Friday, July 13, 2007

News and Blogs Together, Friday, July 13, 2007

  • The DA in the Genarlow Wilson case has truly gone as completely off the rails as the lunatic in the Duke lacrosse case. The AP goes to the state’s open records law to get a copy of the Wilson video, and the DA gives it out to everybody and their grandmother because “he also believes the footage helps his case - by showing that Wilson is not the squeaky-clean football star and honor student portrayed by his supporters. ‘Most of those who do not want people to see the tape know that it's damning to their position,’ McDade told The Associated Press.” This is as pure BS as anything we’ve heard in a while, and that’s after Paris’ apologies. As was clear before, this is nothing but malicious, and very possibly illegal under federal child pornography laws. The US attorney there will have a lot to answer for if, after saying the video qualified and saying its distribution should be stopped, he does not pursue an indictment. And the silence of the prosecutor community as a whole, just as in the Duke case, is deafening. This will have ramifications for public safety and cooperation for years to come. The whole profession should be ashamed, and, if it won’t act any more than it did with Nifong and the Duke case, the legal community as a whole should again take action. If they don’t, they are accomplices. The potential for this is in every single prosecutors’ office. (Corey Rayburn Yung has an excellent review and his own thoughtful commentary on all this over at Sex Crimes Blog. Doug Berman has links to what a scumbag this DA really is, Exhibit A for why these guys need far more checks and balances in our government.)
  • Speaking of helping criminal justice in the future, “The Sheriff's Department opened an investigation Thursday into allegations that Paris Hilton received special treatment during her 23 days in jail for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case, authorities said. The internal probe will examine whether the hotel heiress was given free access to a cordless phone instead of being forced to wait in line to use a pay phone at certain hours, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said. Also under scrutiny are claims Hilton received a new jail uniform instead of the recycled ones given to many inmates and that her mail was delivered by a captain instead of inmate trusties, Whitmore said.” And we wonder why law’s legitimacy and respect aren’t higher.
  • Killing two stones with one bird. This story on the increase of military recruits allowed in with waivers because of past criminal activity is worth reading. It sounds alarming. Oh, no. Crooks in uniform, more crimes in the military, and in fact, one of the officers quoted says he’s seen this before, EVEN THOUGH NO ONE REALLY HAS THE NUMBERS. Okay. Why don’t we get those numbers? If we have time periods of service and criminal activities, let’s do an analysis. And if the results aren’t what this story indicates, then maybe military service, which was for years offered as an alternative by judges to offenders, could be an effective way to move some potential long-term offenders into productive lives. My wife’s late Gunny Sergeant uncle in the Marines was always having guys like that come back around thanking him for turning their lives around. All I’m saying is that military service is something the public understands as a worthy alternative and it would serve the country too if the level of service offending is tolerable. It’s certainly worth study rather than alarm.
  • Think this will get anyone’s attention down there? MS is looking at 1000 new inmates and $20m. a year to house them annually now.
  • Once again, good advice over at Prevention Works, this time on how sensible drinking and companionship could go a long way in stopping these murders of young women “last seen” drunk and usually with people their friends didn’t know. Good tips.
  • On the topic of responsible behavior and self-government, this story indirectly gets at what I talk about here regarding the shifts in cultural waves that end up influencing our crime rates far more than any government policy ever does. Teen sex and pregnancy are seriously down. Because of government threats or programs? No indication of that. Just a phase of a cycle that can be predictably expected to shift again within a decade or so, based on past history. Waves have consistent starts, middles, and ends. It’s predicting those starts that causes us trouble. It’s what happens in every model of every kind of complex adaptive behavior, just like crime waves. It’s how Canada can do nothing major new in crim just policy in the same period as we incarcerated and broken windowed and everything else and have similar rises and falls in their crime rates, whereas we claim our actions were the cause of the falls (but never of the rises). Maybe someday we’ll have a better understanding of all this and be able to focus our time and resources more effectively. Maybe Scarlett Johannson will start reading this blog and want to meet me.

No comments: