Crime

Why conservatives should be wary of criminal sentencing reform

Featured image The war on standards in America proceeds on multiple fronts. Employers are under pressure to lower employment standards; public schools to lower student discipline standards; colleges to lower admissions standards; banks to lower lending standards, and so forth. America’s most basic standards are those embodied in its criminal laws. These standards are enforced through the penalites (usually in the form of prison sentences) associated with non-compliance. Conservatives generally have tried »

The Catcall Video, and Rape Culture

Featured image I may have been the last person on Earth to watch the “catcall” video that has now been viewed more than 25 million times on YouTube, and seen by many more on news shows, etc. Just in case you haven’t seen it either, here it is. It is two minutes long. Basically, a pretty young woman walked around Manhattan for ten hours while being filmed, and a number of guys »

About Ferguson, the Post Says: Oops, Never Mind

Featured image Yesterday the Washington Post reported on leaks from the grand jury investigating the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as recently-released autopsy results. The bottom line is that the evidence, including both eyewitness testimony and physical evidence, supports the conclusion that officer Darren Wilson acted in self-defense: Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown fought for control of the officer’s gun, and Wilson fatally shot »

Jihadist Serial Killer? Ho Hum!

Featured image If a jihadist were going around the United States committing random murders, you might think it would be a significant news story. But apparently not: until this morning, I had never heard of Ali Muhammad Brown, a “devout Muslim” who murdered at least four random American men as an act of Islamic jihad. The story has actually been around for a while; this article from a local paper in New »

Ordinary politics as corruption: the left’s new totalitarian hobby horse

Featured image Whatever one thinks about the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell on fraud and extortion charges, there is little doubt that the legal theories that produced the conviction blur the distinction between criminal corruption and ordinary politics. Indeed, it is my view that the left sees no such distinction. To the extent that ordinary politics stands in the way of its agenda, the left perceives ordinary politics as, at »

Bob McDonnell and the criminalization of politics

Featured image For former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, found guilty last week of fraud and extortion, I have only the small amount of sympathy reserved for those who fall from grace deservedly, but not due to true malice or viciousness. However, I agree with William & Mary law professor Jeffrey Bellin that charges like those brought against McDonnell present the real danger of criminalizing ordinary politics. The essence of the legal case »

Michael Brown: Too Burly for the New York Times

Featured image Michael Brown was a very large young man, 6’4″ and 292 (sometimes reported as 300) pounds. He used his size aggressively to rob a convenience store and shove aside a store clerk just ten minutes before his fatal encounter with a police officer. Brown’s height and weight are obviously relevant to the police officer’s claim of self-defense, which we assume will eventually be forthcoming. Yet these basic physical facts are »

CNN Hypes Audio Recording of Gunshots

Featured image CNN has obtained and published an audio recording of a Ferguson, Missouri man engaged in what sounds like a sex chat with a woman. In the midst of it, you can hear gun shots in the background. These are presumed to be, although CNN says repeatedly that it has not verified the recording, the sounds of Officer Darren Wilson shooting Michael Brown. Erik Wemple relates the story behind the recording. »

Only Dumb Cops Need Apply?

Featured image Kurt Vonnegut’s classic short story “Harrison Bergeron” is clearly fiction, right?  Right?* Check out this story from ABCNews today: Court Okays Barring High IQs for Cops A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower »

The Ferguson Mystery

Featured image There are plenty of unanswered questions about the death of Michael Brown, but there is only one real mystery: why won’t the authorities tell us Officer Darren Wilson’s side of the story? Charles Ogletree is a goofball left-wing professor at Harvard Law School and, no surprise, a mentor to Barack Obama. But Ogletree inadvertently stumbled over the truth in a television interview: NBC talked to Harvard Law School Professor Charles »

Darren Wilson’s side of the story (probably)

Featured image A woman identifying herself as a friend of Darren Wilson has provided what she says is the account of the officer who killed Michael Brown. The woman, who called herself Josie, gave the account to a radio talk show she called. According to Josie, Wilson says he initially flagged down Brown for walking in the middle of the street. Nothing much came of that confrontation. But then Wilson received a »

The Significance of the Michael Brown Autopsy

Featured image The results of the first of three planned autopsies on the body of Michael Brown were released today by Dr. Michael Baden. Dr. Baden found that Brown was shot six times, with all six bullets coming from the front. This appears to rule out the claim that Brown was shot while running away from police officer Darren Wilson. The New York Times tries to make the best of it, repeating »

Between law enforcement and looters, Obama is, as usual, neutral

Featured image President Obama said today that he will not visit Ferguson, Missouri so as not to “put[] my thumb on the scale” in the investigation into the killing of Michael Brown. We should be grateful that he’s staying put. Yet, short of following the investigators around, it’s not clear why Obama being in Missouri would put his thumb on the scale of the investigation. It’s his comments, not his physical presence, »

Liberal policing and the thugs’ veto

Featured image On Thursday, President Obama interrupted his vacation to address reporters regarding the situation in Northern Iraq and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. As to the latter, Obama said, in essence, that the liberals had taken charge. Governor Jay Nixon (“a good man,” Obama assured us) was now fully engaged, and Eric Holder was also on the case. In addition, the Missouri Highway Patrol had supplanted the yokels in the local »

When Shot, Michael Brown Had Just Committed a Robbery

Featured image A major development today in the Michael Brown case: the Ferguson Police Department has released files, including surveillance video stills, indicating that Michael Brown and his companion, Dorian Johnson, had robbed a convenience store just ten minutes before Brown’s altercation with officer Darren Wilson. Brown and his friend stole a box of cigars worth around $50, and Brown assaulted a store clerk. Officer Wilson presumably was following up on the »

Former labor secretary illegally solicited funds for Obama campaign

Featured image Hilda Solis, the former Secretary of Labor, hit up a Department of Labor employee for a contribution to the Obama reelection campaign. Solis’ fundraising activity, which violates the Hatch Act, has been captured in a voice mail message released today by Rep. Darrell Issa. Here is the text of Solis’ message: Hi—this is Hilda Solis calling, um, just calling you off-the-record here—Wanted to ask you if you could, um, help »

Making Hay While the Sun Shines: The Left Politicizes Elliot Rodger

Featured image You have to hand it to the liberals: they never miss an opportunity to convert tragedy into political gain. In the wake of Elliot Rodger’s six murders–three with a knife and three with a gun, plus injuries inflicted with an automobile–they are calling, once again, for gun confiscation. I guess they are, anyway. As usual, they denounce conservatives and say things like “end the madness,” but confiscation seems to be »