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Crime Stoppers: A program that works. Karen Bune, Victim Specialist Contributor from officer.com reports that Atlanta has finally found an innovative program that aids with solving crimes. From 2000 to 2002, Atlanta was ranked as the city with the highest rate of violent crime and the only city that did not have a Crime Stoppers program. Now within the first year, Atlanta’s Crime Stoppers has helped clear 64 cases. One example was solving the case of 9-year-old Annijah Rolax who was killed by a stray bullet last July while sitting at her computer.

Cyber crime costs big bucks.
Martin Bosworth writes on consumeraffairs.com of a report issued on April 4 by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership with the FBI’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National White Collar Crime Center. The report found that US citizens lost $239 million in various Internet based fraud schemes, which has risen from $189 million in 2006. The highest dollar loss per incident was reported by internet-based investment and retirement scams.

Missouri woman receives death penalty
for the killing an expectant mother and keeping the child for her own. Lisa Montgomery strangled Bobbie Jo Stinnett and then cut the baby out of her abdomen. In Capital-Journal published Saturday, Steven Fry wrote that a federal judge sentenced Montgomery to death after an eleven-minute hearing. Neither the victim’s family or Lisa’s in laws had anything to say. Yet her defense attorney Fred Duchardt said “I'm sad that we were not able to convince the jury of what a sweet individual, a loving person, Lisa is.”

Discrimination Alleged Florida in Murder Case
Today ABC News reports, on an NAACP claim of discrimination in Manatee, Florida murder case. Michael Walker, a 19 year old, is connected with the death of 67-year-old Daniel Ramsey. Ramsey was shot on Valentine’s Day when he and his wife discovered two men robbing his home. Walker, who was the driver of the getaway car, is facing a 25 to life sentence if convicted. Local NAACP president Trevor Harvey says, “In similar cases white accomplices have received lighter sentences.”

Florida: Mental incompetence claims have doubled
According to the New-Press, a legislative study reports Florida has experienced a dramatic increase in felons found mentally incompetent to stand trial. Last year analysts estimated that 2,123 adults were judged incompetent for trial, more than twice the number judged incompetent in 2002. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability said, “This increase suggests that individuals with mental illness are coming into contact more frequently with the criminal justice system.”

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The NAACP claim of bias seems a bit unfair, as it appears that the prosecutors needed the testimony of the non-triggermen in the Stacy Williams case. Additionally, the Walker case involves a burglary, so it's likely pretty easy to prove for the prosecutors that the getaway driver knew what was happening beforehand, whereas, the gang-related shooting may have been a spur of the moment thing on behalf of the shooter.

If Walker knew that he was facilitating a burglary, he should be in for the whole enchilada. Criminals acting in concert are more dangerous, and therefore the sentences for accomplices should be harsh. Moreoever, harsh sentences for accomplices (a) prevent prosecutors from having proof problems where the criminals all point to each other and (b) incentivize accomplices to rein in their cohorts.

Walker deserves to spend a very long time in jail for his crime.

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