William Barr

Attorney General Barr Does Not Approve of Your Kinder, Gentler Elected District Attorneys

In a speech to police, Barr called for citizens to shut up and do what officers tell them to.

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United States Attorney General William Barr sees the criminal justice reforms that are coming to states, counties, and municipalities, and he does not approve.

At a speech today in New Orleans at the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police's 64th National Biennial Conference, Barr bounced through just about every talking point you can imagine arguing for a harsh criminal justice system and complete obedience to authority: Throwing people in prison brought the crime rate down? Check. Disobeying police orders in any way, shape, or form is bad? Check. ("Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.") Police officers are in danger at every moment of every day? Check. Literally comparing police officers to soldiers going off to war? Check. The drug war is good and saves lives? Check. Insisting that it's more dangerous than ever to be a police officer despite the remarkably low death rates? He covered that, too. References to the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Fourth Amendment? Uh, nothing on those things, actually.

Barr also had harsh words for a new crop of reform-minded district attorneys who have won elections around the U.S. While these folks had to campaign for voter support, Barr doesn't seem to care about democratically expressed preferences when it comes to law enforcement. In his view, district attorneys should be prosecuting and incarcerating as many offenders as the law allows. From his speech:

There is another development that is demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety. That is the emergence in some of our large cities of District Attorneys that style themselves as "social justice" reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law.

These anti-law enforcement DAs have tended to emerge in jurisdictions where the election is largely determined by the primary. Frequently, these candidates ambush an incumbent DA in the primary with misleading campaigns and large infusions of money from outside groups.

Once in office, they have been announcing their refusal to enforce broad swathes of the criminal law. Most disturbing is that some are refusing to prosecute cases of resisting police.  Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution. And when they do deign to charge a criminal suspect, they are frequently seeking sentences that are pathetically lenient.  So these cities are headed back to the days of revolving door justice.  The results will be predictable. More crime; more victims.

America has the largest prison population in the world, and Louisiana, where Barr gave his speech, has the second-highest incarceration rate in the U.S. While the incarceration rate is dropping nationally, it will take more than a century at the current rate to reach the incarceration levels we saw before the mid-1970s and the start of the federal drug war.

As to the idea that incarceration is the best solution to crime: Louisiana has crime rates similar to Alabama and South Carolina, even though it locks up 50 percent more people than Alabama and 100 percent more than South Carolina.* Putting more people in jail has not made Louisiana any safer.

Voters who have elected reform-minded district attorneys clearly do not feel safer under Barr's policing and prosecuting models. For minorities, the aggressive and illiberal policing condoned by Barr is dangerous regardless of whether they "comply first," as Barr instructed. Recall that Philando Castile was fully cooperating with the police officer who shot and killed him.

And despite what Barr argues, we're not seeing increases in crime rates in places that have passed criminal justice reforms.

This speech was not about public safety, police accountability, or restoring trust between cops and their communities. It was about fear. Barr wants us to fear the police, and more troubling still, he wants the police to fear us.

* This post has been updated to correct the incarceration percentage comparisons between Louisiana, Alabama, and South Carolina.

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  1. “refusing to prosecute various theft cases”

    Well – is this true, or not? If not, then Reason should offer an indignant rebuttal. If it *is* true, then that sounds like what the libertarian comrades would call ignoring the NAP.

    1. Exactly. But somehow “libertarian” has come to mean “against the rule of law”, as if rule of man isn’t the primary hallmark of tyranny. But it is their tyranny so that is okay I guess.

      1. NAP and “rule of law” are not the same thing.

        1. So what? That is not the point. The point is that if you don’t believe in the rule of law you believe in tyranny. The fact that it is your tyranny doesn’t make it any less of a tyranny.

          1. If the laws are tyrannical, then the rule of law is tyranny.

            1. And the solution to that is not repealing those laws. It is to just let cops and DAs enforce whatever laws they like and not enforce the ones they don’t.

              Good luck with that. I am sure that won’t lead anywhere bad or to selective enforcement or anything.

              1. LOL, good luck with repealing laws. When does that shit ever happen? Selective enforcement is what we have now. Welcome to tyranny. There are whole reams of old shitty stupid laws on the books that aren’t enforced because they’ve been forgotten about, but no one is interested in repealing them.

                1. So what? That doesn’t make it okay or telling cops it is okay to ignore laws they feel are unjust a good idea. Most cops think the entire 4th Amendment is unjust. According to you, they are totally justified in ignoring it.

                2. And the correct solution for a libertarian is to work on repealing those laws. Not to just ad hoc ignore them on the whims of a D.A.

                  1. It’s better to place barriers and safeguards between us and the enforcement of those laws.

                  2. Laws against theft are not unjust or immoral. They are the bedrock of a society that believes in property rights. That DAs choose to ignore theft (as they do in SF) and trespassing (ditto) while going after vapers and other “crimes” is wrong and should be called out by every libertarian as wrong.

              2. How do you repeal the laws John?

                I don’t make law. None of us do. Voters simply don’t make law. Nor do we have the power to repeal them.

