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Mr. Second Chance

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Those favoring reduced sentences emphasize the moral imperative of giving second chances.  It's "who we are."  We can't judge a person by the worst moment of his life. America has 5% of the world's population but 493% of the world's prisoners. 

Heard this before?

Here's something you won't hear from the groups that specialize in promoting softer sentencing: We're already soft, right here in the nation's capital. We've been soft for years. We know what it produces  --  violent crime.

Who are the victims, the ones you also won't hear about from those groups?

It's not the lobbyists and ideologues hanging out at their Georgetown and Bethesda parties.  It's overwhelmingly the African American working class, consigned to neighborhoods the lobbyists wouldn't be caught dead in (or would only be caught dead in, I'm not sure which).

How do we know this?  Not from Fox News.  Not from Breitbart.  From the Washington Post.  The opening paragraphs from its superb and shocking article, the second of a continuing series, follow.
Meet Mr. Second Chance (emphasis added)

Within a cellblock reserved for problem inmates at the nation's largest federal prison complex, Antwon Pitt became known as a sexual menace.

The violent offender from D.C., now 22, habitually dropped his pants, exposed his penis and masturbated when anyone passed by his cell, according to detailed accounts from 10 prison staffers. A male corrections officer said Pitt exposed himself and demanded oral sex. A female officer said Pitt called her a bitch and explicitly told her how he would rape her. A prison nurse said he feigned chest pain to get her attention and then pulled out his penis and began to masturbate while lying on the exam table.

One time, he was so disobedient and violent that a team of officers had to subdue him with pepper spray while outfitted in helmets and gas masks.

"I will kill all of you. Bring it on, motherf---ers," the 6-4, 220-pound inmate said during the incident in January 2015, according to one of the officers present who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job.

Translation:  If you tell the truth to the press about what Mr. Nicey is actually like, you can get fired.  Don't hold your breath waiting for the Left to demand "transparency" about this one.

Yet Pitt was not prosecuted, despite nine referrals to the FBI. Instead, he was released last summer from the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex after having completed his two-year sentence for robbing a D.C. woman.

That's nine as in N-I-N-E.  But didn't I just read that we're a bunch of fascists who over-incarcerate?

Two months after Pitt returned to the District, federal officials lost track of him after he cut off his GPS bracelet. He was arrested two days later on drug charges, but a D.C. magistrate judge released him without knowing the details of his time in prison.

But look.  Community supervision works.  Honest!

Within days, a woman in Northeast D.C. awoke to find a man in her bedroom. He stole her purse and cellphone and fled. A week later, Pitt raped a 40-year-old [100 pound teacher] in her home in the Hill East neighborhood of Southeast Washington. Pitt was convicted of the rape charge in June of this year; the burglary charge is pending.

He was convicted, I might add, over a fabricated if indignant defense from his public defender.

I blogged about the Post's first installment here and here.

In an alternate universe, the Post's addled editorial writers would take some interest in what its reporters discover.  And what they discover is a system larded, not with punitive overreach, but, stem-to-stern, with give-a-hoot leniency.


3 Comments

Two cheers for the Post. But the real problem is that stories likes this pale in comparison to how WaPo champions (through journalism) the soft on crime crowd. Where are the hard questions asked of political leaders?

Comprehensive, Bare-all expose by the Post.

Looks like either the FBI or the US Attorney's office dropped the ball. Prison officials had sanctioned him to the limits of the lenient, two year sentence.

Sadly, there are probably more predators like Antwon Pitt who are treated with kid gloves and go on to endanger the community than "innocents" who are treated harshly by "incarceration nation."

I thought the most interesting and ominous aspect of the story was how thoroughly indifferent the government was to the obvious danger Pitt posed.

This has big implications in the sentencing reform fight. Reform proponents stress that, under any version of their bill, early release is not automatic, and depends on a determination by the court -- after the government has its say-so -- that the defendant does not pose a danger to the community.

Where the government is too lazy or incompetent to find out -- or, worse, knows or has reason to know that the defendant is in fact dangerous but wants him released anyway because of ideological entrancement with the goal of reduced incarceration -- then we are going to have trouble.

This case, and Wendell Callahan's, illustrate what the trouble looks like. It looks like rape and murder.

As long as this just happens to blacks, who will indeed disproportionately be the victims, sentencing reformers show essentially no interest. It has no effect on their Bethesda parties, except perhaps to reduce the availability of chauffeurs.

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