September 2017 Archives

How Dare You Women Think For Yourselves?!

Just when you think the hypocrisy has reached absolute zero and can't go any lower ...

News Scan

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Illegal Immigrant Charged in Girl's Rape:   A Guatemalan national, illegally in the U.S., has been charged with raping a 6-year-old girl in her bedroom.  Penny Ray of the Trentonian reports that 32-year-old Edgar Mendoza was arrested shortly after jumping from the little girl's second story bedroom window at around 1:30 a.m. on September 19, after her father caught him in bed with her.  Police believe that Mendoza climbed into the bedroom through the same window.  He has been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault, burglary, and endangering the welfare of a child.  ICE has placed a detainer on him.

5 Deported Criminals Caught at TX Border:  Craig Bannister of CNS News reports that Texas border agents nabbed five previously deported illegal alien criminals attempting to reenter the U.S.  Among them were a Mexican national who is a member of MS-13;  two Salvadorian nationals who are members of the violent Los Angeles-based 18th Street gang; a Brazilian woman deported after serving prison time for manslaughter; and a Mexican national deported after serving time in New Haven for sexual assault.

Short List from the Long Conference

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Today the U.S. Supreme Court announced the short list of cases it decided to take up during its end-of-summer Long Conference on Monday.  The long list of cases not taken up (meaning the lower court decision stands) will be announced when the Court opens its new term on the First Monday in October.

Criminal cases include several Fourth and Fifth Amendment claims, one on the "plain error" standard of review on appeal, and one on military commissions.

Crime and Temperature

Sometimes research confirms what "everybody knows."  Frank Otto has this article at Drexel Now reporting research finding that violent crimes and disorderly conduct are positively correlated with temperature.

The research, conducted by Leah Schinasi, PhD, assistant research professor, and Ghassan Hamra, PhD, assistant professor, both of Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health, was published in the Journal of Urban Health and used a decade's worth of crime data in Philadelphia (from 2006 until 2015) to find that rates of violent crime and disorderly conduct increased when daily temperatures are higher.

SCOTUS Rule Changes

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The U.S. Supreme Court today officially adopted a few rule changes effective November 13.  The changes mainly related to electronic filing of documents.  Links to the new and current rules, summary of changes, and guidelines for electronic submission are available here.

News Scan

SCOTUS Stays Georgia Execution:  The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed Tuesday's scheduled execution of Keith Tharpe in order to review a claim of racial bias.  Kate Brumback of the Associated Press reports that the stay was granted after the Georgia Supreme Court, a Federal District Judge, and the 11th Circuit had all rejected the claim.  Tharpe, whose own mental health expert called him a "mean son of a bitch," forced his ex-wife's car off the road as she and her sister were heading to work.  He then shot the 29-year-old sister twice with a shotgun and rolled her body into a ditch, before kidnapping his ex-wife and raping her.  He was later caught in Macon trying to withdraw money from his ex-wife's credit union.  His guilt was undisputed.  Tharpe's attorneys say he is deeply remorseful for the killing, and has kicked his drug addiction while in prison. 

Illegal Immigrants Charged With Rapes:  A 19-year-old Salvadorian national, illegally in the U.S., has be charged with the September 2 kidnapping and rape of an 18-year-old woman in Maryland.  Fox News reports that Victor Gonzalez-Gutierres and two accomplices ambushed the victim as she walked to her apartment at 12:30 a.m.  They cut her with a knife, dragged her to a car, and held her captive for several hours while she was repeatedly raped and sodomized while one of the accomplices shot video of the assault.  She was then taken back to her apartment complex and told if she called police, "next time it will be worse."
In another incident, ABC News reports that North Carolina police have arrested 30-year-old German Cruz Capetillo for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl who had run away from home.  ICE reports that Capetillo is in the U.S. illegally and will be facing deportation.

How do changes in sentencing among the various states correlate with changes in their crime rates?  I did some quickie calculations on yesterday's crime stats to find out.

Yesterday, as noted earlier, the FBI released Crime in the United States -- 2016.  This is the official compilation of crimes known to the police nationwide.  Crimes committed but not reported are another issue.  Table 2 reports crimes both as numbers and rate for the states and regions for 2015, 2016, and the percent change.  I extracted the percent change numbers for the states, though the FBI's spreadsheet format didn't make it easy.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics annually reports Prisoners in the United States.  The latest such report, for 2015, gives us the change in the number of prisoners from 2014-2015.  So, with a one-year lag, how do state-by-state prisoner changes correlate with crime changes?

My quickie spreadsheet calculation shows a coefficient of correlation between violent crime rate and prisoner change of -0.27.  For property crime it is -0.31.  If we use numbers of crimes instead of rates, the correlations are a tad stronger.

A negative correlation means that the two variables tend to move in opposite directions.  As number of prisoners goes down, crimes tend to go up.  That is just what persons of sense would expect.

This is not proof, of course.  Correlation is not causation, as we have noted here many times.  I haven't yet done the further analysis required to state the magic "p factor" required by respectable publications to even report a correlation.  Compare this post.  I will do that when I get back to the office and have better tools.  There is also the usual caveat about relying too much on one year's data, and a few others could be thrown in.  Even so, these correlations are strong enough that I thought readers would find them interesting.

Attorney General Sessions Speaks at Georgetown

The Washington Post carries this article about Attorney General Sessions' talk today at the school where I'm an adjunct professor, Georgetown University Law Center.  The talk was about free speech on campus.

There are a dozen different things to be said about this.  I will content myself with four.

First, Georgetown is a private university and may invite whomever it wants to appear on campus and whomever it wants to be in the audience.  In today's climate, Georgetown deserves credit for inviting Jeff Sessions (although it should scarcely be remarkable that a law school, of all places, would invite the Attorney General of the United States).

Second, there are complaints that not everyone who would have liked to be in the audience was accommodated.  Well, gosh  --  I would have liked to attend for sure, and I teach there, but I wasn't invited either.  Good for the University that it gave my potential seat to a student.  The fact that not everyone can fit in the room should be too obvious for words, but apparently it isn't.  It was, you see, all a conservative plot.

