Crime

No jailbreak legislation this year

Featured image The bipartisan jailbreak legislation — known as the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act — is dead in this session of Congress. Sens. Dick Durbin and John Cornyn, key backers of the Act, have basically conceded defeat. Cornyn said he had hoped the House would move more quickly and provide momentum for the legislation in the Senate. But, he added, “apparently we ran out of time.” In reality, the demise of »

Supreme Court overturns Robert McDonnell’s conviction

Featured image In its final decision of the term, the Supreme Court today unanimously overturned the public corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell. The court stated that it has no opinion as to whether McDonnell should be retried under the stricter standard (described below) it imposed for these kinds of cases. I have mixed feelings about the outcome, but I agree with the decision. You don’t have to be the »

Our under-incarceration problem, Orlando edition

Featured image Time and time again, in the aftermath of a horrific crime, we learn that the criminal previously had been incarcerated for crimes serious enough that he should have been in prison at the time of the latest offense. I call this our under-incarceration problem. In the case of Omar Mateen, killer of four dozen at an Orlando club, I haven’t seen anything that shows he should have been in jail. »

White House acknowledges that the Clinton probe is “criminal”

Featured image White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed today during a press briefing that the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server is a “criminal Investigation.” Clinton has steadfastly denied this. The acknowledgement occurred during a colloquy about whether President Obama’s endorsement of Clinton while the FBI is investigating her raises a potential conflict, a matter I discussed here. The exchange went as follows: REPORTER: Previously the »

Obama’s endorsement of Clinton and the DOJ’s investigation of her email practices

Featured image President Obama has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton. No surprise there. The endorsement means that Clinton is now being investigated by a Justice Department whose head (Attorney General Loretta Lynch) serves at the pleasure of a president who backs Clinton’s presidential bid, and who was hand-picked by that president with the understanding that she’s a loyalist. This reality would, and I think should, raise questions as to the impartiality of a »

Dark clouds gather over Hillary Clinton

Featured image Dan Metcalfe teaches secrecy law at American University’s Washington College of Law. He served as Director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy for more than 25 years, during which time he handled information-disclosure policy issues on dozens of Clinton Administration scandals. He’s a registered Democrat who says he will vote for Hillary Clinton in November “if she escapes indictment and manages to become the Democratic presidential nominee.” »

Why the “scar tissue” excuse for Hillary’s document destruction fails

Featured image Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post offers a familiar excuse for Hillary Clinton’s insistence on using a private email server. According to Marcus, “the scar tissue built up over years of politically motivated attacks and endless investigations reinforced Clinton’s instinct for the protective crouch.” Marcus’ explanation sounds plausible, but it happens to be false (except for the part about “instinct for the protective crouch”). We know the explanation is false »

Chart of the Week: Productivity and Police Action

Featured image Actually, here are two useful charts. With the first quarter’s economic growth being revised upward from the previous 0.5 percent annual rate to 0.8 percent annual rate, the Obama era continues its record as the weakest economic expansion in history. One reason is shown in this chart from the Financial Times, showing U.S. productivity growth turning negative in the first quarter: You can see that productivity growth has been slow »

Washington Post exonerates Hillary by subordinate clause

Featured image Yesterday, the Washington Post’s editors weighed in on the new report from the State Department’s Inspector General regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Their editorial is a classic example of a familiar genre — expressing disapproval of misconduct by politicians one likes, while dismissing without analysis the possibility that the behavior is criminal. The Post has even come up with the perfect phrase with which to pull »

Crime as an issue in 2016

Featured image Bill Otis wonders whether crime will be a significant issue in the 2016 presidential election. It could. Although the crime rate remains low compared to what it was in the days when crime policy was a major issue (and a winning one for Republicans), crime has spiked in many cities and drug addiction has soared. Moreover, the two presidential candidates set the issue up nicely. Donald Trump is a tough »

Nationwide crime wave confirms the Ferguson effect

Featured image Heather Mac Donald, writing in the Wall Street Journal, describes the crime wave that is sweeping the nation, and attributes much of it to the Ferguson effect. She notes that even some who initially denied the Ferguson effect now admit that the phenomenon is real. Mac Donald points to Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, who was an early and influential critic of the Ferguson »

Sen. Tom Cotton on Crime and Justice in America

Featured image Senator Tom Cotton delivered an important address today at the Hudson Institute on crime and justice in America. Cotton said he believes that the criminal-leniency bill in the Senate — which would, among other things, lead to the release of many thousands of federal drug felons from prison — is dead in this year’s Congress. What the Senator didn’t say is that he deserves much of the credit for rallying »

Financial analyst alleges Clinton Foundation fraud

Featured image The Clinton Foundation finds itself under new scrutiny, this time pertaining to its financial disclosures. Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel is uploading a series of reports showing what he alleges is fraudulent activities by the Foundation. Ortel says he has the documentation to demonstrate Clinton entities have broken state and federal law and have never undergone outside audits, as is required. Ortel’s conclusions are based on what he describes as »

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: »