Crime and Safety

Politicians must stand up to criminal justice radicals who are making our world less safe.

In difficult times, victims of crime should be able to turn to the state for justice, no matter how long it takes.

It’s an important part of the social contract that ensures we don’t become a society torn apart by distrust and strife, where people live in compounds surrounded by 8-foot walls, electric fences, guard dogs, and guns flying off the shelves (as they have been lately). in America.). Unfortunately, this is what urban landscapes look like all over the world. Ironically, this is the only way that third-worlders’ lives reflect the virtue of protected Hollywood celebrities.

While criminal justice reform has produced some results that can be welcomed by all impartial people, it is important to recognize that a small number of ideologues will never be satisfied. They know that demanding a perfect criminal justice system means no justice at all.

Many offenders have been released under state bail reform laws.
Kathy Hochul was convicted for her bail reform law.

Blinded by political hypocrisy, they floated false and dangerous claims that people’s fears are irrational and immature. The police and prosecutors purposefully persecute the innocent. The only people of concern in the justice system should be offenders. A reformed police force is not a police force. Victims, who are in the minority in most cities, must pay until the “root causes”—whatever that means—because there is no such heinous crime as incarceration.

A small group of very energetic people turned the organization of local political offices into a paid business. He successfully sealed a low-turnout primary thanks to flippant extremism that drowns out the more practical and nuanced views of the non-voting majority.

But now that people are aware of the weakening of the government’s obligation to protect them, security is back on the agenda, and there is a long-overdue push back against wacky ideas that all too often affect the poor and powerless, not self-proclaimed thoughtful people. thinkers who utter them:

  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, far behind in the polls ahead of next month’s election, is in her 11th hour of conversion as an incredibly public safety advocate — and that’s after the demonization and near-dissolution of the country’s second-largest police department. The cops there can barely defend themselves, let alone intervene on behalf of others. In the three years before Lightfoot came to power, an average of 20 people were shot at cops. In the first two full years of her tenure, 130 people did so.
  • The Los Angeles mayoral race last November should have been a cakewalk for the Democratic nominee, but Angelenos, angered by festering security issues that have not been resolved, missed the Republican nominee’s election by a mustache.
  • In the north, San Francisco voters removed a “prosecutor” who mocked and belittled the victims.
  • Even Portland’s chief teaser, Public Threat Mayor Ted Wheeler, now proclaims, “Our primary responsibility to the people in this community is their safety.”

Government always presupposes a combination of high principles with vital practicality. Elected officials should not hesitate to set aside ideologies where the life, health and well-being of society are threatened.

Lightfoot withdrew funding from most of the Chicago police force.
Lori Lightfoot is far behind in the polls ahead of next month’s election.

Governor Hochul is now taking steps to do so, seemingly raising reservations about disclosure laws, funding new state police positions and joining forces to apprehend dangerous criminals.

Sharing pre-trial materials with defendants so that perpetrators can exploit minor flaws in a case can deprive victims of the fair trial to which they are entitled. Victims should not be required to accurately describe an unexpected robbery with a firearm or be punished for not providing their exact GPS coordinates at the time of the attack. The justice system should not be an obstacle course of 100 simple questions for victims, and for prosecutors – a set of technical details and banners designed to maximize the release of the really guilty.

Similarly, cops are now facing prosecution for erroneous memories of dangerous unrecorded interactions that don’t quite match the video or written evidence.

A justice system that re-victimizes crime victims without compensation is a farce.

Those attacking progressive reforms should come up with their own ideas and not just sit back and wait while they reap the political benefits of security explosions.

The justice system doesn’t always need a heavy hand when a nudge is enough. A relatively small number of people end up behind bars, but this does not mean that not so many people can be held accountable. Ask intimidated small business owners, taxi drivers and hot dog vendors—to name but a few groups that have to play by the rules—how scary non-custodial rules and regulations can be.

A graded system of fines and penalties can be used to reasonably deal with behavior that puts others at risk or harms society. Where are the politicians willing to work across parties to build a fair justice system that works best to deliver justice to the greatest number of people?

Eugene O’Donnell is a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor and former NYPD officer and attorney for Brooklyn and Queens.

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