Monthly Archive: August 2020

Biden Is on the Wrong Side of the Death Penalty Debate

Joe Biden’s stance on capital punishment is short and to the point:  “Abolish the death penalty at the federal level, and incentivize states to follow the federal government’s example.”  See his Policy Statement, summarized here.

And it’s true that support for the death penalty has been falling since about the mid-Nineties, at least until a couple of years ago.  But Mr. Biden is still missing the point, politically as well as morally.

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A Second Look at Looting

Cancel culture is all the rage just now, particularly on, of all things, college campuses.  The idea seems to be that open debate and tolerance for opposing ideas is simply another “construct” of bourgeois culture, and thus is itself an instrument of oppression, no matter how much it pretends to be something else.

Here at Crime and Consequences, we’re not big fans of cancel culture.  Thus I want to introduce readers to an idea to which I have not given a great deal of subscription.

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Child Killer Executed

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that the execution of Keith Nelson was completed today, and he was pronounced dead at 4:32 pm EDT.

In October 1999, Nelson told an acquaintance that he wanted to kidnap, rape, torture, and kill a young girl he had seen in Kansas City, Kansas.  Shortly thereafter, Nelson parked his white pickup truck outside the home of 10-year-old Pamela Butler, who was rollerblading nearby. Continue reading . . .

Reporter Robbed At Gunpoint In Minneapolis

A reporter from the Daily Caller was robbed in Minneapolis last night as new protests were sparked by a murder suspect’s suicide.  Jordan Lancaster of the Daily Caller reports that Kyle Hooten, who contributes stories to the news group, was confronted at 9:30 PM by two men near a mall which was being looted.  Hooten was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a backpack.  One of the men said “white boys don’t need a bulletproof vest, you’re not the ones getting shot.”  When the reporter resisted one of the robbers displayed a gun, Hooten gave up his belongings and was allowed to leave.  He later received hundreds of death threats after posting about the robbery.

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In One Month, Bill Barr Does Fifty Years’ Worth of Justice

Jeff Sessions is a man of honor and did a superb job restoring a sober, effective and non-politicized Justice Department.  But Attorney General Bill Barr leaves nothing to be desired.  As this AP story notes:

With the execution [today] of Lezmond Mitchell for the grisly slayings of a 9-year-old and her grandmother, the federal government under the pro-death penalty president has now carried out more executions in 2020 than it had in the previous 56 years combined.

Lest there be any doubt about the justice of this execution, the details of the killing should lay that to rest.

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USCA-DC Denies Stay for Child Killer

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday denied a stay of execution for Keith Nelson. According to the DOJ Press Release of June 15, “Keith Dwayne Nelson kidnapped a 10-year-old girl rollerblading in front of her home, and in a forest behind a church, raped her and strangled her to death with a wire.”

Nelson now claims he will suffer too much pain in the very brief interval between the time he is injected with a massive overdose of pentobarbital and the time he becomes insensate to pain as a result. Continue reading . . .

CAL Supremes Overturn Scott Peterson’s Death Sentence

In a unanimous ruling announced today, the California Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence given to murderer Scott Peterson in 2005.  Barnini Chakraborty of Fox News reports that the high court did not dispute Peterson’s guilt for the murders of his wife Laci and unborn son, but the court held that errors in the selection of jurors, including dismissing jurors who were opposed to the death penalty invalidated his death sentence.

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Chipping away at cash bail in California

In re Humphrey (S247278) has been fully briefed and pending before the California Supreme Court for almost two years.  As a general rule, a published Court of Appeal opinion has “no binding or precedential effect” while review is pending (Calif. Rules of Court 8.1115(e)(1)).  The California Supreme Court, however, may so order otherwise (Calif. Rules of Court 8.1115(e)(3)).  As reported by Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle, last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra asked the court to utilize its authority to reclassify the Court of Appeal’s opinion as “binding and precedential” while the case is pending review.  Becerra claims that the issue of keeping people incarcerated due to “their inability to afford bail has become critically important because of ‘the unexpected change in circumstances caused by the unprecedented impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic.'”

Kenneth Humphrey, a repeat offender, was charged with robbery and burglary.  Bail was initially set at $600,000, then later reduced to $350,000.  Humphrey’s request for pretrial release on his own recognizance without financial conditions was denied by the trial court.  The Court of Appeal decision granted Humphrey a new bail hearing in which inquiry must be made on his ability to pay money bail.  If unable to pay money bail, non-monetary alternatives must be addressed. CJLF filed an amicus brief in the case that can be found here.

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