Third, the event was hosted by my friend and colleague, the brilliant libertarian leader Prof. Randy Barnett.  Randy argued the Supreme Court case against the government's prohibition of medical marijuana in Gonzales v. Raich, and thus is an opponent of Sessions on one of today's key criminal justice issues.  What a tribute to Randy that he offered a platform to a man with whom he has such a major disagreement, knowing that he would take plenty of heat for it to boot.

Fourth, some protesters brought signs saying "Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech." This is arrant nonsense, first because the AG said nothing that a rational person could characterize as hate; and second because hate speech most certainly is free speech, as these law students, before almost anyone else, surely must know.  See, e.g., the ACLU's famous defense of Nazis marching in Skokie, Illinois.
David Neumark, professor of economics and director of the Economic Self-Sufficiency Policy Research Institute at the University of California, Irvine, has this op-ed in the WSJ regarding the empirical research on the effects of boosting the minimum wage.  The particular issue is, of course, off-topic for the blog, and CJLF takes no position on it.  The tone of the debate, though, is all too familiar to those of us who study studies in criminal law:

Does the minimum wage destroy jobs? The debate over that question often reduces to dueling economic studies. One side cites analyses showing that employers respond to a wage floor by cutting hours or jobs. The other side pulls out studies saying the minimum wage is a free lunch for workers. To really understand what's going on, you need to get under the hood.

The key challenge in estimating the effects of a rising minimum wage is identifying a good control group. Generally economists want to find a set of workers who weren't subject to the policy change, but who otherwise experienced similar economic trends. Still, that leaves a lot of leeway for choice.

There are two big differences between physical and social science.  You can run an experiment with quadrillions of subatomic particles and carefully control the conditions, so that you have two otherwise truly identical groups with the variable you are measuring as the only difference.  Humans object to being controlled like that, and you can't have that many of them.

The other big difference is that if you are studying the spin of quarks you won't get demonstrators outside your office and half of your colleagues signing letters against you if you come up with the "wrong" answer.  Some of the greatest moments in the history of science have been experiments that showed that what "everybody knows" is not actually true.

News Scan

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The Black Lives Matter Lie:  Since the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, civil rights activists including former President Obama have parroted the lie that police are routinely gunning down unarmed black men because of their race.  It does not matter to the Black Lives Matter movement that 93% of the 7,881 black murder victims last year were killed by black criminals.  It does not matter that while blacks are 13% of the U.S. population, blacks account for over 52% of all murderers.  It does not matter that the Obama Justice Department did not find racial bias in Michael Brown's shooting, or with Freddie Gray (Baltimore) or Eric Garner (New York).  The truth and the data don't matter.  Heather MacDonald has this piece in the City Journal providing more data from the newly-released national crime report for 2016, proving again that black lives don't seem to matter to Black Lives Matter.  Only the narrative matters.       

Travel Ban Case Off Calendar

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As noted in this post Sunday, the 90-day travel ban in the case before the Supreme Court expired on that day and was replaced by a very different order.  The 120-day refugee restriction will expire in October.  Yesterday the Supreme Court took the case off the calendar and ordered the parties to further brief the mootness issue:

The parties are directed to file letter briefs addressing whether, or to what extent, the Proclamation issued on September 24, 2017, may render cases No. 16-1436 and 16-1540 moot. The parties should also address whether, or to what extent, the scheduled expiration of Sections 6(a) and 6(b) of Executive Order No. 13780 may render those aspects of case No. 16-1540 moot. The briefs, limited to 10 pages, are to be filed simultaneously with the Clerk and served upon opposing counsel on or before noon, Thursday, October 5, 2017. The cases are removed from the oral argument calendar, pending further order of the Court.
CJLF's amicus brief supporting neither party, specifically on mootness, is here.  Amy Howe has this post at Howe on the Court, republished at SCOTUSblog.

News Scan

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8-Year-Old Died Saving His Sister:  The Sacramento County District Attorney has charged a habitual sex offender with murdering an 8-year-old boy and molesting his 7-year-old sister at knifepoint.  Darrell Smith of the Sacramento Bee reports that 23-year-old Deandre Chaney, Jr., had priors for rape, forced oral copulation, lewd acts with a dependant adult, felony battery with serious bodily injury, and assault with a deadly weapon when he pleaded no contest to failing to register as a sex offender last October.  At about 6:10 a.m. on September 1, Chaney sexually assaulted his former girlfriend's 7-year-old daughter at knifepoint in her bedroom.  Fox News reports that when the little girl's 8-year-old brother tried to save her, Chaney set upon him with a hammer, beating him so badly that he died six days later.  Chaney renewed his attack on the girl with the knife and hammer until her mother intervened.  The mother was beaten, tied up, and soaked with lighter fluid.  Cheney fled in her car and was eventually caught in Nevada.  Did California's AB109 "Public Safety Realignment" law leave this "low risk" offender on the streets for rehabilitation?  Does this crime merit a death sentence, or is life in prison watching television the appropriate sentence?      

Violent Crime Up Almost Everywhere:  A preliminary review of today's just-released FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2016 shows that last year violent crime rate per 100,000 people increased in 33 states, decreased in 14 states, and stayed about the same in 3 states and the District of Columbia.  This drove the national violent crime rate up by 3.2%.  The biggest increases were seen in Hawaii (24.8%), Arizona (14.6%), Illinois (12.6%), Wyoming (10.2%), Michigan (9.1%), and Virginia (9%).   States which have enacted major sentencing reforms such as Texas, California, and Washington saw increases.  California suffered increases in every category of violent crime.  Among states with large populations, Florida stood out with a 6.9% drop in violent crime.  Nationally, both the rates of homicide and rape were the highest seen in 8 years.
No, they're not running to blockade Heather MacDonald's next campus appearance. That's tomorrow at their "Social Justice Warriors Rally for Inclusion, Except for You" What they're scurrying away from today are the nationwide data showing a second consecutive sharp increase in murder.  This is after a generation of steep declines, almost all of it under the get-tough policies of Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush.

