Author: Bill Otis

Lax Sentencing Keeps the Morgue Busy in Baltimore

Baltimore has one of the more notorious “progressive” prosecutors around, Marilyn Mosby.  Apart from her other accomplishments, such as failing to win a single conviction in the Freddie Gray case, which she and other Leftists  hyped relentlessly for its political effect, Ms. Mosby is currently under federal indictment for cheating to obtain a government loan as  part of COVID relief.  Like defendants  everywhere, she’s seeking to postpone her trial, and claiming that the case against her is a product of  —  ready now?  —  the Biden Administration’s racism.

Is there anything these people won’t say?

Of course the main problem with Ms. Mosby is not her cheating or her excessively political bent.  It’s that the Baltimore murder rate, already a scandal, has spiked under the lax sentencing she happily supports, as illustrated here.

Time to Overrule Miranda?

Yes, there is hope.  I explain why in my Substack entry,  here.  As a teaser, my first two paragraphs are:

In an earlier entry, “Democracy Dies in Judicial Imperialism,” I noted the similarity between Roe v. Wade and Miranda v. Arizona. In each case, the Court treated the liberal elite’s view of law as if it were part of the Constitution, thus to insulate it from any input from that pesky hoi polloi sometimes known as “voters.”

Roe and Miranda are probably the two most important examples of the sort of obey-your-betters judicial imperialism I was talking about. Roe went down three weeks ago. In this entry, I ask whether it’s time for Miranda to follow it into history’s dustbin. To avoid any suspense, the short answer is yes — indeed it’s past time — but I have my doubts that this is going to happen any time soon, even with a Supreme Court, like this one, that takes the Constitution seriously, both for what it says and what it refrains from saying. I’ll explain momentarily why I think Miranda will be with us for a while despite a more disciplined Court.

SCOTUS’ Last Death Penalty Abolitionist Says Goodbye

Over the history of the Supreme Court, only a very few justices opposed the death penalty in all circumstances:  Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Stevens, Ginsburg and Breyer.  Today, the last remaining member of that group, Justice Breyer, retired, leaving the Court without a single categorical opponent of the death penalty for the first time in decades.  I believe we now have the most pro-DP Court of my lifetime.

Justice Breyer was pretty much a down-the-line liberal on criminal justice issues, but is a modest and friendly man with a wicked sense of humor, and never had the driven and angry edge to him that many abolitionists do.  It remains to be seen whether his replacement, Justice Brown Jackson, will match his intellect and fair-minded outlook.  We can hope, and we wish her the best as she begins her tenure on the Court.


Chesa Boudin Recalled in a Landslide

Only 45% of the vote is counted at this point, but the NYT has already called the race  —  a landslide win for the recall of pro-criminal San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin.  Boudin’s disastrous policies have been recounted by Kent and Mike many times here.  The people who had to live with them have had enough.  At this point, the recall is winning by slightly more than 3-2.

For what is probably the most liberal city in the country to recall a “progressive prosecutor” by a margin this big, and despite a ton of Soros money, should send shock waves through the forces that want criminals to have a field day.

I don’t know who’s listening, but I’ll bet George Gascon is one of them.

What Actually Works to Suppress “Gun Violence”?

That is the title of my post today on Substack.  Frequent readers here will have no problem figuring out the answer.  What works is not gun control (which has no predictable effect on the number of murders nor the murder rate), nor going soft on crime, whether it be called “criminal justice reform” or something else equally fuzzy and opaque.

From more than fifty years’ experience, we know that what works is getting tough and staying tough.  The decades of evidence simply leave no room for doubt.

Where Is Joe Biden on the Buffalo Massacre?

President Biden has had all manner of things to say about the mass murder in Buffalo by a white supremacist, but nothing to say about the only legal punishment we have that even remotely fits a crime of that nature  —  the death penalty.

Now maybe it’s that Biden ran on a platform of abolishing capital punishment  —  the first candidate of a major party to do so, and in the face of the contrary views held by his former boss, President Barack Obama, and (get this) of himself:  Biden had been an unambiguous supporter of the death penalty for years, but when the mainstream of the Democratic Party drifted into abolitionism, he had neither the energy nor the principle to put up a fight.

That now seems like a manifestly foolish decision, as I explain in my Substack entry this  morning, here, and my guess is he’ll have to backtrack.

Chesa Boudin Probably Headed Out the Door

There is an active recall campaign against the radical DA of San Francisco, Chesa Boudin.  To his credit, Boudin, while running for office, didn’t make much of a secret about where his sympathies lay.  He was with the George Soros “criminals-are-victims” agenda from stem to stern.  His problem is that the reality of his tenure apparently is ringing a different bell with San Francisco voters than the high-sounding rhetoric of the campaign.  So now, according to the KRON poll, Boudin is in big, big trouble.

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Intimidating Justices and Their Children at Home Is Illegal as Well as Disgusting

After the unprecedented leak of a draft of a possible SCOTUS decision on the case overruling Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion activists have decided it would be a good idea to flock en masse outside the neighborhood homes of the Justices to make sure they know that, if the “wrong” decision were handed come late June, they would, in Chuck Schmer’s words, “pay the price.”

Gathering in menacing mobs at the homes of Justices has been defended by exactly those people who, for four years, were loudly aghast at the “breaking of norms.”  But as it turns out, the mob activity is not merely disgusting but illegal  —  or at least such is the view of that right-wing rag, the Washington Post.  Its article is quoted in part below.

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An Ethically Challenged Sentencing Commission Nominee

The President today nominated a full slate of attorneys and judges for the US Sentencing Commission.  The majority are Democrats, as is the President’s prerogative.  I don’t know any of them, but I am familiar with the work on one of them, former US District Judge John Gleeson.  Gleeson will be familiar to most readers as the amicus appointed by the district court in the infamous Michael Flynn prosecution, to argue in support of the court’s continuing with the prosecution notwithstanding the Justice Department’s wish to end the case on account of questionable (at best) prosecutorial behavior.

But there is another aspect of Gleeson’s behavior, undertaken while he was on the bench, that calls into question his ethical fitness.  I wrote about this before, and regrettably, it is newly relevant today.

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