                We do have the power to ignore them though.

                Prosecutors and cops *already have discretion* to prosecute or not. That’s a long-standing privilege of theirs – under the rule of law.

                All we’re doing is electing prosecutors who will use that discretion in a way that we approve of. Nothing has changed about the how the system works, only where its targeting its resources.

                As a side thing: Demanding obeisance to legislation over all is basically saying that we’re not a collective of free individuals but a group of mutually owned slaves. I own you, you own me, and we can each force each other to do what we want. Not that we can come to some sort of agreement on our behavior, but that we can each use the power of the state to coerce each other to comply with out wishes.

                1. Agreed. This obsession with “law” regardless of the intrinsic justice thereof is collectivist in the extreme.

                  Rule of law depends on personal discretion and application of moral intuition, from LE to prosecutors all the way down to juries.

                  Otherwise, you’ve merely got legalized tyranny.

              3. You know how you repeal America’s Medieval criminal justice system?

                Stop whoring for Republican politicians!

                1. Says the whore Democrat, Tony.

                  1. You’re both equally reprehensible.

                    1. But we’re not. If only Democrats were in power, criminal justice reform would have been done already and it would look like unicorn farts compared to the status quo.

                      The parties take opposite positions on nearly every issue under the sun, so they cannot be equally bad on each of them.

                      As it happens, they have aligned more often than not when it came to the tough-on-crime days as well as current reform efforts.

                      But who do you really think cares more about letting brown prisoners out of prison?

              4. Since the partisan rightists are utterly morally bankrupt and incapable of moral thinking, I will remind the forum that is it never just to enforce an unjust law, never moral to enforce an immoral law.

                Full stop.

            2. Change the laws then. At least you can with Rule of Law.

          2. ‘Rule of law’ and ‘tyranny are not antonyms.

            The fact that it is your tyranny doesn’t make it any less of a tyranny.

          3. “Rule of law” was initially coined to express laws that inhibit officials, not laws that empower them to be jackboots. Claiming “rule of law” as your virtue to use the police to lock citizens in cages is a perversion of the concept that is only acceptable when dog-whistle the prevailing politics value sound bytes over substance, as demonstrated by tropes like “freedom isn’t free,” and “rule of law.”

            1. Your citation fell off.

              Rule of Law or Rule of Man are the only two options. Either rules are made and followed by everyone or rules are made at the whims of the elite and the rules are applied arbitrarily.

              1. False dilemma.

                Also, see “common law”.

              2. You’re both idiots for failing to recognize that rule of law is just enforcement by people. The circumstances of every interaction between people and police are different because they’re humans. The joke will be on me when it’s revealed that loveconstitution1789 and John are a bot, but even if they were, a human would have programmed them to be willfully ignorant of reality.

                Rule of law stands in contrast to divine right, the concept that preceded it. Check wikipedia.

      2. Exactly John.

        Either we have Rule of Law or Rule of Man.

        At least with Rule of Law, the people can force the government and its agents to abide by what the People want.

        Its not Rule of Law’s fault that anarchists and Lefties hate America and want to use the system against itself. The alternative is some person like Stalin deciding whats what and imprisoning or killing whomever he wants.

    2. Oh it’s true. For example:

      Texas Gone Wild: Dallas DA Will Not Prosecute Thefts Under $750.00!

      https://tinyurl.com/y4xuakpo

      See also Suffolk County, MA, Cook County, IL and The Bronx.

      1. That’s if the cops even make an arrest. Cops are notorious for not giving a shit about home burglaries and the like.

        1. If they did before, they sure as hell won’t now.

            1. So the DAs telling them to continue is okay then? Again, why do you think theft is okay and not something the government should be concerned with punishing?

              1. Why do you constantly put words in people’s mouths? Never mind. I know why.

                1. Why are you constantly saying things and then running away when confronted with the implications of it? What difference does it make if they do it now? That only matters if it somehow makes doing it more okay. If not, what the hell is your point?

              2. Neither the police nor the DA have the resources to pursue every single possible crime.

                1. This isn’t about resources but about political decisions per the article and per the campaigns the mentioned D.A. ran on.

              3. Hey, John, keep your own shit secure!

      2. Someone stole your shit but it isn’t worth that much.

        Reason actually seems to think this is okay.

        1. I’m not a fan of the decision, but it opens a libertarian wedge.

          Go hire a private investigator. And these people should bitch to holy hell if the town comes back saying they need to raise taxes too. If I’m having to pay for my own police work then I’m not going to be happy when the state comes glad-handing.

        2. As a person trained in logic.

          You must know that a publication does not “think”.

        3. Anarchists hate the Rule of Law and refuse to work within its perimeters. Constantly bitching about certain corrupt anecdotes.

          Open borders are A-okay though to let in more Rule of Man type non-Americans.

      3. What the actual fuck, as if these politicians couldn’t get any crazier, now they’re outsourcing socialism to private actors.

      4. Has “Texas Gone Wild”? It’s been 4 months since this policy has been in place. Has burglary indeed spiked in the Dallas area?