The number of murders last year was 17,250, a staggering increase of more than 3000 corpses, or 20% more, than what the country had just two years before (14,164). The statistics are found in the revised UCR report, here

To put it in perspective, the UCR shows that we have not had this many people murdered in one year in America for 20 years.  Or to put it more graphically, in the last two years of Obama's Presidency. we lost nearly two decades of progress against murder.

That situation is a shock and crisis under any sane understanding.  Will any lessons be learned?  Will any sobriety return?

From the usual Leftist crowd that insists we must adopt "evidence-based policies," beware this afternoon's stampede to spin, belittle, dismiss, or just ignore this morning's evidence  --  or to claim that, gosh, it's all just a mystery.  But the one danger you won't face is hearing any of the previous trumpeting about the "success" during these same years of state "sentencing reform" programs that gave shorter sentences and earlier release to thousands upon thousands of criminals. But it's not hard to find the earlier chest-thumping with just a little looking, e.g., here. and here.

Still, I must concede, it's true:  Incarceration has indeed been reduced.  Are we, as sentencing reformers promised us ten thousand times, "just as safe?"  What does the evidence say?

The wages of reality-free policy-making is, literally, death.

New Travel Limitations Announced

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The same executive order that announced a 90-day travel ban for selected countries also directed cabinet officers to develop a more tailored approach to countries that cannot or will not provide the information needed to vet people coming in.  The 90-day ban expires today, and the Administration announced the replacement package in a Presidential proclamation.

Laura Meckler has this story in the WSJ.  See also Friday's post.

Shouting Down Jim Comey

Readers may remember my mentioning that Jim Comey and I were AUSA's together in the Nineties.  I have a high regard for his integrity, even while questioning his judgment and effectiveness in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's astonishing negligence with classified material (see my US News & World Report op-ed).

But for whatever one may think of Comey, no one could seriously doubt his right to speak at the Howard University convocation to which he was invited.  No one, that is, except the protesters who tried to silence him by shouting such things as, ""Get out James Comey! You're not our homie!" and, "No justice, no peace, no f---ing police!"

This is what it has come to in academia:  Harvard invites a traitor and felon to share his supposed wisdom as a Fellow and Columbia hires a cop killer, while "students" at Howard drown out Barack Obama's choice for FBI Director because of his support for the "f---ing police."

It's past time for anyone left in academia with a conscience to put a stop to the unhinged, pro-criminal slant of what goes on there.  But don't hold your breath

A Black Life that Didn't Matter

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The Washington Post reports (emphasis added):

Zaire Kelly was returning home from a college prep course and was less than 300 feet from his front door when authorities said a man tried to rob him along a footpath in a small park in Northeast Washington.

The 16-year-old Zaire -- a standout high school senior and track athlete -- used a pocket knife to defend himself Wednesday night, D.C. police said, and stabbed the attacker in the abdomen. Police said the would-be robber had a gun and shot Zaire once in the head....

Police identified the assailant as Sequan Keyleo Gillis, 19, who had been freed from jail two weeks ago to await trial on a charge he took a vehicle without permission, and he had been wearing a court-ordered GPS ankle bracelet to track his movements.

It's certainly comforting that the criminal justice system was "track[ing] his movements" while he murdered a young black man with a world of promise.

This sort of preventable murder of African Americans  --  preventable if we changed our thinking from naivete' and "community supervision" to a decent regard for the next victim  --  has become so routine that it's difficult any longer to think of laxity as mere foolishness instead of head-in-the-sand racism.  

News Scan

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Court Denies Murderer's Appeal:  After nearly ten years of review, a county judge in Colorado has rejected the appeal of triple-murderer Sir Mario Owens.  John Ingold of the Denver Post reports that while the judge, in a 1,343-page ruling, agreed that prosecutors had failed to turn over evidence that might have been helpful to the defense, the judge held the the defendant must establish more than helpfulness to sustain a claim of constitutional error.  Owens was convicted by a jury of murdering a 20-year-old man at a party in 2004.  He was later convicted of murdering a young couple to prevent them from testifying to the first murder.  The direct appeal and state and federal habeas corpus review of this case have yet to begin. 

Early NY Cops

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Clark Whelton has this book review in the City Journal of Law and Disorder: the Chaotic Birth of the NYPD, by Bruce Chadwick.  The lesson for today that Whelton draws at the end has some resonance with my post of Wednesday.

Replacing the Travel Ban

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Laura Meckler reports for the WSJ:

The Trump administration is preparing to replace its controversial travel ban--which sought to bar almost all travel to the U.S. from six countries--with more targeted restrictions affecting a slightly larger number of countries, people familiar with the process said.

Rather than ban travel altogether from the nations on the new list, the new order is set to create restrictions that vary by country, based on cooperation with U.S. mandates, the threat posed by each country and other factors, these people said.

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The new rules are scheduled to be announced by Sunday, when the existing, 90-day travel ban expires. The ban now applies to people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Doesn't the expiration of the 90-ban make the challenge presently before the Supreme Court moot?  Yes, IMHO, and that is what CJLF's amicus brief supporting neither party says.

What happens to the case?  Our brief says that under the Munsingwear rule the Court should vacate the lower court opinion and remand with directions to dismiss.  That would wipe out the lower court opinion as precedent.  Where does the rule's name come from?  In World War II, there were price controls on nearly everything, including underwear.  A dispute over them became moot when the war ended and the controls were repealed.

The New Solicitor General

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Marcia Coyle and Mike Scarcella have this article in the National Law Journal on recently confirmed U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco.  Free registration is required for access.
Terry Spencer reports for Associated Press:

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) -- Nine elderly patients died after being kept inside a nursing home that turned into a sweatbox when Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning for three days, even though just across the street was a fully functioning and cooled hospital.

From the perspective of Florida Gov. Rick Scott and relatives of those at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, criminal charges are warranted. But under Florida law, a prosecution might be difficult. Two of three ex-state prosecutors contacted by The Associated Press had doubts as to whether Dr. Jack Michel, the home's owner, or any of his employees will be charged.

All agreed that any criminal prosecutions will hinge on whether the nursing home staff made honest mistakes or were "culpably negligent." Florida defines that as "consciously doing an act or following a course of conduct that the defendant must have known, or reasonably should have known, was likely to cause death or great bodily injury."

