Crime

Baltimore’s shrinking police department

Featured image The Baltimore Sun reports that in the year since the death of Freddy Gray, 271 sworn members have left Baltimore’s police department. Only 86 have been hired. The department currently has 284 vacant positions in a force of around 2,300. It’s not difficult to understand the mass resignations (about 3 every 4 days). Gray’s death was followed by riots in which police officers were told to stand down in the »

Fatal flaws remain in revised leniency legislation for drug offenders

Featured image Team Leniency for Drug Felons, the bipartisan group of Senators that wants, among other things, to let thousands of federal drug felons out of jail, held a press conference today to announce its revised leniency legislation. The changes to the Senate bill that stalled late last year do little to improve it. As Senator David Perdue, one of the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who stood tall against »

In new push for releasing drug felons, consider the sources

Featured image Team Leniency for Drug Felons, the bipartisan group of Senators that wants, among other things, to let thousands of federal drug felons out of jail, is making another run at its vision of “sentencing reform.” Senators Grassley, Durbin, Cornyn, Leahy, Lee, Whitehouse, Graham, Booker, Scott, and Schumer will hold a press conference tomorrow to announce new provisions to the legislation proposed last October. They will also showcase new cosponsors. Mark »

Euphemism of the Decade

Featured image Roger Clegg at The Corner spotted this one: I’m not sure, but I suspect that once upon a time “juvenile delinquent” was a liberal euphemism for “young criminal.” As often happens, however, eventually even the euphemism is thought to be too harsh, and so a better one has to be found. And so one has: This Obama-administration press release yesterday talked a lot about “justice-involved youth.” And so it does: »

Gov. McAuliffe wants murderers to feel good about themselves again

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s order removing the disqualification from voting for felons who have completed their time, both in custody and on parole or probation. His order will allow more than 200,000 ex-cons in Virginia to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election. In his order, McAuliffe explained the decision in standard liberalese: the ban on felon voting “disproportionately affects racial minorities and the economically disadvantaged;” »

Virginia governor permits 200,000 felons to vote in upcoming election [UPDATED]

Featured image Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has issued an order removing the disqualification from voting for felons who have completed their time, both in custody and on parole or probation. This order will allow more than 200,000 ex-cons in Virginia to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Everyone understands that the Democratic candidate, presumably Hillary Clinton (for whom McAuliffe has carried much water), will gobble up the overwhelming majority of »

With Obama, truth is stranger than fiction

Featured image Over the weekend, President Obama met at the White House with some rappers to get their ideas on the pressing criminal justice issues of the day. During the meeting, one of the deep thinkers had his ankle bracelet go off. It turns out that rapper Ricky Ross is on $2,000,000 bond for kidnapping and pistol whipping his house contractor. According to the New York Daily News: The ankle bracelet is »

The Obama Crime Wave Comes to Minnesota [Updated]

Featured image The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that so far in 2016, shootings in Minneapolis are up by an astounding 85% over 2015. Other violent crime is up as well: As of April 11, 74 people had been shot in the city, an 85 percent increase over the 40 shot during the same period last year. Eleven neighborhoods spanning the city saw violent crimes such as rape, robbery or arson showing increases »

The Ferguson effect in Chicago, a response to Prof. Rappaport

Featured image Mike Rappaport, a distinguished law professor at the University of San Diego and a leading exponent of originalism, takes issue with a post I wrote called “‘The Ferguson Effect’ Documented in Chicago.” Professor Rappaport says nice things about Power Line, which I appreciate, but calls my piece “really problematic” for two main reasons. First, he finds it outrageous to compare the situation in Chicago to that in Ferguson because in »

More evidence of our under-incarceration problem

Featured image I’ve argued that America has an under-incarceration problem. Criminals whose records clearly show they should be in jail have, instead, been released and are on the streets committing violent crimes, including some very bloody, high-profile ones. Here’s another example. Samuel Harviley, paroled from prison less than three months ago, is being held without bond for shooting an off-duty Chicago police officer outside his home earlier this week. In withholding bond, »

“Ferguson effect” documented in Chicago

Featured image Rob Arthur and Jeff Asher at FiveThrityEight show that arrests have declined and gun violence has spiked since the release of the video showing Laquan McDonald being shot and killed by the police. This is evidence of the “Ferguson effect.” Arthur and Asher explain: After some cities saw a rise in crime last year, police chiefs and even the head of the FBI suggested that the United States was experiencing »

Concern about crime soars; non-whites most concerned

Featured image A new Gallup poll finds that 53 percent of Americans worry “a great deal” about crime and violence. This figure represents a 15-year high. Two years ago, only 39 percent worried a great deal about these problems. Last year, 43 percent did. No wonder bipartisan legislation that would free thousands of federal criminals and reduce sentences for various drug crimes going forward has stalled. Speaking of illegal drugs, the Gallup »

Is corruption thicker than socialism?

Featured image Aspects of the campaign financing practices of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio are under federal corruption investigation, the New York Times reports. The investigation centers around two businessmen with ties to de Blasio — Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg. Federal agents reportedly have interviewed roughly 20 senior New York Police Department officials as part of an examination of the ways Rechnitz and Reichberg wielded influence in New York »

Sen. Cotton responds to latest HUD overreach

Featured image We’ve discussed how the Obama administration, through disparate impact theory, seeks to coerce employers into the assuming the risk of hiring criminals. It does so by arguing that African-Americans are overrepresented among ex-cons, and thus that excluding applicants based on criminal records has a disparate impact on this group. So far, to my knowledge, this approach has yielded little if any success in court. However, it may well be that »

Sen. Shelby: Obama has commuted sentences for 33 firearms convicts

Featured image Barbara Hollingsworth of CNS News reports that Senator Richard Shelby has sent a letter to Loretta Lynch criticizing the Obama administration for commuting the sentences of 33 criminals convicted of firearm-related offenses. “By my count, the President has commuted the sentences of over 200 of these ‘non-violent’ federal inmates, of which 33 were convicted of firearm-related offenses,” Shelby wrote. He also pointed to the hypocrisy of commuting the sentences of »

Obama commutes more sentences for drug dealers, including some with firearms offenses

Featured image Yesterday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 61 drug offenders. Here is a list of the 61. I have three observations. First, Obama did not commute the sentence of Weldon Angelos, the poster child (and rightly so) of the sentencing leniency movement. Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling marijuana. The sentencing judge, conservative Paul Cassell, followed the sentencing guidelines. He has called the sentence the must »

Ferguson comes to Minneapolis, cont’d

Featured image John wrote about the the case of Jamar Clark in the aptly headed post “Ferguson comes to Minneapolis.” Clark was supposedly the victim of a police shooting on the evening just past midnight in the early hours of a Sunday morning this past November. Minneapolis police had been called to the scene of an assault that occurred less than two blocks from the nearest precinct station. Clark had beaten his »