Our Criminal Justice System Is a Farce

You may think you fully appreciate how inept our criminal justice system is, but most likely you are wrong. It is worse than those of us who don’t experience it daily can imagine.

If your blood pressure can stand it, check out this post by my colleague David Zimmer. It is titled “Gun offender murders man just 40 minutes after leaving court,” but that doesn’t convey the half of it. David writes:

Abdullah Arif, 48, of Stillwater was shot and killed last Thursday outside his tobacco shop in St. Paul. Arif’s murder is in part the result of a broken court system that has repeatedly failed to hold violent offenders accountable. Sadly, Arif’s assailant had walked out of a Ramsey County courtroom just 40 mins earlier, after appearing on a gun-related charge.

If any other entity failed at public safety the way our Minnesota courts have been failing, there would be consequences. Instead, our court system continues its record-setting pace of departing from sentencing guidelines while obsessing over perceived “racial disparities” and “over-incarceration” — all at our collective expense.

To see why that evaluation is, if anything, understated, read David’s whole post. Between 2019 and 2022, Elias-Kareem Hany Aly was caught committing multiple felonies. He was prosecuted, convicted, and put on probation. He consistently violated probation by committing more crimes, yet nothing happened to him. He was never incarcerated, and he never paid the fines assessed against him.

Finally, in June 2022, leaving a trail of unpunished criminality behind him, Elias-Kareem Hany Aly had his most serious brush with the law up to that point:

While on probation for two felonies and after failing to appear at all on the Nicollet County misdemeanors, Aly was arrested after he and two others committed a drive-by shooting in St. Paul. During this incident, the three men fired approximately 48 shots at two apartment buildings, sending bullets through several apartment windows and walls and striking several cars. Responding police attempted to pull Aly and the others over and they fled, leading police in a chase exceeding 100 MPH before crashing. Police recovered four fully automatic machine pistols, three of which were reported stolen. The car the three had committed the drive-by shooting and fled in was also stolen.

That still didn’t do the trick. Aly was again turned loose to prey on the public. A subsequent arrest for driving 101 miles per hour in a 60 mph zone went unpunished. Finally, Aly made a court appearance on a three-year-old weapons charge:

[On February 16, 2023], Aly made a court appearance on the 2020 firearm possession case. Despite all the criminal activity documented above, Aly was allowed to remain on conditional release following the hearing. Just 40 minutes later, Aly entered Arif’s tobacco shop wearing a balaclava face mask and refused to remove it when Arif asked him to. Aly then pulled the store door chime down and stole it as he left the store. Arif attempted to confront Aly and Aly shot Arif immediately.

Aly is 21 years old. You can almost feel sorry for him: his experience justified him in believing that our society didn’t seriously mind his lifelong devotion to crime and mayhem. And now he is a murderer.

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