Hollywood police and the state attorney's office are investigating.

Teaching Kids to Hate Cops

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LifeZette posts this mind-boggling story:

The Chicago Public School system is introducing a new curriculum for eighth- and 10th-grade students....

As part of a 2015 reparations deal, Chicago public school students will be [exposed] to a new six-lesson curriculum "about Jon Burge, a former CPD detective accused of using torture, primarily on black men in his custody between the 1970s and 1990s, to force confessions to crimes," reported The Columbia Chronicle.

Burge was allegedly responsible for torturing over 200 suspects in police custody between 1972 and 1991. The Chronicle makes it clear, however, that the true motivation behind the new course of study is not to educate Chicago's youth about Burge as much as to teach the myth of systemic racism in law enforcement.

"The first lesson calls for students to discuss opinions or experiences with racism and police brutality. This precedes discussion of Burge's human-rights abuses and the police officers whose actions helped him hide his crimes," reported The Chronicle.

It doesn't get any better.

It's the Culture, Stupid


Last month, law professors Amy Wax of U. Penn. and Larry Alexander of U. San Diego published this op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Their thesis was that the breakdown of "the basic cultural precepts that reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s" was "implicated" in a host of modern maladies, including crime:

Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.
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That [late 40s - mid 60s] culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

This would seem to be self-evident and ought not be controversial.  But Wax and Alexander work in the Bizarro World of contemporary academia.
Kent noted two weeks ago an article showing that the conclusions of the academic "experts"called criminologists tend to be skewed by their leftist tendencies.  One could hardly imagine a better example than the "report" noted this morning here at Sentencing Law and Polcy. The title of the entry is, "Jeff Sessions's evidence-free crime strategy." It's by John Jay College Professor David Kennedy.

I won't try to gussy it up:  Jeff Sessions should be flattered to be criticized by an article so thoroughly truth-free as this

News Scan

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Habitual Felon's Murder Conviction Upheld:  A unanimous panel of California's 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the murder conviction and life sentence of habitual felon Steven Brown yesterday.  Bay City News reports that Brown was convicted of the October 2013 stabbing murder of his children's maternal grandmother, 53-year-old Kellye Taylor. Taylor, a school teacher who had custody of Brown's three children, was watching her students during recess at a Long Beach park when Brown attacked her with a knife.  The murder was observed by other teachers and Brown was caught 1/4 mile from the park with the victims blood on his clothes.  At trial he claimed that he attacked her in self defense after she reached into her purse for a possible weapon.  Brown who had spent time in prison for residential burglary and robbery, received an 86-years-to-life sentence for the murder.
At the time of the American Revolution, criminal law was a mixture of case law and statutes, with the elements of some crimes being established by courts and therefore changeable by them.  In some Eastern states that is still the case.  In Massachusetts, the basic felony-murder rule comes from case law, and today the Supreme Judicial Court abolished it, prospectively only, in Commonwealth v. Brown, SJC-11669.

Generally, murder is distinguished from manslaughter by the mental element of "malice."  Definitions of "malice" vary among the states.  Under the felony-murder rule, the intent to commit certain dangerous felonies (e.g., robbery) supplies the mental element so that every participant in the robbery is guilty of murder if someone is killed.  In its most extreme form, one robber can be guilty of the murder of the other if the other is justifiably killed by the robbery victim.  Even I think that's going way too far.

I have only skimmed the opinion so far, so I won't be commenting on it at this time.  Thanks to former CJLF Fellow Christine Dowling for the tip.

PC and Effective Policing Don't Mix

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The always noteworthy online magazine LifeZette tells us about the predictable effects of shutting away inconvenient facts in the hope of offending no one about anything. See, e.g., this story about how the Portland, Oregon Police Department has stopped tracking gangs because gang membership tends to be concentrated among minority rather than white populations.  Tracking gang membership might thus be viewed as "insensitive" and, in some bizarre sense "discriminatory," notwithstanding that the records are true, legal and useful in suppressing crime, particularly in stressed neighborhoods.   

Heather MacDonald and I agree, as we often do, that going willfully blind  --  in the teeth of spiking violence, much of it from drug gangs  --  is not the path toward better policing or safer, more peaceful minority communities.

An Officer Doing His Job

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Barry Latzer, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has this article at City Journal.

The case against Pantaleo rests on the supposed chokehold that he used to make the arrest. He never sought to choke Garner to death, or even injure him. He was doing his job, taking a resisting man to the ground, as NYPD regulations provide. Had Garner been cooperative, as the officers requested, the confrontation would never have happened. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way," Pantaleo's partner had told him.
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Police should not be afraid to carry out their duties. The Pantaleo case tells cops that, even if they're just doing their job, they can't count on institutional support if the incident becomes a media sensation. New York City's safety, like that of any city, depends on police feeling secure in performing their duties. It's time to end Officer Pantaleo's ordeal. NYPD chief James O'Neill and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step up to the plate and dismiss the unwarranted charges against him.

How Antifa Violence Has Split the Left

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Ian Lovett, Jennifer Levitz and Cameron McWhirter have this article in the WSJ with the above headline and the subhead "Tactics of the group are creating a rift among liberals about whether to denounce a radical fringe whose objectives, if not methods, they often share."

Proposition 66 Update

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Thumbnail image for Prop66.jpg
As reported on August 24, the California Supreme Court on that day upheld the death penalty reform initiative approved by the people in last November's election.  The court rejected every argument made by the opponents and their supporting amici (including a gaggle of law professors who dubbed themselves "Constitutional Law"), and most of the arguments were rejected unanimously.

On September 8, the petitioner filed a petition for rehearing (79).  The next business day, the court gave itself (80) until November 22 to consider it, postponing the finality of its decision.  Since the new effective date of Proposition 66 and the stay order previously entered are tied to finality, this effectively postpones the implementation of Proposition 66 an additional month.

I very much doubt that the main decision -- that Proposition 66 as a whole is valid -- is in any danger.  The court likely gave itself extra time to resolve some differences between the majority opinion and the concurrence (which is also joined by a bare majority of the court) regarding the weight to be given to the time limit sections.

