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Two Years of a Staggering Surge in Murder

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Prof. Doug Berman of SL&P is often maddeningly honest, much to the consternation of his numerous liberal and libertarian followers.  His article today provides a good example.  In the face of a Brennan Center "study" that purports to find not a whole lot to worry about on the national crime front, Doug notes this sentence buried below a bunch of bullet points in the Center's work:

Nationally, the murder rate is projected to increase 31.5 percent from 2014 to 2016 -- with half of additional murders attributable to Baltimore, Chicago, and Houston.

When the murder rate increases by nearly a third in two years, that, ladies and gentlemen, is a national crisis.  (And yes, it's true that if you subtract enough of the cities with the biggest increases, then, nationally, you'll get a smaller (though still startling) increase.  Maybe the Brennan Center thinks its readership hasn't learned fifth grade math).

The Brennan Center's attempt to minimize the crime spike is something to behold.  Thus, it reports:

Crime overall in 2016 is projected to remain the same as in 2015, rising by 1.3 percent.  Twelve cities are expected to see drops in crime. These decreases are offset by Chicago (rising 9.1 percent) and Charlotte (17.5 percent).  Nationally, crime remains at an all-time low.

Only when there is an overall increase in crime, even only a small one,* crime has not "remain[ed] the same."  And the Center's statement that "crime remains at an all-time low" is a point-blank lie.  According to statistics from the Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime rates were lower, and in most years much lower, in the crime-growing decade of the 1960's than they are now. The same is true of property crime in the years 1960 through 1966  --  it was lower when I was in college than it is now.

I guess the Brennan Center thinks it can get away with this sort of aggressive deceit.  For the most part, I am sad to report it's correct.

Its "study" continues:

Violent crime is projected to rise slightly, by 5.5 percent, with half the increase driven by Los Angeles (up 17 percent) and Chicago (up 16 percent). Even so, violent crime remains near the bottom of the nation's 30-year downward trend.

But that is also false.  The drop in crime has not been 30 years long.  As the aforementioned statistics show, crime started down in 1992.  That's 24 years ago, not 30.

Now one might think that six years is not that much of a difference. Ordinarily, that's probably true. But the six years in question (1986 to 1992) are the years when the effects of sentencing guidelines, and the considerably increased use of mandatory minimum sentencing, state and federal, started to take hold, and helped spike the prison population ("mass incarceration," as the Brennan Center would say in a context more congenial to the narrative it's pushing).

What's actually going on in that passage is the Brennan Center's attempt to conflate the pre-mandatories period, when crime was spiking, with the post-mandatories period, when, as the effects of harsher sentencing started to show up, it was falling.

Why is it doing this?  Essentially, for the same reason it's minimizing the two-year long violent crime spike we have seen beginning from the end of 2014: It's pulling this stunt to mask the effects of the programs it has successfully been pushing at the state level, to wit, reductions in the prison population and, in at least two dozen states, various sentencing "reform" (i.e., sentencing reduction) measures.

Yes, it's all true.  After six years of overall reduction in the prison population in this country (see this Pew Report), the recidivist chickens are coming home to roost.

This is the last thing the Brennan Center wants you to see.  Thus, as one can see from Doug's post, the Center has made a yeoman-like effort to hide it.

*  Of course, you might be less inclined to think that a 1.3 percent increase in crime is "small" if you were one of the approximately 123,000 additional crime victims this percentage represents.

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~ Who will speak for this family?

ONEIDA, NY- Oneida city police have identified the two teens charged in Sunday's homicide [of Francis Borasky] in the city of Oneida.
Isaac A. Cantu, 17, of 227 Lexington Ave., Oneida and Jordan S. Warner, 16,
of 222 N. Main St., Oneida; were charged with 2nd-degree murder ...

"Cops coming to get me right now I'll see everyone in a while or not idk..."

CNY man stabbed to death 'was the best father ever'; coached
several youth teams
9/20/16 by Elizabeth Doran | edoran@syracuse.com

The couple and their two sons, Keagan, 13; and Kolby, who will be 8 in two weeks, had just spent the afternoon at home relaxing, watching the movie "Eddie the
Eagle" on Netflix. They'd been to Kolby's flag football game early that
morning and were enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon, Mills said.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Mills, 30, said she was upstairs getting her younger son ready for bed when her older son Keagan began screaming, yelling that his dad was
being attacked by an animal or something

Mills said she told Keagan to call 911, then she ran outside and grabbed a nearby baseball bat. A neighbor then told her some teens had jumped Borasky for no apparent reason while he was locking the garage.

[ Kolby Borasky's first communion in May. Kolby is in front, Keagan & Francis Borasky are behind him.]

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