“Building Trust” in the Police through Non-Enforcement Is Also Baloney

In my last entry, I noted that the routine, caustic phrase pasted on the United States by “criminal justice reformers”  —  “incarceration nation”  —  is hogwash.  Ninety-nine and a-half percent of the population is not incarcerated, and the fraction of one percent who are generally did quite a bit to earn it.

I now want to address another whooper told by the reformers:  That the police can “build trust” in the community by taking a more relaxed attitude toward crime, and generally by “de-escalating” enforcement.  This argument is all the rage in faculty lounges in Palo Alto, New Haven, Cambridge, etc.  But, as the Baltimore Sun tells us, it’s anything but the rage with the actual communities that have been the unwilling experimental rats of dumbed-down policing.

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Murderer to be Tried as a Juvenile Years After Conviction Under Proposition 57

MyNewsLA has this story on Kevin Orellana, an 18-year-old who was murdered by two brothers in 2013 while playing handball at Reseda’s Cleveland High School. Orellana was approached by Anthony and Michael Carpio, both identified as gang members. Michael was hitting and fighting Orellana when Anthony began stabbing him as a gang challenge. Anthony, who was 16-years-old at the time stabbed Orellana 10 times in his head and neck, from behind, leading to his death.

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The “Incarceration Nation” Narrative Is Pure Baloney

One of the most unfortunate features of the national discussion about criminal justice is that the vocabulary in which it’s conducted has been hijacked and tortured beyond recognition by the “reform” forces.  How many of their articles start out by blasting the United States as “incarceration nation” and then go on to heap yet more scorn on America, the “carcereal state”?  You can’t look through “reform” literature for five minutes without getting beaten over the head with this stuff.

Only one problem.  It’s bunk.

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Supreme Court Takes Up Surveillance Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today took up a case on the relationship between the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the common law “state secrets” privilege. The Ninth Circuit had held that the procedures in FISA regarding deciding the legality of surveillance displace the traditional privilege. The case is FBI v. Fazaga, No. 20-828. The government’s petition for certiorari is here. Continue reading . . .

Governor Newsom Releases More Violent Criminals

Katy Grimes from The California Globe has this story covering Newsom’s announcement on May 28th, “[He} granted 14 pardons, 13 commutations and 8 medical reprieves – for murderers, bank robbers, armed robbers, kidnappers, killers for hire, drivers of get-away-cars for murderers, and assaulters with firearms.” Yet again we are looking at the release of criminals who have been convicted of heinous, violent crimes that would lead any reasonable person to believe pose a threat to the safety and security of the community in which they are released into. 

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Arrested for Supporting a Vigil

HONG KONG—Police arrested two people they accused of using social media to promote a banned candlelight vigil commemorating the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, an annual event that is now seen as testing the limits of China’s crackdown on dissent.

Elaine Yu has this story in the WSJ. Continue reading . . .

CA Double Murderer Gets Early Release

Fox LA has this story on Howard Elwin Jones, a gang member who murdered two teenagers at a party during Christmas in 1988. One of the boys, Chris Baker, was only 17 years old, and was shot by Jones on the assumption that the red Santa hat he was wearing indicated his membership in a rival gang. Jones was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison. SB 260 was signed into law in 2013 by Gov. Jerry Brown, made Jones eligible for parole.  He had been denied twice until Jones had his third parole hearing in February by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s parole board and was found eligible for release.  The parole hearing excluded prosecutors per District Attorney George Gascon’s directive that their involvement in cases ends at sentencing. This murderer’s early release also included  Gov. Gavin Newsom’s review and approval. Jones is set to walk out from San Quentin on Monday. 

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Pew Research Has Big News on the Death Penalty

Here are the opening paragraphs of this story, reported by the NYT:

For the first time in almost half a century, support for the death penalty has dipped below 50 percent in the United States.

Just 49 percent of Americans say they support capital punishment, according to a Pew Research Center poll … That represents a seven-point decline in about a year and a half. Support peaked at 80 percent in 1994.

The death penalty has had majority support among Americans for 45 years. The last time support was as low as it now stands was in 1971.

Not good news for the folks on my side of the issue.  But wait, there’s a catch.

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More Coverage on the CA Death Penalty Case

LA Times reporter Maura Dolan has this comprehensive piece on the California Supreme Court’s oral argument in People v. McDaniel.  The question before the court is whether or not the law requires that a jury decide beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant should get the death penalty or life without parole, and the jury must also be unanimous in deciding the reasons for a capital verdict?  This requirement has never been part of the law or any accepted precedent.  If the court agreed, a ruling would probably throw out hundreds, if not all, previous death sentences in California.  An important takeaway from yesterday’s argument was the questioning of the murderer’s lawyer by Justice Goodwin Liu, a key liberal member of the Court, who asked if it is possible  “that this issue has simply been missed this entire time? For 150 years, we have missed this issue?”