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California Law Blamed for Crime Rise

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Vauhini Vara has this article in the WSJ with the above title:

Property crime has been rising in California, and some law-enforcement officials blame the state's October 2011 sentencing overhaul that has kept thousands of low-level criminals out of prison.

California saw a year-over-year increase of 4.5% in property crime in the fourth quarter of 2011, immediately after the overhaul, marking the first rise since 2004, according to a report from the state attorney general this fall. In contrast, property crime, which includes burglary, auto theft and larceny, fell 2.4% in the nine months before the sentencing changes stemming from a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
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Gil Duran, a spokesman for [Gov.] Brown, said it is impossible to make claims about the reason for the crime increase with limited data. "Any respectable criminologist will tell you that [they] don't determine overall trends in a year or two," he said in an email. "Attempts to tie any increases to realignment are purely political."
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Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, a nonpartisan think tank at Stanford University, said it would be difficult to prove a link with higher property crime so soon after the overhaul. But the police chiefs "may well turn out to be right," she added.

Ms. Petersilia and other scholars and law-enforcement officials also say there could be other reasons for any crime increase, such as police staffing shortages or economic woes. They also say incarceration can be worse at deterring some low-level crimes than methods like electronic monitoring paired with drug and mental-health treatment.

Police chiefs like Ed Medrano of Gardena, Calif., express frustration that there aren't enough data to examine the reasons for the property-crime increase.

"How can we directly attribute this to realignment?" he said. "The reality is that we can't at this point. This was implemented too fast, and there was no mechanism for monitoring the progress of realignment and studying it."

2 Comments

Obama bears some responsibility for the increased victimization. Without his Supreme Court appointments, Reinhardt's signature victory for criminals wouldn't have happened.

Sotomayor really has no excuse for this outrage. She was a prosecutor. She witnessed, again and again, the outrages committed because criminals were not assured punishment for their misdeeds. Yet she voted to release thousands from prison.

A few posts back, there was a discussion about the possibility of lowering the vitriol if conservatives and liberals knew where each other were coming from. Speaking for myself, the more I understand what makes liberals tick, the more disgusted I feel. These people make a fetish about being kind to criminals and expect the rest of us to acknowledge their supposedly superior enlightenment.

Just recently, the President saw fit to shake the hand of a Korean rapper who wished death upon our servicemen (of course, were it not for the sacrifices of American GIs, he would be rapping about living in a juche paradise, but I disgress.) I have a life to live and cannot spend my energies fulminating about every disgraceful thing done by this President, but this one is particularly disgusting, and it's emblematic of what liberalism has become in this country. There was a time where such an act by a sitting American president would have been unthinkable, particularly when American fighting men and women are dying in combat. But now . . . .

What's actually more disgusting about Obama's gesture to the Korean rapper (and the associated figurative back of the hand to American servicemen and women) is that it really isn't the result of any core beliefs (other than the idea that moral judgment is inherently immoral), but rather a casual elevation of the hip over old school virtues like duty and honor and an unthinking act resulting from the self-assurance of one's own enlightenment.

Progressives have no core beliefs. Few acts deserve denunciation or shaming. Everything can be explained or excused. Out with "ancient concepts" of duty, honor, and personal responsibility.


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