Crime

“Ban the Box” Gets Boxed in Again

Featured image We reported here last year about research showing that a favorite Obama policy initiative known as “Ban the Box” (that is, prohibit employers from inquiring about a person’s criminal history on employment applications) was having the opposite effect, and was increasing discrimination against blacks. Two women economists writing in the Quarterly Journal of Economics concluded: Our results support the concern that BTB policies encourage racial discrimination: the black-white gap in »

Remembering “Whitewater”

Featured image For the past 20 years, Kenneth Starr has avoided the limelight. And why not? As the independent counsel who investigate Whitewater and other Clinton-related scandals, he received enough attention to last several lifetimes. Now, however, Starr has written a book about those days. It’s called Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation. The contempt in question was that of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The two manifested it differently, though. According »

Report: Grand jury probe of Andrew McCabe heats up

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the grand jury investigation of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe has been proceeding apace and now seems to be intensifying. As I understand it, McCabe is under investigation for misleading government officials about leaking. The investigation was triggered by the Justice Department inspector general’s finding of wrongdoing by McCabe. The inspector general, Michael Horowitz (an Obama appointee), concluded in a detailed report that McCabe »

Is the White House turning criminal justice policy over to Van Jones and Kim Kardashian?

Featured image I hope not, but there’s reason for concern. This morning, the White House announced: Members of the Administration are hosting a listening session about the clemency process. The discussion is mainly focused on ways to improve that process to ensure deserving cases receive a fair review. Here is the list of those who were to participate: INTERNAL ATTENDEES: Jared Kushner Ja’Ron Smith Brooke Rollins Chris Liddell EXTERNAL ATTENDEES: Rachel Barkow »

Trump’s worst tweet yet

Featured image We’re in the middle of a busy news week, but I don’t want to overlook something President Trump tweeted on Monday. It was this: Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff…… I »

The folly of leniency-for-felons legislation: A response to John Malcolm

Featured image John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation has responded to my critique of his article defending the leniency-for-criminals legislation being pushed in the Senate. I appreciate his response. Like a good lawyer writing a reply brief, Malcolm begins by citing the points he made that I didn’t dispute. Let me begin by returning the favor. Here are points I made that Malcolm does not dispute. I consider them decisive. First, Malcolm »

Law enforcement leaders urge Trump to reject jailbreak bill

Featured image At a White House meeting this afternoon, President Trump reportedly decided that the leniency-for-criminals legislation Jared Kushner, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and a host of liberal Democrats have been pushing is too politically difficult to endorse before the elections. Let’s hope he understands that the legislation is politically fraught after the elections, as well. The legislation is also terrible policy. This point is forcefully made in the following letter, hand-delivered to »

Pecker emerges

Featured image My point, and I did have one, in placing the Michael Cohen plea agreement and related charges before readers here this morning, was to note “the trouble down the road for others,” as I put it. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that the the chief executive of the company that publishes the National Enquirer was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information about Michael Cohen and Donald Trump »

Manafort convicted on 8 counts, jury deadlocked on 10

Featured image The jury in the Paul Manafort has found him guilty on eight of the 18 counts brought against him by Robert Mueller’s team. It couldn’t reach a verdict on the other 10. Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on these charges. The jury found Manafort guilty on tax and bank fraud charges. Experts told the Washington Post that Manafort might well be looking at more than decade in prison based »

In defense of Tom Cotton’s critique of leniency-for-criminals legislation

Featured image Last week, Sen. Tom Cotton wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal opposing the lenient sentencing legislation now under serious consideration by Congress. I summarized Sen. Cotton’s article here. John Malcolm and Brett Tolman of the Heritage Foundation have responded to Cotton. They deny that the legislation is soft on crime. Malcolm is a respected conservative legal analyst. I’m not familiar with Tolman, but I’m confident he is too. »

I Left My S— in San Francisco

Featured image The late novelist Walker Percy used to wonder about why the suicide rate was so high in San Francisco, the most beautiful city in the world by his reckoning. I wish we had Percy still with us today—for many reasons—but especially to update his observations on how San Francisco’s decadence and dysfunctions are a reflections on the defects of the human soul. Even The Guardian, the British leftist rag, is »

Tom Cotton on the leniency-for-criminals legislation

Featured image Our friend Sen. Tom Cotton has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal opposing the latest jailbreak legislation that I discussed here. He argues: [U]nder no circumstances should Congress cut mandatory minimum sentences for serious crimes or give judges more discretion to reduce those sentences. That foolish approach is not criminal-justice reform—it’s a jailbreak that would endanger communities and undercut President Trump’s campaign promise to restore law and order. »

Jailbreak legislation is back and worse than ever

Featured image Three years ago, liberal Democrats and naive Republicans pushed hard for leniency-for-criminals legislation. It provided for a sharp reduction of mandatory minimum sentences for drug felons, to be applied retroactively so as to free many thousands of drug felons before they completed their sentences. The leniency legislation also included “corrections reform.” The focus here was on ways to rehabilitate prisoners, using methods that sponsors claimed, quite speciously, have worked well »

Leftism’s dire consequences, Chicago edition

Featured image Earlier today, I wrote about how Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policy caused a child to be raped. Philadelphia authorities refused ICE’s request to detain a previously deported illegal immigrant. Instead, they released the man, who then committed rape. This was clear case of the left’s agenda trumping concerns for public safety. The consequences were dire for the illegal immigrant’s victim. But leftism is also producing dire consequences for entire communities. Areas »

Child raped because “sanctuary” Philadelphia released criminal ICE wanted [With Comment by John]

Featured image Last night, Department of Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nielsen appeared on Sean Hannity’s program to discuss the outrageous story of a girl who was raped by an illegal immigrant released from prison instead of being held, as ICE had requested. Mike Brest of the Daily Caller reports on the interview, which I didn’t see. Here’s what Hannity said: Let me tell the audience about a case that we just found »

Eyeless in Rochester

Featured image I hate to have to pick up the local news from a national daily, but I learn from USA Today that a “Minnesota man” named Mahad Aziz gouged out the eyes of his 74-year-old relative in the course of a beating at the apartment of one or the other in Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic was conveniently at hand, but there wasn’t much the hospital could do. Aziz beat his »

Misdiagnosing the opioid crisis

Featured image According to the Maryland Department of Health, a record 2,282 people died in Maryland from unintentional drug-and-alcohol-related intoxication in 2017. That’s more than double the number of such deaths in Maryland in 2014. Keep that year in mind. 88 percent of the intoxication deaths in Maryland in 2017 were opioid-related. Opioid-related deaths include deaths due to heroin, prescription opioids, and nonpharmaceutical fentanyl. Large increases in the number of fentanyl-related deaths »