Monthly Archive: September 2020

LA Police Shooting Suspect Identified

A 36-year old habitual criminal was charged today with the September 12, ambush shooting of two Los Angeles police officers.  CBS News reports that detectives identified Deonte Lee Murray as the man caught on video running up to a parked patrol car and firing multiple times at the two officers inside, seriously injuring them both.  Murray was arrested three days after the shooting, for the September 1 armed carjacking of the same Mercedes he used to flee the police shooting scene.  During the carjacking Murray shot the car owner in leg with a rifle.  Murray, who police say is affiliated with a street gang, has priors for drug trafficking, burglary, illegal firearm possession and terrorist threats.  I wonder how many times he has been arrested and released under California’s compassionate sentencing reform laws.

Debate: Much Heat and Only a Little Light

Last night’s presidential debate was a disappointment, to put it mildly. It could have done much more to illuminate the differences between the candidates on policy. Instead we got much boorish behavior, much evasion of questions and issues, and much less illumination than we should have gotten.

For what it’s worth, here are a few notes. A transcript is available at the Daily Mail. Video is available at C-SPAN. Continue reading . . .

Buying A District Attorney

For the last three election cycles, ultra liberal hedge fund billionaire George Soros has been bankrolling the campaigns of district attorneys across America.  In 2016 he financed progressive, pro-criminal Kim Foxx’s election to Cook County State’s Attorney, the top prosecutor in Chicago.  Two years later his Illinois for Safety and Justice group underwrote  Larry  Krasner’s takeover of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.  Crime in both cities has skyrocketed.  As reported by Katie Grimes in the California Globe, this summer Soros dropped $2.5 million into the Los Angeles District Attorney’s race to put an anti-law enforcement progressive in  Office.  The candidate, former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, presided over that city’s transformation into an open air sewer, with thousands of drug-addicted homeless sleeping and going to the bathroom on the streets.

Continue reading . . .

Judge Barrett, Recusal, and Capital Cases

The nomination of Seventh Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has focused new attention on a 1998 law review article she co-authored with John Garvey, Catholic Judges in Capital Cases. This article is unlikely to be a roadblock to her confirmation, but it does raise a question that needs to be answered.

Right out of the gate, we should note what Professor Garvey, the senior author of the article, wrote in the WaPo last week. “It would hardly be reasonable to hold Barrett responsible for everything we said back then, when she was still a law student and the junior partner in the endeavor.” Quite right. Even as an indication of her views at the time, the junior partner does not typically decide the positions that will be taken. Further, one’s views on issues may change with time and experience. That was 22 years ago, and a lot of water has passed under her bridge since then. Continue reading . . .

Poll: Public Strongly Supports Police

A poll of 10,000 people conducted in July by The Democracy Fund and UCLA found that fairly large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans oppose defunding police departments.  Lynn Vavreck and

Continue reading . . .

Crimes Known to Police Continued Decline in 2019

The FBI has released its annual final report on crime for last year, Crime in the United States, 2019. Nationwide, the rates per 100,000 population decreased 1% for violent crime and 4.5% for property crime. This data set does not include crimes not reported to or otherwise known to the police. As we have discussed on this blog previously, the change of many crimes from felonies to misdemeanors is likely to decrease reporting as the police are less likely to take any worthwhile action.

As noted last year and in multiple previous years, California has not fully shared in the national crime decline in property crime since it started its decarceration project. Continue reading . . .

Double Murderer Executed

The federal government executed double-murderer Christopher Andre Vialva last Thursday.  Jolie McCullough of the Texas Tribune reports that Vialva was convicted of the 1999 carjacking, robbery and murder of an Iowa couple on their way home from church.   Because  the murders occurred on federal land (Fort Hood) Vialva was prosecuted under federal law.   During the carjacking, Vialva forced the young couple into the trunk of their car, then tried to withdraw money from their bank accounts and pawn the woman’s wedding  ring.  Eventually, Vialva shot both victims while they lay in the trunk, killing the husband, but the wife was still alive when he and his accomplices set the car on fire.   In his appeal for clemency Vialva did not deny his guilt, but said that he was a redeemed man.  His execution was uneventful.

Mobs, Myths, and Courage

Mob action is often premised on falsehoods. The most notorious in recent years was the “Hands Up” lie in the Ferguson, Missouri matter. See this post. Now we have the facts in the death of Breonna Taylor, and once again the mob has been calling for the prosecution of the wrong people. Today’s Profile in Courage award goes to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Continue reading . . .

Judge Lagoa and the Recusal Smear

The confirmation process for Supreme Court Justices has gone far downhill over the years, beginning with the dirty attack on Judge Robert Bork in 1987. Anyone nominated to the high court can expect to be smeared. Now we seem to have gone a step further, where simply being on the “short list” brings out the smear-mongers.

Eleventh Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa is on the short list. As far as I can determine from reading her opinions over the last two days, she appears to be a solid, mainstream jurist. She is under attack for not recusing herself from a case involving Florida’s felon re-enfranchising law. There is nothing to this attack. Continue reading . . .