There are, however, many parts of Proposition 66 that can and should be implemented immediately.  The removal of execution protocols from the Administrative Procedure Act, in particular, affects the consideration of the new protocol by the Office of Administrative Law as well as the validity of an injunction placed on executions by the Marin County Superior Court.  For these reasons, the campaign committee filed on Monday, along with its Answer to the Petition for Rehearing (81), a Motion to Vacate or Modify Stay (82).

The documents in the case are available here.  The numbers in parentheses above are the document numbers in this dropbox.

News Scan

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Sanctuary State Bill Awaits Brown's Signature:  SB54, the "sanctuary state" bill introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon has passed both houses of the California Legislature on a straight party line vote and is on Governor Jerry Brown's desk awaiting signature.  Jazmine Ulloa of the Los Angeles Times reports that the bill was drastically scaled back in order to assure the Governor's support.  The original bill would have prohibited state law enforcement from using any resources to cooperate with federal law enforcement regarding illegals in state custody unless they had violent or serious criminal convictions.  The amendments allow federal agents access to jails to question illegals and permits state law enforcement to share information and transfer arrestees to federal law enforcement if they have been convicted of one of 800 crimes.  While the state Police Chiefs Association changed its position to neutral after the amendments, the County Sheriffs remain opposed. 

NY Sheriff Ignores Cuomo's Immigration Order:  The Sheriff in Erie County New York has told his deputies to ignore Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent order to state law enforcement on immigration.  Fox News reports that following Cuomo's order prohibiting state law enforcement officers from inquiring about or disclosing a person's immigration status to federal authorities, Sheriff Timothy Howard called it an effort to score  "cheap political points" and instructed his deputies to ignore it.  Cuomo's lawyer fired back that the Governor's order only involved state police.  The Sheriff responded that Cuomo's order was causing confusion among his deputies, which he felt should be resolved before the weekend.  Cuomo, who is considering a run for President in 2020, said he signed the order "as Washington squabbles over rolling back sensible immigration policy."  

News Scan

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Illegal Immigrant Charged in San Francisco Murder:  An illegal immigrant, enjoying sanctuary in San Francisco, has been charged with the robbery/murder of a 23-year-old man in the Mission District on August 15.  NBC Bay Area reports that Erick Garcia-Pineda was one of three men charged with the crime, which involved shooting the victim with a stolen handgun.  At the time of the murder, Garcia-Pineda was wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet, which placed him at the scene.  Garcia-Pineda was linked to the murder after his arrest later that day for the assault and battery of another victim.  During the investigation of that crime, a stolen handgun believed to be the murder weapon was seized.  Fox News reports that the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson was stolen by Garcia-Pineda and co-defendant Jesus Perez-Araujo from a police officer's car four days before the murder. San Francisco is one of several dozen "sanctuary cities" which refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement.  The city is currently suing the Department of Justice for announcing that it will cut off grant funds to sanctuary cities.

Massive Vote Suppression Down Under

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Australia is having a referendum on same-sex marriage, but there is a problem, Rob Taylor reports for the WSJ.

Is Antifa a Street Gang?

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David Pyrooz and James Densley assert that Antifa can be designated a street gang in this op-ed in the WSJ. They note that there are many definitions of "street gang":

Yet under any scientific or official definition, Antifa makes the grade. Gangs are groups. They have a collective identity, which includes signs, symbols and other features that distinguish the in-group from the out-group. Bloods wear red; Crips wear blue; Antifa wear black. It's obvious when Antifa members join protests, even for the untrained eye. And don't be fooled by Antifa's diffuse structure. Conventional street gangs are pretty disorganized too.
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News Scan

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Bike Sharing Not Working in Baltimore:  In 2015, riots broke out in Baltimore after the death of small-time criminal Freddy Gray while in police custody.  Although an intensive, nationally scrutinized review found that none of the officers involved in Grey's arrest and transport were determined to be responsible for his death, political pressure forced the city's police department to end proactive policing.  This has resulted in sharp increases in crime, particularly in minority districts. The impact of this is even being felt by innocuous, politically-correct programs like bike sharing.  Colin Campbell of the Baltimore Sun reports that the $2.36 million Baltimore Bike Share system has experienced so many thefts and damage that it is being shut down so operators can try new anti-theft technology.  While authorities have repeatedly declined to say how many bikes have been stolen, most are currently out of service.  A spokesman for the Canadian operation told the Sun, "we don't have this issue anywhere else, not at this level." 

Federal Judge Stays Cutoff of Funds to Sanctuary Cities:  In a ruling announced today, a federal district judge in Chicago ruled that Attorney General Jeff Sessions cannot withhold federal grant funds from sanctuary cities.  Fox News reports that District Judge Harry Lenenweber granted Chicago's request for a temporary "nationwide" injunction of the Attorney General's requirement that, in order to receive the funds, cities would have to be willing to cooperate with federal law enforcement on illegal immigrants.

Antifa Professor Steps in it:  There was a time long ago when a college professor was assumed to be worthy of the respect of his students, colleagues and community.  This is what passes for a college professor today.  Fox News reports  JohnJayProf.jpg
that Michael Issacson, an adjunct-professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and known Antifa leader, tweeted Aug. 23, "Some of y'all might think it sucks being an anti-fascist teacher at John Jay College but I think it's a privilege to teach future dead cops."   This is not a joke, that's what he said and that's his picture.  Someone please
defend this guy. 

News Scan

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Ohio Murderer's Death Sentence Upheld:   The Ohio Supreme Court voted 6-1 Wednesday to uphold the conviction and death sentence of habitual felon David Martin, who killed a man and severely wounded a woman during a robbery.  Guy Vogrin of the Tribune Chronicle reports that a jury convicted Martin on September 11, 2014 of the robbery, murder and attempted murder committed two years earlier.  The court's decision describes how Martin, a low level drug dealer, visited the apartment of Jeremy Cole, 21 and Melissa Putnam, 27, on September 27, 2012.  During the visit, Martin pulled a gun and had Putnam tie up Cole and herself.  After a fruitless effort to get  money and car keys from Cole, Martin shot him in the head, then shot Putnam.  Putnam raised her hand just before the shooting deflecting the bullet which struck her in the neck.  Martin's defense attorney argued that his incriminating statements to police should have been excluded, and that his troubled childhood should have been given more weight at sentencing.  The court rejected these claims.  One justice, with longstanding opposition to the death penalty, voted against the sentence.     

