According to a recent study, “close to half of all new U.S. gun buyers since the beginning of 2019 have been women” the Wall Street Journal’s Zusha Elinson reports. The study, 2021 National Firearms Survey, found that over 3.5 million women were first time gun purchasers between January 2019 and April of this year. What caused this sharp increase in women buying firearms?
The Chicago Sun Times reports that 64 people were shot in Chicago last weekend (9/3-9/5) with 9 killed. There were more deaths last weekend than over the three-day Labor Day weekend. Among those shot with nine children ranging in ages from 12 to 16. There were two mass shootings including a random attack at people leaving a birthday party Saturday night, killing a woman and injuring three others. Hours earlier another mass shooting killed a 24-year-old man and injured three others. According to the New York Post, New York City fared better over the weekend with only 35 shootings and no deaths so far. In one incident two shooters fired randomly into a group of roughly 100 people listening to music outdoors at a housing project at about 12:30 am Monday morning. Six were injured. At least 15 people were shot in 11 incidents Friday, 13 in 9 incidents Saturday, and 7 in 4 incidents Sunday. Shootings in New York are up from 1,087 at this point last year, to 1,163 this year. Weekends in these “woke” cities are more dangerous than a month in Beirut.
This morning the California Court of Appeal (3rd Appellate District) dismissed Daniel Marsh’s appeal in an unpublished opinion (found here). A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post that detailed this appeal’s convoluted procedural history (here). The Court of Appeal agreed that the juvenile court’s reinstatement of the original 2014 criminal judgment was final before SB 1391 went into effect. Because it “did not constitute a new judgment from which to appeal,” the Court of Appeal found it was not appealable, and thus “the appeal must be dismissed.”
In 2020 California voters resoundingly rejected a state law eliminating cash bail for most people arrested for crimes. Yet in Los Angeles and San Francisco thousands of arrestees are routinely released without bail. A piece by Thomas Elias in the Napa Valley Register discusses the no-bail policy implemented by Los Angeles DA George Gascon. Under Gascon “Offenses legally defined as nonviolent and non-serious including things like solicitation to commit murder, many felony assaults, felony domestic violence resulting in a traumatic condition, resisting a peace officer, molesting a child over 15 and sexual penetration of a mentally or developmentally disabled person” will be released without bail. “Most Californians would consider any of these crimes both serious and violent,” notes Elias. “Most folks would probably also believe a suspect arrested for sucker-punching an elderly Asian woman in a hate crime may have committed a serious offense. But that suspect would be freed pending trial if deputies follow Gascon’s orders.”
Crime, particularly violent crime, has increased by historic levels in Los Angeles and New York City over the past two years. As noted in many recent postings, in both cities broad daylight assaults, carjackings, robberies and murders are a routine part of daily life and often captured on video. District Attorneys in the New York boroughs have responded by declining to prosecute thousands of criminals as reported by Bruce Golding in the New York Post. Last year prosecutors dropped all charges for more than 6,500 suspects, an increase of just under 17% compared to 2019. A law enforcement source told Golding that while the retirement of veteran prosecutors has contributed to the problem, District Attorneys worried about reelection in the Black Lives Matter era are simply letting suspects off. “Throw in a bucket of woke and no one is getting prosecuted.”
Since my college days in the 1960s when I began paying attention to such things, I noticed that whenever liberal/progressive/socialist policies had failed, the default response from proponents was always that the resources and time devoted to these policies were inadequate. This kind of deflection remains standard practice among liberals today. But there are a couple of places in the United States where the government’s investment in progressive criminal justice policies has been substantial and carried out for over a decade. No state has taken progressive sentencing and police reforms further than California, beginning in 2011 with Governor Jerry Brown’s groundbreaking Public Safety Realignment bill AB109. That bill qualified roughly 30,000 prison inmates for early release and eliminated state prison sentences as an option for car thieves, fraudsters, and most burglars and drug dealers.
In April of 2013, Daniel Marsh was 15 years old when he broke into Chip Northup and Claudia Maupin‘s condominium in the middle of the night and heinously murdered them as they slept. His case was directly filed in adult criminal court and, in 2014, he was convicted by a jury of two counts of first degree murder with special circumstances. The trial court imposed a sentence of 52 years to life. The Northup and Maupin families found relief in the verdict and sentence and believed Marsh would be locked up for a very long time. Unfortunately, their relief was short lived and their fight for justice had just begun. Continue reading . . .
If you read major U.S. newspapers or watch the network news lately you have been informed that while homicides increased in some American cities over the past two years, overall crime is down. This Associated Press story by David Klepper and Gary Fields is a typical example of this narrative. Nationally homicides last year increased by 25% with roughly 20,000 people killed. Preliminary data from police departments suggests that the homicide spikes were much higher in urban centers last year and will increase even more this year. We have also been told that these increases have occurred in some places that did not defund their police, so we can’t blame the anti-police progressives or politicians like President Biden who, last year labeled police as racists. The problem with this narrative is that it is false. Two years of double-digit increases in murder is evidence of a serious breakdown in law enforcement. In urban centers the homicide increases are much higher than national numbers reflect. Murders in Los Angeles County are up by 95% over last year’s decade high. In Chicago murders were up 22%, in Minneapolis 56% and in Portland an astounding 800% according to the AP article. Other crimes went up as well.
A 23-year-old vagrant in the Los Angeles County community of Glendale was allowed to go on a crime spree this week thanks to the county’s zero bail policy. Zero bail was instituted last year to somehow address the Covid-19 pandemic by releasing drug dealers and thieves without bail shortly after their arrest. Under District Attorney George Gascon, LA County is continuing the zero bail policy. Louis Casiano of Fox News reports that Kaelun Scharrer was first arrested Monday evening in a stolen car containing drug paraphernalia. Six hours later he was released without bail. Scharrer then proceeded to the American Brand Shopping Mall and stole a tip jar and fled on foot. He was later arrested, charged with a misdemeanor and released again without bail. He walked out of the police station and immediately stole a flatbed truck. He was later arrested with the truck in the city of LaVerne. This time the thief is being held in jail on $25,000 bail. The LA County Police Chief told reporters that crimes like car theft have increased under zero bail. Duh. Progressives want to make zero bail permanent.
A poll commissioned by the campaign to recall progressive Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón found that 61.4% of registered voters support replacing him. James Varney of the Washington Times reports that Gascón did not respond to a request for comment. Gascón’s policies of releasing property offenders without bail, declining to fully charge serious offenders, and seeking to reduce the sentences of even violent criminals, has contributed to an epidemic of crime an violence in Los Angeles, sparking the effort to remove him from office. The poll, conducted between July 23-28, involved 650 LA County voters of which 53% were Democrat and 17% Republican, with the rest either declined to state or independent. The poll also found that 41.5% of respondents are willing to sign the recall petition, with translates into 2,331,653. The campaign needs to gather signatures from 579,062 registered LA Country voters by October 27 to put the question on the ballot.