Jason Riley has this column in the WSJ pointing out a problem that does not get enough attention. When crime rates go up, the added crimes hurt people of modest means much more than they hurt the affluent. That is a substantial part of why soft-on-crime policies get the greatest support on the ends of the socio-economic spectrum — the criminals themselves and the affluent who are little affected by them — while those more affected by crime tend to support stronger measures. Continue reading . . .
“A recent poll from Morning Consult/Politico found that 78 percent of voters believe that violent crime is a major problem in the United States, and nearly as high a percentage thought that the problem is getting worse,” as noted by Josh Crawford and Abigal Hall of the Pegasus Institute. Their piece in Real Clear Policy points out that while media attention regarding violent crime and homicide is focused on large cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, “it’s midsize cities in the middle of the country which have seen the largest increases in violent crime. Murder has exploded in Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Birmingham, for example – but perhaps no city better illustrates this reality than Louisville.”
Violence against police officers has accelerated over the past several years. Rick Sobey of the Boston Herald reports that so far this year, 59 police officers have been murdered in the line of duty, a 51% increase from over the same period in 2020. For all of last year, 46 police officers were murdered. Most of the officers were killed while responding to domestic calls (29.6%), while over 16% died while attempting an arrest and 8.4% died during traffic stops or pursuits. FBI data indicate that murders of police over the first three quarters of 2021 are more than for the four full years since 2016, and are on pace to exceed the 72 officers murdered in 2011. The FBI Special Agent in Charge in Boston told reporters, “the percent of unprovoked attacks (on officers) has significantly risen…The unprovoked attacks, combined with pursuits, tactical situations and ambushes, have been the cause for 74% of the felonious deaths so far this year. In 2020, those four circumstances represented 28% of the deaths.” More than 60,000 officers were assaulted last year which is over 4,000 more assaults than in 2019. Of that number 18,568 were injured. Protecting the public with a target on your back is increasingly dangerous for those willing to risk their lives on our behalf.
In a word, no.
In ten words, ominous FBI surveillance like this would make Richard Nixon blush.
Clark Neily of the libertarian Cato Institute and I often disagree — about drug legalization, police behavior and prosecutorial power. But we found it easy to collaborate on an op-ed about Merrick Garland’s memo enlisting the power of the federal government to intimidate parents who voice emphatic dissent at local school board meetings.
Virginia Senator Joe Morrissey (D. Richmond) plans to introduce a bill in 2022 that will restore parole to make violent criminals, including murderers, eligible for release from prison after serving 15 years of less. Attorney Hans Bader writes in Liberty Unyielding that the Democrat majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates and in the Senate almost assures passage. Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe has indicated that he would support efforts to restore parole if elected next month.
There has been a loud campaign for years now, led by a number of libertarians and some liberals, to end qualified immunity for the police. The gist of their argument is that police who behave properly don’t need it, and the others shouldn’t have it. Their legal hook is that QI is a “judge-created doctrine” with no anchor in the text of the Constitution (that the Left gets that one out without choking has to be a source of no little wonderment).
Kent has briefly and persuasively dispatched this argument before, and the Supreme Court was having none of it today, reversing two lower court cases that had refused to grant QI to police. When, as in these cases, the anti-police side can’t even get Justice Sotomayor, you know it’s time for them to move on (which they’re not about to anyway).
In 2003, progressive hedge fund billionaire George Soros emerged as a major player in national politics when he gave $23 million in a failed attempt to defeat George W. Bush. In the years that followed he continued to pour millions into liberal causes and national campaigns and in 2020 was the largest single contributor to liberal candidates and causes in the entire country, giving a reported $50 million to PACs funding campaigns ranging from Joe Biden for President to progressive candidates for local district attorney races. Since 2015, Soros’ New York based Open Society Foundations (there are three) have funneled millions through a network of non-profit “527″ groups spread across the country, to encourage the adoption of laws reducing sentences for habitual criminals and to elect district attorneys who refuse to seek the death penalty for murderers, refuse to prosecute drug dealers, thieves and wife beaters, and seek the shortest sentences possible for violent offenders.
The Supreme Court today heard argument in one of the most prominent death penalty cases of the last few decades, that of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber. News reports from the Washington Post and CNN — neither outlet being friendly to capital punishment — suggest that the Court will reverse the First Circuit and re-instate Tsarnaev’s thoroughly earned death sentence.
Doubling down on his commitment to empty out California’s prisons, Governor Gavin Newsom signed several bills last Friday to block sentence increases for habitual felons and drug dealers. Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times reports that Newsom signed SB 81, introduced by Alameda County Democrat Nancy Skinner, to require that judges dismiss sentence increases (called enhancements) for using a gun in a crime or due to prior convictions. According to Skinner eliminating these enhancements would reduce the “discriminatory racial impact” on minority criminals. The fact that blacks commit 7 times as many felonies as whites and 93% of their victims are other blacks is not of importance.
One of the great accomplishments of New York’s former law-and-order Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg was to rescue Times Square from the disgrace it had become and make it once again a vibrant place that people wanted to visit.
To the surprise of no one with sense, in two terms of crime-and-disorder Mayor Bill de Blasio, Times Square has descended back into the sewer. Nicole Gelinas has this article in the City Journal with the above title. Continue reading . . .