Recently in General Category
Our panelists will discuss the criminal justice system generally, and the role of the prosecutor in particular. Some argue that, with the weight of the state and its resources on one side, including a deep book of potential crimes, the deck is unfairly stacked against criminal defendants. Others argue that police and prosecutors act in good faith, and credit them with incapacitating career criminals, trimming recidivism, and causing a plunge in national crime statistics. Who has the better of the argument?
In recent years, it seems like every package labeled "reform" has actually been a proposal to condemn us to repeat the soft-on-crime errors of the Age of Aquarius.
According to the press release, these four bills would address (1) the required mental state where the statute specifies none, (2) acts made criminal by regulations rather than statutes, (3) acts that never should have been made criminal in the first place, and (4) just plain drafting errors. These are all genuine problems that genuinely need fixing.
I hope to have time soon to look at the actual bill language and see if the bills live up to their billing.
And I am really looking forward to citing the Fix the Footnotes Act of 2015 in a Supreme Court brief.
I have noted this on the blog before, but it bears repeating. Statesmen may proclaim freedom until the cows come home, but the declarations are only scraps of paper unless and until the forces of freedom win the war.
The people who volunteer to fight that fight sacrifice much. At a minimum, they give up much of their own freedom for the duration of their service and accept a life of discipline and obedience. Too often, they sacrifice much more, lives and limbs. We must not forget that or fail to respect it.
The Iranian regime is...inviting the families of those killed by law enforcement to attend a discrimination conference in Iran Monday.
The third annual "New Horizons" conference will focus on "police brutality against blacks in America," according to the event announcement.
"We have invited 30 anti-Israel blacks from America to attend," Nader Talebzadeh, the event organizer said in an interview with Cinema Press, an Iranian news outlet.
"Blacks in America are the only group who utilize their right to protest, and Iran is the perfect place to host them and to initiate a direct relationship with this segment of the American population," Talebzadeh said, referring to the 3-day conference as a gathering of "human rights defenders" and "social activists."
It gets worse from there, as you might expect. But it's not that much worse than what you can hear every day in the faculty lounge at Harvard, Stanford or (to be honest) Georgetown. For that matter, it's not that much worse, if any at all, than today's editorial in an esteemed newspaper.
One thing you have to love about the Left is that it cannot even begin to hear its own anti-Americanism.
Heather Mac Donald has made herself the most valuable player supporting law enforcement in the teeth of the generation-long movement against it originating in the American Civil Liberties Union. The movement has now culminated in Black Lives Matter and embedded itself inside the Obama administration. Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, City Journal has just published Heather's powerful new essay on the subject under the title "The decriminalization delusion." I asked City Journal editor Brian Anderson for a brief introduction that might persuade readers to click on the link. Brian writes:
In "The Decriminalization Delusion," her deeply researched essay in our brand-new twenty-fifth anniversary issue, Heather Mac Donald shows how the growing movement to reduce incarceration (which has partisans on the right as well as the left) traffics in myths. The biggest myth of all, frequently promoted by President Obama, is that America's prisons and jails are filled with nonviolent drug users, kids who've just had a bad break or two. The reality is that prisons are dominated by thugs and serial thieves, as she noted as well in last week's Congressional testimony. If they're returned in large numbers to city streets, crime is sure to rise--and we're already seeing signs of it happening in California. This is the latest of Mac Donald's major essays on crime and punishment, which will be anthologized in a book in 2016.
Click here for the tape.
Murder rates are soaring this year in many U.S. cities partly because police are holding back from aggressive tactics, fearful of being taped on smartphones and accused of brutality, FBI Director James Comey said on Friday.
The Los Angeles Police Department continued to struggle in accurately classifying serious assaults last year, according to an audit released Tuesday.
The audit comes after a Times investigation last year revealed that the department had routinely misclassified serious assaults as minor offenses that weren't counted in the city's crime rate.
The new review examined one crime category: aggravated assault. Based on sampling done by auditors, officials estimate that there were actually 23% more aggravated assaults in 2014 than the LAPD originally reported.
Big cities tend to be one-party jurisdictions, and the people running them have a strong incentive to cook the books to support the narrative convenient to their interest groups. In California, those would include the (very flush) backers of Prop 47. Although they have had only limited success in covering up how much a crime disaster Prop 47 has been, they don't want the reported damage (and hence the push for repeal) to get any worse than it is now. Hence the cooked crime statistics (not that this is the only reason -- garden variety deceit and bureaucratic self-interest haven't gone away, either).
As the push for more widespread "sentencing reform" grows, I guarantee this will not be the last set of cooked figures we see, designed to have a lulling effect about the true incidence of rising crime.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A U.S. airman hailed as a hero for helping thwart a European terror attack was upgraded from serious to fair condition Friday as he recovered from three stab wounds suffered in a late-night attack near a bar, UC Davis Medical Center officials said Friday, indicating that his vital signs are stable and normal and he is conscious.
Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, 23, "is awake, able to get out of bed and in good spirits," the hospital said in a statement.
As this pie chart illustrates (click on the graph for a larger view), that is not remotely close to the truth. Why the silence?
But here is a problem with Europe's decision-makers, and it connects to decision-makers in America.
Damning "the elites" is often a mindless, phony and manipulative game. Malice and delusion combine to produce the refrains: "Those fancy people in their Georgetown cocktail parties," "Those left-wing poseurs in their apartments in Brussels." This is social resentment parading as insight, envy posing as authenticity.
But in this crisis talk of "the elites" is pertinent. The gap between those who run governments and those who are governed has now grown huge and portends nothing good.
Rules on immigration and refugees are made by safe people. These are the people who help run countries, who have nice homes in nice neighborhoods and are protected by their status. Those who live with the effects of immigration and asylum law are those who are less safe, who see a less beautiful face in it because they are daily confronted with a less beautiful reality--normal human roughness, human tensions. Decision-makers fear things like harsh words from the writers of editorials; normal human beings fear things like street crime. Decision-makers have the luxury of seeing life in the abstract. Normal people feel the implications of their decisions in the particular.