Crime

A Bad Week for Rape Culture

Featured image As Steve noted earlier today, Rolling Stone magazine has backed off from its blockbuster story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. I wrote here that the story, written by an activist and based entirely on anonymous sources, was incredible on its face. “Jackie,” the alleged victim in the story, was gang raped by seven men in a fraternity house, but didn’t go to the police. Seriously? »

Eric Garner and the issue of over-criminalization

Featured image The death of Eric Garner at the hands of a police officer has focused attention not only on the use of force against Garner, but also on the low-level nature of the crime that put him in jeopardy. Garner’s offense was selling loose cigarettes, a means of evading the high tax imposed on tobacco products. For purposes of analyzing the potential case against the officer who choked Garner, it makes »

Witness 34 Tells It Like It Was

Featured image Paul wrote earlier today about the Ferguson grand jury’s Witness #10, one of the very few people who witnessed the confrontation between Officer Wilson and Mike Brown from beginning to end. I haven’t read the entire record of the grand jury proceedings, which is lengthy. But I have read quite a bit of it, and it is pretty obvious that the witnesses who were actually anywhere near the scene support »

The Telos of the Liberal Mind?

Featured image Remember the old joke from the 1960s about the liberal cleric who told his congregation that he had been mugged, but that he sympathized with his mugger, because injustice, etc. . . Whereupon an elderly lady in the back of the pews mutters loudly, “Mug him again.” The joke has come to life in Georgetown, where a student who was recently mugged at gunpoint has written an article justifying the »

Did Obama pressure Gov. Nixon to keep the National Guard out?

Featured image I noted here that the National Guard wasn’t in Ferguson last night, and I wondered why. After all, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had declared a state of emergency in the St. Louis area — the potential emergency being the impending grand jury decision — and had mobilized the National Guard. In addition, the mayor of Ferguson had requested the Guard’s presence. Yet, the National Guard was nowhere to be seen »

Believe your eyes, not liberal talking heads

Featured image In the post just below, Scott refers to “the underlying behavioral disparities that are reflected in the numerical racial disparities” in incarceration rates, school discipline and so forth. As he notes, these behavioral disparities were on display for all to see last night. It was surreal to hear liberal talking heads complaining about the number of African-Americans in prison while watching African-Americans (their “hands up” only as high as it »

The fire this time

Featured image Watching the Ferguson mob rioting for fun and looting for the traditional reasons live on television last night, I didn’t see much “anger” in evidence. The arson and destruction looked premeditated and deliberate, an orgy of opportunity. Was it an accident that the orgy commenced as President Obama urged calm? (The White House has posted the text of his remarks and a video of his statement here.) It was either »

In Ferguson, No Indictment [Updated Re Obama's Comments]

Featured image The Ferguson, Missouri saga finally winds toward a conclusion with tonight’s announcement that the grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson. The decision seems pretty clearly correct; in any event, the grand jurors are literally the only people who have heard and seen the evidence, including the testimony of Officer Wilson. Michael Brown, high on marijuana and having just robbed a convenience store and bullied the clerk, made the »

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 »