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The Waukesha incident has once again (and again, and again, and …) raised the specter of societal disintegration in the face of the Defund the Police and Criminal Justice Reform movements. While we may admit that bail is set too high in some cases (January 6 defendants!), the outrageous and unthinking application of “cash bail is bad” is a slow motion bomb going off. Double and triple digit increases in violent crime in Democrat-run cities that employ such policies are creating outrage among the law-abiding. Why should their grandparents and children suffer when such fools run the asylum?
The suspect in the Waukesha parade massacre was a career criminal. His criminal background check in Wisconsin shows a conviction in 2000 for aggravated battery. The long list of related sentences boil down to five and a half years of probation. Six months into this probation he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, possession of cocaine, and “obstructing an officer.” That should have been enough to revoke his probation and give him “three hots and a cot” at state expense. But somehow much of this was called “non-criminal” and the “disposition [was] not reported.”
It’s clear that nothing was done, because two years after his original conviction, he obstructed officers, stole a car and had another drug offense. That’s two felonies, but amazingly there was “no prosecution.” A year later he was convicted for resisting arrest, but was sentenced to… drum roll please… sentence to run concurrent with the previous five plus years of… drum roll again… probation. In plain English, he didn’t even get a slap on the wrist.
I won’t bore you with the litany of crimes you can read for yourself, but in 2010, he was arrested for domestic battery involving strangulation and suffocation. This should be enough to get even the #MeToo crowd to call for his head. And he was convicted. But he was sentenced to three years of probation. Following this there are multiple counts of resisting arrest, parole violations and failure to appear.
Any one of these should have removed his probation status and sent him to the crossbar hotel. And any one of those would have changed how his life progressed. Those changed circumstances may have left his drive-through victims uninjured. But we’ll never know.
This litany of crime is instructive. There are people who should never be allowed to walk free in civil society. They have no respect for others, being willing to cause horrendous injuries and take lives without remorse. Ordinary citizens must be protected from their raw evil without creating a system that causes new injuries to undeserving first offenders. And we must avoid violating H. L. Mencken’s aphorism that “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.” In short, we must tackle the multiple repeat offender. With that done, then we can consider others.
The Waukesha suspect could have been easily taken off the streets long before he killed at least six people. Reading between the lines, it’s very likely that most of his “convictions” were guilty pleas in exchange for probation. Courts and prosecutors like those because they clear a backlog without the work of a trial. And that’s the problem. The incentives are not to protect the public, but to solve a bureaucratic mess. They substitute a short-term “fix” for a real solution.
Suppose that Wisconsin law required that any plea deal for probation would cause any existing probation be converted to hard time to be served before any new probationary time would commence. Or suppose that a felony arrest while on probation for a felony against persons (not property) would immediately deny any opportunity for bail, converting the remaining probation into hard time. Repeat offenders would be off the street for a time, preventing them from committing new crimes while on bail.
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“Criminal Justice Reform” warriors would scream about incarceration rates, but that’s not the proper question. Crime reduction is the important question. How many innocent citizens would be spared harm or death with these changes? Another CJR claim is that poor blacks can’t afford bail. But isn’t bail intended to guarantee the appearance of the accused?
If bail is set at a trivial level, does it provide any assurance that the accused will appear to answer his charges? There’s no argument against the idea of scaling bail to provide the same level of guarantee regardless of wealth. Certainly a Michael Milken would need some sort of elevated surety to prevent flight compared to a poor person. But that guarantee must be given.
Converting probation to hard time should be a simple matter of law. Any plea agreement for probation should include that element. You do another crime, and you do all the time remaining on the first one. It’s not about punishing poor people. It’s about your failure to live up to the deal you made. And it protects society from whatever else you might do.
It’s really pretty simple. We put the focus on protecting the law abiding. Probation is a favor we extend to you. You bite the hand that feeds you and you get locked back in the cage. It works for unruly parrots and dangerous dogs. It should work for feral humans as well.
Ted Noel MD is a retired Anesthesiologist/Intensivist who posts on social media as DoctorTed and @vidzette.
Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
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