"Smart on Crime's" Best Example Explodes

"Smart on Crime" is the name given a well-intentioned libertarian organization promoting, most prominently, reducing prison populations by shorter sentences and early release.  Those targeted to benefit would be  --  heard this one before?  -- "low-level, non-violent" criminals. 

The Number One example of Smart on Crime's success has been Texas.  The Lone Star state has been displayed relentlessly as a "deep red" jurisdiction that's made huge strides in criminal justice reform. As always, it was promised that such reform would "keep us just as safe."

Smart on Crime has not been shy about claiming credit for Texas's continuing low crime rate while these "carefully crafted programs" have done their intended work. Never once have I seen the phrase "correlation does not mean causation" used in discussing the relationship between maintaining low crime in Texas and reform's implementation. 

I have a strong feeling, however, that, in light of Texas' just-released and disastrous UCR violent crime statistics for 2016, that phrase is about to make a big comeback. 
I am not making this up:

Chelsea Manning will be joining Harvard University as a visiting fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, according to the school's website.

Manning will speak on issues of LGBTQ identity in the military, Institute of Politics Fellows co-chairs Emily Hall and Jason Ge wrote in an announcement posted Wednesday.

"We welcome the breadth of thought-provoking viewpoints on race, gender, politics and the media," Bill Delahunt, IOP acting director, said in the announcement.

Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, was convicted in 2013 for leaking a huge cache of classified and sensitive documents. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison after a military judge found her guilty of six Espionage Act violations and multiple other charges relating to the dissemination of more than 700,000 classified military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks.

After President Barack Obama commuted her sentence [three days] before leaving office, Manning has worked to re-brand herself as an activist for queer and transgender rights.

Kent Scheidegger is probably the leading habeas corpus expert in the country. What do you think the chances are of his getting offered a fellowship at Harvard?

UPDATE:  This morning brings a report that, after a storm of criticism, Harvard has withdrawn the Visiting Fellow offer, but will still invite Manning to the University for a day and allow her/him to speak to students.

News Scan

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Ohio Executes Double Murderer:  The state of Ohio executed double-murderer Gary Otte Wednesday, 25 years after he robbed and killed a man and a woman in February of 1992.  CBS News reports that Otte was pronounced dead at 10:54 a.m., about 13 minutes after he fell unconscious after receiving an injection of the anesthetic midazolam.  On February 12, 1992, Otte asked 61-year-old Robert Wasikowski if he could use his phone. Once inside the apartment, Otte shot Wasikowski and stole about $400.  The next day Otte broke into another apartment in the same building and shot 45-year-old Sharon Kostura before stealing $45 and her car keys.  On appeal, Otte's attorneys did not dispute his guilt, but blamed his drug addiction, intoxication, depression, age, and trial lawyers for his death sentence, saying that he had matured and tried to better himself.  Bummer that his victims did not get a chance to do that. 

Parolees Charged in Ole Miss Rape:  A University of Mississipi (Ole Miss) student was kidnapped and raped Monday, and two parolees have been charged.  Harold Gater and Therese Apel of The Clarion-Ledger report that two coeds got into a car with two men at about 1:11 a.m.  Charles Prince, 34, and Kedrick Norwood, 28, drove the girls around for about an hour before stopping on a county road and letting them out.  One of the coeds got back into the car and was driven to a house, held against her will, and raped.  An anonymous tip led officers to the house where the victim was discovered, and the two parolees were arrested. Both face charges of kidnapping and rape.  Prince was on parole for assaulting a police officer and grand larceny.  Norwood was on parole for dealing cocaine.

News Scan

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Execution Set For Georgia Murderer:  A September 26 execution date has been set for a 59-year-old Georgia man who murdered his sister-in-law in 1990.  Rhonda Cook of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Keith Leroy Tharpe will be the second murderer executed in Georgia this year.  In 1990 Tharpe's wife left him to escape a violent marriage and moved in with her mother.  Responding to Tharpe's repeated threats to kill her and her family, the ex-wife received a court order prohibiting Tharpe from contacting them.  A few weeks later, Tharpe, whose own mental health expert called a "mean son of a bitch," forced his ex-wife's car off the road as she and her sister were heading to work.  He then shot the 29-year-old sister twice with a shotgun and rolled her body into a ditch, before kidnapping his ex-wife and raping her.  He was later caught in Macon trying to withdraw money from his ex-wife's credit union.  His guilt was undisputed, leaving his lawyers to unsuccessfully claim that his death sentence was the result of racial prejudice.

Appeals Court Overturns Murder Conviction:  The Oregon Court of Appeals has overturned the murder conviction of a Bethany man who beat his girlfriend to death in 2012.  Maxine Bernstein of the Oregonian reports that Paul Joseph Sanelle was convicted on overwhelming evidence but the court's unanimous ruling held that his Miranda rights were violated during questioning following his arrest.  Sanelle lived with Julianne Herinckx and Terlin Patrick.  The trio has been in a polyamorous relationship for about five years.  On April 29, 2012, Herinckx called in sick for work at about 5:20 p.m. Within the next hour, Sanelle beat her so badly that she died of blunt force injuries to her head and a crush injury to her chest the medical examiner believed was caused by her being stomped or jumped on.  When police responded to Terlin's 911 call, they found Senelle naked over Herinckx's body attempting CPR.  At trial his attorneys claimed that the young woman died as the result of a violent sparing match.         

Flight 93

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Pennsylvania has long been home to the Gettysburg Cemetery, a somber reminder of both the necessary of valor and its price.  Now it is also home to the Flight 93 National Memorial.  David Tulis has this article for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

News Scan

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Looters Jailed, Burglar Shot in Florida:  In the wake of hurricane Irma, while residents and business owners wait for an "all clear" from authorities before returning home to survey the damage, news video shows looters breaking into businesses and carrying out goods and police report that at least one criminal has been shot for burglarizing a home.  Fox News reports that several dozen looters have been arrested in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Dade.  Police agencies across the state are warning that looters will be arrested and prosecuted.  "Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice," one official warned.  A 17-year-old offender was shot at 3 a.m. Sunday by police who caught him burglarizing an abandoned home in Broward County. 

Antifa Violence at Prayer Rally:  A rally by a prayer group originally planned for Portland, but moved to nearby Vancouver, Washington, to avoid a confrontation with counterprotesters, became violent in both cities Sunday when hundreds of anti-fascists, many wearing black masks and carrying weapons, showed up.  Derek Hawkins of the Washington Post reports that Antifa members hurled smoke bombs and projectiles at police and supporters of Patriot Prayer, a religious free speech group that critics claim is actually a white-supremacist hate group.  All of the violence was initiated by the Antifa protesters.  At least nine of them were arrested.

The ACLU's Deceptive Anti-DA Campaign

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Guest post by David Boyd

The ACLU has rolled out a new campaign in California to help people learn about the "most powerful elected official you may not know"; the elected District Attorneys. Instead, the ACLU has managed to increase misunderstanding rather than enhance any knowledge.

The ACLU states that a California DA has the "sole" power to decide what charges to bring and the severity of those charges. This is not true. Many, perhaps even most of the felony charges that are filed in California, can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor and the court has the authority to reduce that type of charge even when the DA chooses a felony charge. This power under section 17 of the Penal Code is not mentioned, but most certainly relates to the severity of a charge.

"They alone decide who is deserving of a jail or prison sentence and who will instead be routed into a diversion program to help rebuild their life, or have charges dismissed." Let me count the ways in which this is false. Odd that the ACLU would not mention that most crimes, including some violent crimes such as robbery, are probation eligible. In those instances, the court gets the final say on who goes to jail or prison, not the DA. Of course, the ACLU does not mention the power of the court to dismiss charges, penalties, or both, under section 1385 of the Penal Code either--a section invoked by the court, over the DA's objection, every single day in trial courts throughout the state.

News Scan

Impact of Obama Consent Decrees on Policing:  The Obama Justice Department put more police departments under federal control that any previous administration.  Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald examines the impact that these consent decrees have had on policing in this City Journal piece.  She also discusses Attorney General Jeff Sessions' effort to mitigate these consent decrees, which are binding contracts between police departments and the federal government.  One of the primary reasons that cities have agreed to have their police departments placed under federal control has been to respond to accusations of racial bias.  The news media has been complicit in advancing these accusations, often misreporting incidents to advance the narrative.  MacDonald examines this, particularly in Milwaukee and Chicago.   

Reconsidering Campus Sexual Assault

The handling of complaints of sexual assault on campus has been a mess.  The charge that victims have been treated insensitively and had their complaints too lightly dismissed has often been valid.  The countercharge that campus administrations, whether voluntarily or coerced by the U.S. Dept. of Education, went too far the other direction and degenerated into witch hunts has also been valid at times.

Melissa Korn reports for the WSJ:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday said the department plans to roll back the Obama administration's guidance on how colleges and universities should handle sexual assault cases.
*      *      *
The federal government will solicit public comment and establish a new regulatory framework to help schools adjudicate the cases, Mrs. DeVos said.

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Illegal Immigrant Arrested for VA Murder:  A Salvadorian national has been arrested in Georgia for the a gang-related murder in Virginia last month.  Megan Cloherty of WTOP reports that Hector Amaya-Gamez was arrested last Friday for his direct involvement in the August 22 murder of Miguel Angel Ruiz Carrillo in Nokesville, VA.  Amaya-Gomez is believed to be a member of the brutal MS-13 gang and is in the U.S. illegally.  He has been charged with first-degree murder and is awaiting extradition to Virginia for trial and sentencing.  

Manson Follower Granted Parole:   A panel of California Parole Board has voted to grant parole for Leslie Van Houten, a former follower of Charles Manson, convicted of murder more than 40 years ago.  John Rogers of the Associated Press reports that Van Houten was the youngest of the Manson cult that participated in the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders in Southern California.  While she did not participate in the brutal murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others, days later she joined other followers at the Los Angeles home of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca, first holding down the woman while others stabbed her, then taking a knife and stabbing her at least 12 times.  The group then used blood from the two victims to write "Death to Pigs" on a wall in the home.  Governor Jerry Brown must now decide to allow, deny, or modify Van Houten's parole, or ask the full Board of Parole Hearings to reconsider the panel's decision.

The USA is in the same category as ... ?

Yesterday I posted a comment, the 16th, to Bill's August 30 post "Is the United States Isolated in Using the Death Penalty?"  Knowing that comment threads have diminishing audiences, I thought I would copy it as a post:

In death penalty debates, the anti side regularly asserts that having the death penalty places the United States in the same category with despotic regimes. Nonsense.

Any rational system of classification begins with the most important distinctions at the top, separating the major categories. Biological classification, for example, begins with separating plants from animals, only later gets down to separating felines from canines, and later still separates dogs from wolves.

If you wanted to classify countries by their legal systems, you would begin with such major distinctions as (1) providing due process of law, (2) not criminalizing political dissent, free exercise of religion, etc., and (3) democratic adoption of the governing laws.

In a classification tree of countries' legal systems, then, by the time we got down to whether a system had capital punishment or not, the United States would be in the same category as Japan, and perhaps India and Taiwan. (I don't claim to be knowledgeable on their legal systems, so I hedge on that.)

Should it bother us that we are with Japan rather than Italy? Doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Proposition 57 Implementation

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Last Friday, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation held a public comment hearing on its regulations to implement Proposition 57.  This initiative, approved on last November's ballot, authorizes parole for many felons sentenced to what were previously determinate terms.  It was backed by big bucks from George Soros et al., and the opposition had pitifully little funding to tell the people what it will really do.

Tracey Kaplan and Robert Salonga of the Bay Area News Group have this article on the controversy.

I did not attend the hearing because these events are just for show.  I mailed in comments for CJLF, for all the good they will do.  As bad as Proposition 57 is on its face, CDCR is determined to make it worse.

Neighborhood Crime Rates

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Like increasing the resolution on a camera, going to finer-grained data gives us a sharper picture of crime, seeing things that we don't see from coarse-grained data.

