Crime

Homicide Rate Is Rising? Do Tell!

Featured image CNN headlines: “Gun homicides on the rise, CDC says.” Shooting homicides are on the rise, though other common methods of murder remain flat, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This chart shows the trends: Most murders are committed with firearms, for the same reason we arm our soldiers and police officers with firearms: they are very effective. CNN fails to note, however, that homicides are committed »

Our under-incarceration problem, Atlanta edition

Featured image When he was 14 years-old, Jayden Myrick was arrested for armed robbery. He agreed in a plea deal to a 15 year sentence. The final seven years were to be served in adult prison. But after just two-and-half years in juvenile detention, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Doris Downs set Myrick free. She put him on probation and placed him in a special program whose director claimed could keep tabs »

Our under-incarceration problem, D.C. edition

Featured image A few days ago, the Washington D.C. police fatally shot 22-year-old Marqueese Alston. According to the police department, Alston fired on officers who chased him into an alley. The department has produced a photo of the gun they say Alston used. The officers who chased Alston reportedly had their body cameras on, but as far as I know the footage has not been publicly released. Thus, we cannot say for »

Poll: Most Americans favor the death penalty

Featured image The Pew Research Center has released a poll showing that 54 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder. That’s up from 49 percent two years ago. (As Kent Scheidegger has explained, this number understates opposition to abolishing the death penalty, but I’m focused here on the trend). The death penalty has always had the support of a plurality of Americans. However, that support declined dramatically »

Unsolved killlings, what do they tell us?

Featured image The Washington Post has a long article about unsolved killings in American cities. It studied homicide data from 50 cities, encompassing 52,000 such crimes. In the process, it identified areas where killings are frequent but arrests are rare. These “areas of impunity” are located in poor neighborhoods where minorities (almost always African-Americans) reside. The first thing that jumps out at me from the Post’s study is that in the 50 »

Leakers, liars, lovers & other strangers

Featured image A federal grand jury handed up an indictment against former Senate Intelligence Committee Security Director James Wolfe this past Thursday. Wolfe is alleged to have leaked classified intelligence to current New York Times reporter Ali Watkins and others, though Watkins was not working for other outfits at the time of the leaks in issue. Wolfe is charged with three counts of lying to the FBI about the leaks. I have »

Trump’s absurd olive branch offer to NFL protesters

Featured image I understood from the beginning that the Trump presidency would be a circus, but I didn’t expect a sideshow this bizarre. President Trump has asked NFL players to recommend which criminals he should pardon. Suddenly, the NFL kneelers have been transformed from unpatriotic sons-of-bitches to Trump’s partner in doling out justice and righting wrongs. I never thought the players were sons-of-bitches (unpatriotic, yes at least in some cases), but they »

Restatement on Fozia Ali

Featured image On May 14 our local Fox affiliate (Fox 9) broadcast Jeff Baillon’s striking report “Millions of dollars in suitcases fly out of MSP, but why?” The report drew a connection among “rampant fraud in a massive state program” (i.e., Minnesota’s $250 million a year Child Care Assistance Program funding daycare providers), the locus of this fraud in Minnesota’s Somali community and cash flown overseas in suitcases out of Minneapolis-St. Paul »

The case of Fozia Ali (3)

Featured image In this series I follow up on Jeff Baillon’s intensely reported FOX 9 story “Millions of dollars fly out of MSP in suitcases, but why?” In part 1 I noted the media backlash to Baillon’s story at the Pioneer Press, at MPR, and, of course, at the Star Tribune. The media, however, have not followed up on Baillon’s findings regarding rampant daycare fraud. Part 1 in this series is here. »

Trump frees big-time narcotics-trafficker even Obama didn’t help

Featured image At the urging of Kim Kardashian, President Trump has commuted the life sentence of Alice Johnson, a convicted drug-trafficker. Johnson served 21 years of her sentence. Johnson was, in the words of the judge who sentenced her, the “quintessential entrepreneur” in a multi-million dollar cocaine ring in the Memphis area. It dealt tons of cocaine for millions of dollars. At Johnson’s trial, the evidence linked her drug ring with Colombian »

The case of Fozia Ali (2)

Featured image In this series I follow up on Jeff Baillon’s intensely reported FOX 9 story “Millions of dollars fly out of MSP in suitcases, but why?” I gave my own twist to Baillon’s story in the City Journal column “Mogadishu, Minnesota” (my title: “Assimilation, Minnesota style”). In part 1 I noted the media backlash to Baillon’s story at the Pioneer Press, at MPR, and, of course, at the Star Tribune. The »

Facts on recidivism undermine case for leniency legislation, Part Two

Featured image Taylor Millard, one of the excellent writers at Hot Air, has taken issue with an article by Daniel Horowitz on recidivism as it relates to sentencing reform, including the FIRST STEP legislation (which is back door sentencing reform). I cited Horowitz’s article in my post, “Cold Facts on Recidivism Undermine Case for Leniency Legislation.” Thus, I want to bring Millard’s arguments to the attention of readers interested in the issue »

FIRST STEP in a jailbreak, Part Two

Featured image I’ve written before about the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act” (FIRST STEP). Passed by the House with overwhelming support and backed by President Trump, FIRST STEP is backdoor sentence reduction legislation. Indeed, it’s big-time sentencing reduction. Former federal prosecutor Thomas Ascik demonstrates this in an article for The Hill. He shows that most federal prisoners could serve close to 40 percent of their prison sentences »

The case of Fozia Ali (1)

Featured image On May 14 our local Fox affiliate (Fox 9) broadcast Jeff Baillon’s striking report “Millions of dollars in suitcases fly out of MSP, but why?” The report drew a connection among “rampant fraud in a massive state program” (i.e., funding of daycare in Minnesota’s Somali community), cash flown overseas in suitcases out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Somalia and possible funding of the the al Shabab terrorist group in »

On pardons

Featured image The editors of the Washington Post are upset that President Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza. They also express concern that Trump might pardon Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich. I have no problem with the D’Souza pardon. The Obama administration threw the book at D’Souza for a relatively small campaign finance law offense that, as I understand it, normally results in a slap on the wrist. It did so, in all likelihood, »

A Hint of Pardons to Come

Featured image Talking to reporters today, President Trump suggested that more pardons might be in the works: President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption, and pardoning lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart, who served a stint in federal prison after being convicted of charges related to a stock sale. *** Blagojevich, who was convicted on numerous counts of corruption, including »

Trump to Pardon D’Souza

Featured image Good news: President Trump has announced, via Twitter, that he will pardon Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted of a campaign finance violation in a blatant case of selective prosecution by a partisan U.S. attorney: Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018 D’Souza was not only convicted, he actually went to jail. »