Author: Michael Rushford

Arizona to Execute Murderer

Murderer Clarence Dixon is scheduled to be executed today in Arizona for the brutal killing of Deana Bawdion, a 21-year-old Arizona State University co-ed.  The New York Post reports that, absent a last-minute stay, Dixon will be the first Arizona murderer put to death in almost eight years.   A 2019 Ninth Circuit opinion upholding Dixon’s conviction and sentence indicated that he was living across the street from Bawdion on January 6, 1978 , when she returned from a local bar at 12.30 AM.  At about 2:00 AM her boyfriend discovered her partially nude body on her bed.  She had been stabbed several times and strangled with a belt.  An autopsy revealed semen in her that could not be matched to any suspect at that time.  In June of 1985 Dixon was convicted of aggravated assault, kidnapping, sexual abuse, and four counts of sexual assault of a Northern Arizona University student.  He received a sentence of life in prison for those crimes.  In 2001 a cold-case detective ran the DNA from the Bawdion murder through the FBI database and found a match to Dixon.  After seven years of pre-trial maneuvers Dixon was finally tried and sentenced on January 15, 2008.  It was noted at sentencing that the day before Deana Bawdion’s body was discovered, Dixon was released from custody after a court found him not guilty by reason of insanity for attacking a teen-aged girl with a metal pipe.  His attorneys have unsuccessfully claimed he was mentally incompetent in the trials and appeals of the NAU co-ed rape and assault case and the Bawdion murder case.  In last-minute appeals, they are still making that claim.  UPDATE:  Dixon was executed at 10:51 AM today.

The Bloodshed Continues As Illinois Doubles Down on Progressive Reform

CWB News provides an unflinching video of two criminals robbing and shooting a young man in the Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood last Friday.  There is nothing unique about this brazen crime which, once again, puts the racist criminal justice reform policies of progressive politicians and district attorneys in sharp perspective.   As reported by ABC 5 in Chicago, the 23-year-old culinary student was ambushed, robbed of his cellphone and shot by a pair of criminals police believe are responsible for eight armed robberies in the neighborhood over a two-day period.  Does anybody believe that these two robbers are first time offenders?

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LADA Gascón Targets Judge

Progressive (read pro-criminal) Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón is labeling a superior court judge who refused to drop “special circumstance” allegations against a double-murderer, as an opponent to the interests of the people of Los Angeles County.  A story by Roger Grace of the Metropolitan News Enterprise reports that Gascón has ordered all of his deputies at the Pomona Branch to file a peremptory challenge against LA Superior Court Judge Rob B. Villeza in every criminal case assigned to his court—claiming under penalty of perjury that the judge is biased against their client ie, the residents of the county.   This appears to be retaliation to the judge’s refusal to abide by Gascon’s policy of dropping additional charges called enhancements provided under state law to increase the sentences of cold-blooded gang murderer.

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Putting Radicals on the Bench

Last January, during oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Ohio v. OSHA,  involving the state’s challenge to the agency’s testing and vaccine mandates, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”   This was entirely wrong, earning four Pinocchios from the unabashedly liberal Washington Post.  The Post noted that about 5,000 children were hospitalized with suspected covid, with few if any on ventilators.  Was the Justice acting as an advocate or a judge when she made this false statement?  Jason Riley has this piece in the Wall Street Journal, discussing the danger in appointing political radicals as judges.  He cites President Biden’s nomination of Nusrat Choudhury to the Federal District Court for New York’s Eastern District.  For most of her legal career, Choudhury has been a racial justice advocate for the ACLU.  Last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee she was asked about a speech she gave at Princeton in 2015.

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Court: San Francisco Cannot Restrict Drug Dealers

In a story that fits the category of “only in California” a state court of appeals has ruled that the City of San Francisco cannot restrict a group of known drug dealers from a 50-block neighborhood known as the Tenderloin.  Evan Symon of the California Globe reports that four drug dealers filed a lawsuit against the city after the City Attorney issued a public nuisance order barring 28 known dealers from visiting the neighborhood.  For years the Tenderloin has been the epicenter of drug dealing and fatal overdoses, and the city Attorney issued the order because under, California law, street dealing is a misdemeanor which carries no real consequences.  Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin does not even prosecute misdemeanors.

