Monthly Archive: March 2021

The Double Standard on Race at The New York Times

This is probably not news for anyone who regularly looks at reporting standards at the New York Times, but Manhattan Institute Scholar Heather MacDonald puts the paper’s double standard regarding its coverage of crime and crime related stories in stark relief.  Her piece in the City Journal notes the way the Times reported last month’s police crackdown of the riot-like rampage of mostly black spring breakers at Miami Beach was to characterize the shootings, street brawls and property damage as “by and large, nonviolent.”  The Times went on to report that the only reason the police were confiscating guns and arresting the revelers is because most of them were black.  It was racial bias.  Responding to this claim, Miami’s Mayor, a Democrat, told the Times “we do not target race, we targeted conduct.”

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Gang Enhancements Not Used in MS-13 Violence

Another transgender woman was attacked last week in MacArthur Park, making it the fourth attack by a member of MS-13. According to an article written by James Queally of the Los Angele Times, Gabriel Orellana has been arrested and charged, while his accomplice has not been identified. According to Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos Orellana and the other suspect, “…Yelled derogatory remarks before knocking the victim to the ground and striking her repeatedly in the head and torso.” Queally explained in the article this is another hate crime in a series of attacks against transgender women in the area by MS-13 gang members. 

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Murderer on Parole Arrested for Attacking Asian Woman

An Asian American woman 65 years old, was beaten in NYC on her way to church on Monday morning (3/29). The suspect, Brandon Elliot, a 38 year-old African American man, was arrested just after midnight.  In an article this morning by Stephanie Pagones of Fox News, “Police sources told Fox News on Wednesday that Elliot has two prior arrests. In 2000, he allegedly robbed his mother in the Bronx, where he stole jewelry and allegedly choked her, according to the New York Post. Just two years later, in April of 2002, he was arrested for murdering her.” 

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Time Actually Served in Prison

“Everybody knows” that the reason that incarceration rates are so high in the United States is that we sentence people to far longer terms than their crimes warrant. As the old saying goes, it’s not what we don’t know that gets us in trouble; it’s what we know for a fact that just isn’t so.

On the left is a reasonable facsimile of Figure 1 from a new Bureau of Justice Statistics Report, Time Served in State Prison, 2018. It shows the median time actually served by state prisoners released in 2018, by their most serious offense. The ones serving long sentences are murderers and rapists, exactly the criminals whom persons of sense believe should be put away for a long time. Continue reading . . .

Repeat Offender: A Woman Found Dead After Burglary

This article by Greg Norman of Fox News provides a prime example of why it is important to use incarceration to keep our communities safe. A 70-year-old woman, Patrice Ward, was found unresponsive in her townhome in Pasadena, California. Her husband was able to fight off the suspect and was transported to the hospital for his injuries. According to Norman, “Investigators say Ward suffered severe blunt force trauma to her head and that her home was found ransacked with numerous items missing — including two handguns”. The suspect to the murder and assault is Gilbert Viera, 35 years old. Viera is also the suspect in an additional home invasion in the same area. 

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Who’s Assaulting Asians?

For at least the last few months a major focus of the national media has been on the increase in assaults on Asians.  The narrative, featured here by CNN, is that white supremacists egged on by President Trump’s characterization of Covid-19 as the China virus, are engaging in random violent attacks against Asians.  Setting aside the fact no credible scientist denies that the virus originated from Wuhan, China, there is little evidence that people randomly attacked Asians after the Hong Kong Flu killed roughly 4 million in 1968, or that Spaniards were set upon after the Spanish Flu killed over 20 million in 1918, what proof does the media offer for its latest narrative regarding attacks on Asians?  Damn little.  In fact most of the available evidence points in a different direction.

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NYPD cop-killer is now helping reform the police in New York

The title of this post is the headline of a mind-boggling story from New York.  The gist is in the first two paragraphs:

He fatally shot an NYPD cop execution-style decades ago in a Queens bar — and now Richard Rivera is helping reform police in upstate New York as part of a state-mandated plan launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The cop-killer — who murdered off-duty officer and father-of-four Robert Walsh in 1981 — sits on a panel for Ithaca and Tompkins County as part of its “Reimagining Public Safety Collaborative.’’

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Supreme Court Summarily Reverses USCA6 in Capital Habeas Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning once again reversed a federal court of appeals, this time the Sixth Circuit, for exceeding the limits placed on its authority in Congress’s landmark 1996 reform of federal habeas corpus. Mays v. Hines, 20-507, involves a Tennessee murder case where the defendant was convicted on overwhelming evidence of stabbing to death an employee in a motel and stealing the motel cash, along with the employee’s car.

In state collateral review, the witness who discovered the body finally admitted that he had lied about the reason he was at the motel. He was there for an illicit rendezvous. But this had very little to do with the strength of the evidence that Hines was the murderer, and so the state courts left the judgment intact. Continue reading . . .

Biden’s Imprudent Pledge to Nominate a Black Woman to SCOTUS

President Biden has pledged to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court if he gets an opening.  Using race and sex to select SCOTUS Justices strikes me as somewhere between imprudent and perverse.  What happened to the idea that the selection should be based on experience, knowledge of the law, temperament, discipline, and fidelity to the text of the Constitution?  What do your skin color and your body parts have to do with it?

The answer should be, nothing.  But because Biden is now immersed in identity politics, which is bad enough, he how wants to plunge us into identity law, which is even worse.  This is not to mention that his criteria would limit the nominee pool to six percent of the population, pre-emptively dismissing ninety-four percent.  Does that seem smart?

Fifth Circuit Judge James C. Ho has some thoughts.

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