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Weekend Notes

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Root Causes: Janet Daley has this article in the London Telegraph on the decline in social values as a cause of crime. "The British elites persuaded themselves that their great crime was to impose bourgeois values on everyone. In fact, it is the undermining of those values that is destroying the lives of the poor."

Veto Bait: Andy Furillo of the SactoBee has this article on state Sen. Gloria Romero's attempts to remove sentencing policy from the legislative process and hand to a commission so remote from the people that they can pretty much do what they want. Gov. Schwarzenegger is likely to veto it, fortunately.

Get Real: CJ Roberts says he did not suggest Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee, contrary to the remarkable claim in a new book. Michael Abramowitz has this story in the WashPost.

Bad Karma: As metal thieves get increasingly brazen and destructive, someone stole a 7-foot Buddha statue from the Thai Buddhist Center in Minnesota. It is valued at $10,000, AP reports. Fortunately, a new law requires recyclers to keep detailed records and get ID from sellers, and police were able to identify the woman who sold parts of the statue.

Broken Windows in the Big Apple: Wes Allison has this article in the St. Petersburg Times on the debate regarding the extent to which the crime drop in New York during the tenure of Rudy Giuliani is attributable to "Broken Windows" policing.

Texas DP: The Dallas Morning News has this editorial on the Texas death penalty, including the howler that Texas is the only state that imposes the death penalty on nontriggermen. So why is John Allen Muhammad on death row in Virginia? Where does the Dallas Morning News get its information?

In Canada, Joseph Quesnel of the Winnipeg Sun has this column calling for the restoration of the death penalty.

Dismemberment of a murder victim earned a conviction for evidence tampering for Laura Hall in Austin, Texas. Dismembering a corpse as such wasn't a crime in Texas at the time. It is now, as a result of this case. AP reports here.

Cal. Death Row: The LA Times had this editorial Friday on the proposals of Judge Alarcon of the Ninth Circuit for dealing with the backlog of cases.

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The last murderer executed in California, Clarence Ray Allen, was also a non-triggerman. Instead, he was the mastermind behind murders committed at his behest by others.

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