Monthly Archive: April 2021

Police Officer Injuries Increase and Officer Numbers Decrease

Many police officers are hanging up their hats and some major city police departments are faced with serious understaffing with no real end in sight. CNN has this story on the gross understaffing of the Capitol Police, “Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou said in a statement Saturday that the Capitol Police is staffed below its authorized level by 233 officers and could face larger staffing shortages as officers retire in the coming years.” The Chairman goes on to explain this understaffing in only exacerbated by the injuries sustained by officers during the January 6th riot. The NY Times published this article about the riot at the Capital that resulted, “In one of the worst days of injuries for law enforcement in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At least 138 officers —73 from Capitol Police and 65 from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — were injured.” These are horrifically high numbers, yet there is little discussion about how to proceed in such a manner that our officers who are there to serve and protect our communities are given the tools to succeed; whether that be training, more officers, and/or improved response. 

Continue reading . . .

USCA9 “Clearly Erred” on Habeas Corpus. Again.

In today’s only decision from the United States Supreme Court, the court reversed a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in which that court had taken an expansive view of its own jurisdiction. The Supreme Court summarily reversed, meaning that it did not see any need to take further briefing or hear oral argument, as it does when there is some doubt of the correct result. The unsigned opinion says the Ninth Circuit “clearly erred.” No dissent is indicated.

This is not the first time the Supreme Court has rebuked the Ninth in this manner on this subject. It is not the second, third, or fourth. I stopped counting years ago.

Why is the Ninth so consistently the “gang that can’t shoot straight” on this particular topic? Continue reading . . .

SCOTUS Orders Monday

The U.S. Supreme Court issued an orders list from last Friday’s conference today. No new criminal cases were taken up for full briefing and argument.

Two civil cases of interest were taken up. United States v. Zubaydah, No. 20-827 involves the state secrets privilege and a discovery demand by a terrorist detained in Guantanamo Bay. New York State Rifle v. Corlett, No. 20-843 is a Second Amendment case involving concealed carry licenses. Continue reading . . .

SCOTUS Stops Calling Teen Criminals “Children,” For Now

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Quite a lot is in a name, as “Juliet and her Romeo” tragically found out in the end. More on point, George Orwell demonstrated the pernicious exploitation of language for propaganda purposes in his famous dystopian novel 1984.

Some years back, advocates for lenient treatment of adolescents who commit horrible crimes of violence began exploiting an ambiguity in the word “children” as a propaganda tool. In 2012, the United States Supreme Court jumped on this Orwellian bandwagon. Yesterday it jumped off, at least for the time being. Continue reading . . .

Let’s End Police Traffic Stops!

This week’s stupid idea award goes out to New York State Attorney General Letitia James who is calling for an end of police involvement in traffic enforcement.  This, of course, is in response to nationally publicized video of Daunte Wright, a black teenager,  being accidently shot by a white Minneapolis Police Officer on April 11 as he tried to drive away from a traffic stop.  For the galactically ignorant, this incident proves the narrative that white police officers use traffic stops to kill innocent black people.  Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald has this piece in today’s Wall Street Journal discussing why this idea wins the award.  Instead of having police make traffic stops, “the thinking goes, unarmed civilian traffic agents and speeding cameras should enforce the rules of the road.”  She notes that Oakland and Berkeley, CA, Lansing, Mich, and DC are already on board.   A 2000 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that “neighborhoods with the highest rates of fatal accidents also have the highest rates of violent crime.”   In Oakland, “nearly 60% of fatalities and serious injuries occur on only 6% of the city’s streets, overwhelmingly in minority neighborhoods….Traffic deaths were up 22% in Oakland in 2020.  Most of the victims were black.”

Continue reading . . .

Coverage of Jones Decision

Not a lot of media coverage of the Jones v. Mississippi decision. A lot of other events were happening yesterday. Jessica Gresko has this story for Associated Press:

In a statement, Kymberlee Stapleton of the California-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation called the decision a “victory for the families of victims murdered by juveniles.”

Continue reading . . .

The Ruination of Minneapolis

What will reining in the police, refusal to pursue property crime and trespass charges, going easy on “mostly peaceful” hooliganism, and other aspects of criminal justice “reform” bring?  That’s a hugely important question, given the increasing number of (one party and hard Left) jurisdictions that are adopting it.  Los Angeles is one.  Portland, Seattle and Baltimore are others.  Minneapolis is certainly in the mix.

One young woman tells her story, “I’ve lived in Minneapolis my entire life. I’m leaving Friday. I no longer recognize my hometown.”  For an on-the-ground view of what “reform” means for ordinary people, I found the account revealing and very, very sad.

Continue reading . . .

The Chauvin Verdict and Its Unwanted Lessons (for Both Sides)

I wanted to wait a day or two to sift through the Chauvin verdict.  It was a case that saw a good deal of side-switching:  Many on the right who normally root for a conviction were ready to find reasons there shouldn’t be one here, while people on the left  —  ones who reflexively root for the defendant simply to give “the system” its comeuppance  —  were eager for this particular defendant to get hit with both barrels.

My own view is that choosing sides in that way confounds what the rule of law does and ought to do.  But it was also a window into a good deal of thinking that goes on below the surface.

Continue reading . . .

White House Fanning Racial Hate, Part ll

Sometimes ridicule does a better job of destruction than a frontal attack can hope to do.  I found that out today as Charles Cooke from the National Review mercilessly lampoons the White House’s idiotic response to a white police officer’s preventing the stabbing death of a black teenage girl by shooting her assailant (which was the only practical alternative he had).

Cooke’s piece is titled, “In Defense of Teenage Knife Fighting,” with the subtitle, “Since when do we need the cops to intervene in the recreational stabbings of our youth?”

Continue reading . . .

Major Victory in Juvenile Murder Case

Today the U.S. Supreme Court decided Jones v. Mississippi, No. 18-1259, a case of teenager who murdered his grandfather. The high court pruned back expansive language in its 2016 decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana. The decision confirms that the 2012 case of Miller v. Alabama requires only that the sentencer have discretion to choose between life without parole and a lesser sentence in the case of a juvenile murderer. There is no requirement imposed by the federal constitution that the judge find that the juvenile is “permanently incorrigible,” a finding that cannot be made with any degree of reliability. Continue reading . . .