"Well the south side of Chicago is the baddest part of town," Jim Croce told us musically in '73.  It still is.  Rafael Mangual of the Manhattan Institute has this article in the City Journal.

What this analysis shows is that, in many American cities, a substantial number of residents live through what can only be described as a homicide epidemic. And, despite assurances to the contrary, nowhere is that epidemic more pronounced than in Sub-Chicago, which happens to be 88 percent black and Latino. If we're serious about improving life in places like South and West Chicago, we must confront the uncomfortable truths about crime concentration in U.S. cities. Step one is recognizing that while most of the country is relatively free from such violence, a portion of the country lives in the urban equivalent of a killing field. These Americans don't need to be told that crime is down nationwide; they need protection.
The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs has this post, providing further detail on a murder noted in last Friday's News Scan:

Prior to AB 109, a no bail warrant for a violation of parole would have been issued for Littlecloud and served upon him following his December 2016 arrest. He would have remained in custody while awaiting both resolution of his new criminal cases and a parole revocation hearing that, based on his continued criminality, would have resulted in a one-year return to state prison. Most importantly, he would not have been on the streets in August, 2017 and able to murder Deputy French.
Update:  CJLF President Michael Rushford will be on KFI with John & Ken at 5:00 p.m. PDT today to discuss this issue.  That's 640 kHz on AM if you are in the Los Angeles area or stream here.
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi, writing in the City Journal, identify the primary problem in criminology today: criminologists.

Walter Miller, one of the few mid-twentieth-century criminologists whose work was unapologetically conservative, suggested that ideology can turn "plausibility into ironclad certainty . . . conditional belief into ardent conviction . . . and reasoned advocate into the implacable zealot." When shared beliefs take hold, as they often do in the academic bubble in which most criminologists live, ideological assumptions about crime and criminals can "take the form of the sacred and inviolable dogma of the one true faith, the questioning of which is heresy, and the opposing of which is profoundly evil."

Miller's observations have proved prophetic. Led by the work of Jonathan Haidt, a growing number of scholars now acknowledge that a lack of ideological diversity in the social sciences skews research in favor of leftist claims, which become the guiding principles of many fields, challenged only at the risk of harming one's career. Liberal assumptions go unchecked and tendentious claims of evidence become fact, while countervailing evidence doesn't get published or faces much more rigorous scrutiny than the assertions that it challenges.
This is a major problem that requires more attention from policymakers than it has received.  Nothing is more toxic to science than dogma.  The validity of academia's output depends on assumptions and conclusions being challenged.  If academia has articles of faith that cannot be challenged without risk to one's career, then its output does not deserve confidence. 

Academia is heavily dependent on government funding in various forms.  Government needs to start insisting on diversity of viewpoint in the faculty and freedom to challenge sacred cows as conditions of funding.  Bias against conservative viewpoints in hiring, publication, and tenure decisions should be regarded as serious misconduct and sanctioned accordingly.  (Bias against liberal viewpoints should also, if that actually happened.)

News Scan

Illegal Immigrant Arrested For Molesting Little Girl:   A twice-deported Guatemalan national was arrested in Stamford, CT, last week for molesting a 6-year-old girl.  Jennifer Glatz of Fox News reports that Pedro Catalan-Veliz was taken into custody and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a minor and several related crimes and is being held on $200,000 bail.  A neighbor intervened after catching Catalan-Veliz with his pants down while holding the little girl against a vehicle.  Catalan-Veliz was deported in 1996 and again in 2000.  He will be arraigned on Friday.   

Habitual Felon Held in Hammer Attack:  Nevada police arrested habitual felon Deandre Chaney, Jr. Saturday for the brutal September 1 assault on a Sacramento woman and her two young children.  Nashelly Chavez of the Sacramento Bee reports that Chaney was arrested in Winnemucca, NV, after he fled from officers during a railroad stop.  Detectives believe that Chaney attacked his former girlfriend, her 8-year-old son, and 7-year-old daughter with a hammer at about 6:20 a.m. Friday.  The little girl is in critical condition while the son and mother remain hospitalized with serious injuries.  Chaney is a registered sex offender with priors, including assault with a deadly weapon and felony battery with serious bodily injury.  He was free on "post-release community supervision" (i.e., probation) under California's "Public Safety Realignment" at the time of the attack.

News Scan

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Judge: Sex Offender Registry Unconstitutional:  A federal district judge in Denver has ruled that Colorado's sex offender registry violates the Constitution's Eighth Amendment.  Kirk Mitchell of the Denver Post reports that District Judge Richard Matsch found that the registry exposes sex offenders to a "serious threat of retaliation, violence, ostracism, shaming and other irrational treatment from the public; directly resulting from their status as registered sex offenders..."  The judge also announced that the state's registry violates the 14th Amendment due process clause.  The ruling came in a 2013 civil case filed by three sex offenders.

Sheriff's Deputy Killed by Repeat Felon:  A 21-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department was gunned down Wednesday by a habitual felon wanted by both state and federal law enforcement.  The Associated press reports that shooting suspect Thomas Daniel Littlecloud had been sent to prison four times since 2004.  At the time of the shootings, he was on probation (now called "post release community supervision" under California's Realignment), had skipped bail for a federal indictment on four felony charges, and was on the run from Sonoma County bench warrant on drug, firearm and stolen credit card charges.  Around noon Wednesday CHP Officers and Sacramento County Deputies knocked on the door of a room at a Ramada Inn in North Sacramento, where detectives believed an auto theft ring was headquartered.  Littlecloud fired shots from a high-powered rifle through the door, injuring two CHP officers, then fired from a balcony fatally wounding Deputy Robert French, before jumping from the balcony and fleeing in a stolen car.  Littlecloud then led police on a high-speed chase which ended when he crashed into a utility pole near a high school about four miles from the hotel.  He then exited the car and fired on pursuing officers until he was seriously injured by return fire.  Prior to enactment of AB 109 (Realignment), it is highly likely that this murderer's 2013 and 2015 felonies would have put him back in state prison, rather than leaving him loose on streets to kill a police officer.          


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