Category: Politics

Alarm About Violent Crime Is Now America’s Lead Issue

For years, the Left’s complacency about crime has tried to disguise itself by claiming that it’s really the norm of mature thinking, and that the problem is the “fear” and “hysteria” of those of us who think complacency is a foolhardy and dishonest response.

As has become undeniably evident in recent months, however, even well disguised complacency isn’t going to work anymore.  The country is  headed into its second year of an unprecedented surge in murder (and yes, the correct word is “murder,” not “gun violence”).  The question is whether this will come to a head in the mid-term  elections now less than 16 months away.

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The New York Mayoral Primary

Earlier this week, after much grinding through the complex ranked-choice voting system, AP called the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York for Eric Adams. Today the WSJ has this editorial. “Perhaps the city that these days never sleeps safely has a chance to reverse its eight-year downward spiral under mayor Bill de Blasio.”

Perhaps, but that is a very tall order. Continue reading . . .

Biden Tanks as Violent Crime Rises

The Washington Post, ever tooting the horn for President Biden and his pet project of more gun control, nonetheless apparently sees itself as forced to cover some of the uncomfortable truths about surging violent crime, what the public wants to do about it, and what the President says he wants to do about it.  (What he’s actually done, so far as on-the-ground results show, is nothing).

The Post’s headline is, “Concern over crime is growing — but Americans don’t just want more police, Post-ABC poll shows.”

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Using Prosecutorial Discretion to Negate Law

In a City Journal article former District Attorney Thomas Hogan notes that progressive DAs are abusing their discretion to set countywide policies to prevent the enforcement of laws enacted to discourage and punish crime.

Baltimore is not prosecuting shoplifting or drug-possession crimes. Despite recent violent protests and occupations, St. Louis is not pursuing cases for looting and rioting, while Portland isn’t pursuing charges for trespassing. Philadelphia won’t allow prostitution charges. San Francisco is not prosecuting indecent exposure offenses. Chicago declines arrests for thefts of less than $1,000.

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California’s Crime Rates Reflect Dangerous State Policies

Katy Grimes of the California Globe has this story discussing what is making California’s cities more dangerous with recent data on crime rates.  Grimes mentions a few of the propositions that have impacted crime over the last decade. 

Proposition 47 largely decriminalized theft and drug crimes by reducing those crimes and a number of other “non-violent” felonies to misdemeanors; Prop. 57 allows early release for “non-violent offenders,” including rape by intoxication of an unconscious person, human trafficking involving a sex act with minors, arson causing great bodily harm, drive-by shooting, assault with a deadly weapon, and hostage taking. 

However, there is one bill that was not highlighted.  AB 109 signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2011 which allowed for the release approximately 30,000 felons from state prison with most going on probation rather than parole. This bill removed the option of prison sentences for crimes such as auto theft, drug felonies and domestic violence and replaced it with county jail time or rehabilitation services. 

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Homicide Rates Climb, Citizens Told it is the New Normal

The Washington Post has this story addressing the steep increase in homicides across the country in the last year. 

“It’s going to get worse,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D) said.

As the homicide rate climbed through a year of pandemic-imposed shutdowns and civil unrest, officials held firm to their belief that the rise was driven by that exceptional set of circumstances. As life returned to normal, the theory went, the killings would slow.

But even as coronavirus restrictions have been lifted and protests have quieted in recent months, the violence has not subsided. Indeed, it has continued to grow. And now, local leaders are grappling with a possibility they had long feared: that a decades-long era of declining murder rates in America’s cities may be over, and that the increased killings may be here to stay.

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Some Sound Advice on Crack Sentencing

Assuming that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse can break away from his all-white country club, the Senate Judiciary Committee should have full attendance today for its hearing about crack cocaine sentencing.  As the Washington Post informs us, today’s hearing will center on the Biden Administration’s proposal to lower the cost of doing business for crack dealers by reducing their sentences and, as an extra bonus, making the reductions retroactive.  This will assure earlier release for this particular cohort of drug traffickers, a large percentage of whom will recidivate within five years, according to Sentencing Commission figures. (The number is actually higher than Commission reports, first because yet more dealers recidivate after the five year window, and second because drug trafficking is a notoriously under-reported crime in any event).

Crack sentencing has been a hot topic for years, going back at least to the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, co-sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin and a man I’m proud to call a friend, then-Senator and later Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Back then, that self-same Washington Post had some sound observations on crack sentencing, observations Congress would do well to heed today.

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The Marathon Bomber Briefs

We put the finishing touches on CJLF’s friend-of-the-court brief in the Marathon Bomber case yesterday. Links will be available to the PDF version here and on our main website Monday after it is filed.

As Bill noted Tuesday, the Government followed through with a brief on the merits seeking reinstatement of the death sentence despite the present Administration’s anti-death-penalty stance. It does appear that the political types stepped back and let the pros do their job. They produced a brief up to the high standards of the Solicitor General’s Office–thoroughly researched and well-written. Continue reading . . .

The Stench of Politics at DOJ

Remember all the stuff we were hearing during the Presidential campaign about how we needed to make a change in order to get politics out of the Justice Department?  It was all a joke  —  on us.  Ed Whelan has the story today of what would surely be a scandal if Bill Barr tried it, and is a scandal today, squarely on the plate of Merrick Garland  —  a man I’m sure knows better.

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