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Another Increase in LA Murders

According to data released by the LAPD, homicides in the city of Los Angeles have increased this year after reaching a 15-year high in 2021.  Kevin Rector of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 397 murders recorded last year were the most since 2006.   Like last year, news stories covering the increases in murders reflexively follow the same narrative, ie: The bloodshed remains far below that of the early 1990s, when the city had more than 1,000 homicides per year.”  This leaves out the fact that between 1974 and 1994 homicides in California doubled under sentencing reforms adopted in the late 1960s.  The annual increase in homicides over the past two years is unprecedented.  If California’s recent host of “compassionate” sentencing reforms are not rejected, the state is well on the way to matching its 1994 murder rate.  The story also reports the violent crimes in LA through April were up 7.2% and property crimes were up over 11%.  The actual number of property crimes is unquestionably much higher.  With little or no consequences for most property crimes in California,  many victims are not even reporting them to police.

Biden Discovers the War on Cops

After eighteen months of insisting that the most serious problem facing America is white supremacy, the Biden Justice Department has finally noticed that violence against law enforcement “doesn’t get enough attention,” as noted by FBI Director Christopher Wray.  Wray told 60 minutes that last year there was a 59% increase in murders of police officers, with an officer murdered nearly once every five days.

Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald has this piece in the New York Post calling the administration’s fixation about white-supremacists “preposterous.”

“It is violent street crime — drive-by shootings, sadistic robberies, carjackings — that has been destroying lives at an increasing rate since the George Floyd race riots. White-supremacist violence played no role in the record-breaking 29% national homicide increase in 2020 or in the ongoing crime surge since then.

As startling as that 2020 homicide increase was, cop murders rose at twice that rate in 2021. A significant portion of those fatalities were ambushes, which were up 91% by mid-2021. Through April 26 of this year, gun murders of cops are up another 13% over the same period in 2021. Shootings of officers, lethal and nonlethal, were up 43% by early April.”

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Lying For a Good Cause

As the pandemic fades, states with active capital punishment laws are resuming executions of their worst murderers.  Over the coming weeks as condemned murderers in Missouri, Arizona and Texas are scheduled for execution, death penalty opponents have resumed their insistence that innocent people are facing execution.  The latest “wrongly convicted” posterboy is actually a woman named Melissa Lucio.  Lucio was convicted in 2007 for the murder of her two-year-old daughter Mariah.  ABC, CNN, CBS, Yahoo News, Time and several other news outlets are regurgitating the press releases from the Innocence Project and other anti-death penalty groups which assert that Lucio was forced to confess by police, and that medical evidence proves that she did not commit the murder.  An example is a story by Ed Pilkington in the April 21 issue of The Guardian, “Texas mother set for execution – yet evidence suggests she did not kill her child.”

Update:  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted Lucio a stay of execution, as reported here.

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Soros-Funded Victims’ Groups

As National Crime Victims’ Rights Week kicks off on April 24, three California groups, which support shorter sentences and the early release of criminals, will be holding rallies and events portraying themselves as the voice of victims.

The three progressive groups funded by liberal billionaire George Soros—Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, Californians for Safety and Justice, and Prosecutors Alliance of California—support defunding police departments, declining to prosecute most criminals, and seeking the shortest possible sentences for those who are prosecuted.

As reported on Fox 40 News, earlier this week, representatives of these groups met with legislators in Sacramento to encourage more state-funded services for crime victims, while ignoring the laws and policies that have flooded California communities with criminals.

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Making the Case Against Gascón

The following is a letter by Councilmember James R. Bozajian from the Los Angeles County city of Calabasas.  Hat tip to the LA’s Association of Deputy District Attorneys:

I am in receipt of your recent letter, inviting the Calabasas City Council to meet with you to discuss your vision for the District Attorney’s Office. For the following reasons, I must decline your request.

On the very day you assumed office, you announced a series of “reforms” seemingly designed with precision to turn the District Attorney’s Office upside-down. Your actions since then have only aggravated the negative effects of these ill-conceived measures.

You enacted these draconian policies without soliciting input from law enforcement, public officials, the general public, or even your own (experienced) prosecutors. Instead, you relied exclusively upon a cadre of hostile, extreme partisans whose sole objectives appear to have been to defund, demolish, and destroy our criminal justice system.

The ultimate result of which, simply put, is that Los Angeles County has become a vastly more dangerous place to live since you became its chief prosecutor

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