in November.

Thousands of Muslims demand Sharia law in Tunisia

Political Map of Africa
Political Map of Africa

Huntr sent me this disturbing AP article.

Excerpt:

Several thousand men and women demonstrated outside the Tunisian parliament on Friday to demand the inclusion of Islamic law in the north African country’s future constitution.

“The people want the application of God’s sharia”, “Our Koran is our constitution”, “No constitution without sharia,” and “Tunisia is neither secular nor scientific, it is an Islamic state”, cried the protesters, drawn mainly from the Islamist Salafist movement.

Some men climbed on the roof of the building and unfurled a banner that read: “The people belong to God.”

Several women sported the niqab, or full-face veils.

Tunisia’s moderate Islamist leaders, who took power following last year’s ouster of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after a popular uprising, are under pressure from a radical Muslim fringe.

The ultra-conservative Salafists have in recent months demanded full-face veils for female university students, castigated a TV channel for an allegedly blasphemous film and beaten up journalists at a protest.

“We are here today to peacefully demand the application of sharia in the new constitution. We will not impose anything by force on the Tunisian people, we just want that the people are convinced of the principles,” said Marwan, a 24-year-old trader.

Sharia law in Malaysia condones child marriages, even as young as 11 years old – as long as the Sharia court approves it. Here’s a story about about a child aged 9 given to someone in marriage, in Yemen.

Four radicals left-wingers nominated to federal judgeships

From Hans Bader at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Here’s one of the nominations:

Radical law professor Goodwin Liu was also renominated. As lawyer Ted Frank noted in the Washington Examiner, Liu once claimed that racial quotas are not merely permitted, but constitutionally “required.”  If confirmed, Liu would sit on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a sharply-divided federal appeals court with jurisdiction over a whopping one-fifth of the American people. Liu wrongly argued in the past that the Constitution requires some forms of welfare, although he denied supporting such a constitutional right to welfare in his more recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when he experienced a politically-convenient confirmation conversion after his nomination became controversial.  Although Liu briefly worked for a law firm, Liu has no experience actually trying cases, despite the fact that judges are supposed to have “substantial courtroom and trial experience” (a fact that did not keep the staunchly liberal ABA, which shares Liu’s ideology, from supporting his nomination despite his lack of this basic qualification).   Liu has claimed that “‘free enterprise, private ownership of property, and limited government” are right-wing concepts and ideological “code words.” Liu is also a big user of politically-correct psychobabble, writing that a judge is supposed to be a “culturally situated interpreter of social meaning” rather than an impartial umpire who interprets the law in accord with its plain meaning or its framers’ intent.

What does the Heritage Foundation say about Goodwin Liu?

Excerpt:

Liu has a strong penchant for redistribution, and it is clear that he believes judges should play a role in it.  In an article titled, “Rethinking Constitutional Welfare Rights,” he lays out his vision for the creation of a constitutional right to welfare.  He desires a “reinvigorated public dialogue” about “our commitments to mutual aid and distributive justice across a broad range of social goods.”  Once this dialogue takes place among policymakers, Liu wants the courts to recognize “a fundamental right to education or housing or medical care…as an interpretation and consolidation of the values we have gradually internalized as a society.”In another article, he stated that “negative rights against government oppression” and “positive rights to government assistance” have “equal constitutional status” because “both are essential to liberty.”

Why would Obama want judges like these? Probably so that he can pass un-Constitutional legislation like Obamacare, that forces healthy people to buy medical insurance for things like abortions. He wants people who are pro-life to be forced to buy medical insurance for things that are completely voluntary, because he wants to appease his buddies at Planned Parenthood – they make money off of every abortion. The only thing in his way is that pesky Constitution.