        1. DPD requested the Texas Highway Patrol come help, so maybe?

          Firsthand, no.

        2. It’s Texas. If somebody breaks into your house to steal your shit, just shoot ’em. If you didn’t care enough about your shit to kill the thief, why should the DA care any more about your shit than you did?

          1. Fair point.

          2. Stereotypes aside, that is the opinion of a number of people in my area. You would have to be very foolish to try and rob a home with anyone in it. My friends would “hate” to have to pull out their AR-15 collections.

    3. Photo caption:
      “I crush your civil liberties. Hehehe. Crush, crush, crush!”

      1. How dare anyone try and stop Chipper from stealing. It is his civil right.

        You really are a leftist aren’t you. Stealing is a civil right!!!

        1. You have been particularly unhinged recently. What’s going on at home, John?

          1. his strawman left him and he is trying to erect some new ones

        2. What makes you think Chipper’s been stealing? The prosecutor declined to prosecute so he’s never been convicted of theft, has he? And if the cops arrested him for theft, that doesn’t actually prove he did it, it probably just means he happened to be the nearest suspect they figured they could pin it on. How hard do you think cops are going to work to find the perpetrator of some rinky-dink bullshit property theft? If they haven’t got a likely suspect within 50 feet of the crime scene, it’s not like they’re going to bother walking half a block to find one. The sad fact of the matter is, property theft of a few hundred bucks isn’t worth anybody’s time fooling with, not when there’s cars and homes and actual cash to be asset forfeitured.

        3. John, you have finally lost it. You’re completely unhinged, and your veneer of logic is utterly dismantled.

    4. It is true. It’s called “prosecutorial discretion”, something that Barr exercises every day and a principle which he and his office have vigorously defended. He just doesn’t like it when people he thinks should be his subordinates exercise their discretion independently.

      1. For those of you who think prosecutors should have no discretion,
        1. that’s not what Barr was talking about so it’s irrelevant to this particular debate.
        2. that’s laughably impossible given the current size of the criminal code. Read ‘3 Felonies a Day’ or any of the related articles on the over-criminalization of our society. Until our elected legislators get off their fat —s and start fixing the rules, police and prosecutors will have no choice but to exercise some level of discretion.

        1. How dare you try to apply logic and the reality of the way the criminal justice system actually works! The real problem here is this mythical “Reason” that keeps writing all these articles that don’t say exactly what people want them to say when they want them to say it.

  2. “….Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution…”

    So, just another drug warrior. Wunnerful.

    1. Theft cases and drug cases are the same?

        1. In that sense yes. But saying theft laws should be enforced is not the same as “being a drug warrior”. Beyond that, unless and until the drug laws are repealed, they should be enforced. The way to end a bad law is to repeal it not just allow DA’s and cops to decide what laws they think are worthy of enforcement.

          You do understand that if DA’s can just ignore drug laws, they can ignore any other law?

          1. But saying theft laws should be enforced is not the same as “being a drug warrior”.

            Right. Theft is a NAP violation while dealing drugs is not. There are laws against both though. So either you believe in locking up drug dealers or you believe in tyranny.

            The way to end a bad law is to repeal it

            That’s one way. Another is to ignore it. It’s just words on paper.

            You do understand that if DA’s can just ignore drug laws, they can ignore any other law?

            They can ignore any law they like right now. They can prosecute some for breaking a law while letting others get away with it. It’s called “discretion.”

            1. They can ignore any law they like right now. They can prosecute some for breaking a law while letting others get away with it. It’s called “discretion.”

              And you apparently think that is a good thing. I disagree. I don’t like giving cops arbitrary power. Just because they have it now, doesn’t mean it is a good idea to encourage them and give them more of it in hopes that they will use it in ways you like.

              1. And you apparently think that is a good thing. I disagree.

                Yeah, that’s just what I said. Good debate. Have a nice day.

                1. That is exactly what you implied. If you didn’t, then you have no point. “They do that now” is only relevant if somehow that makes it okay to let them do it more here.

                  Try thinking about the implications of what you are saying sometime. It will make you look less stupid.

                  1. You’re the one looking stupid here, John. He thinks prosecutorial discretion is a good thing. He didn’t just imply it, he said it, and then confirmed it. Most people who aren’t mental children and who can exercise their own judgment based on moral intuition, rather than needing words on paper to spell it out, agree with him.

                    You really are an idiot.

                  2. By the way, just to illustrate how idiotic your simplistic worldview is, I will make an example out of my state.

                    In Virginia, homicide is illegal. There is no statutory self-defense law whatsoever. Every instance of extra-judicial homicide is ipso facto unlawful.

                    However, homicide in self-defense is defensible at common law. This is called an affirmative defense: you must first acknowledge the unlawful act of homicide, and then you may present a defense against criminal liability for this act.

                    Yet not every case of self-defense goes before a court. In cases where the facts and justification are clear-cut, it is typical that there will be no criminal charges. That’s right: every time an innocent victim defends himself in Virginia and is not brought before a court, prosecutorial discretion has been exercised. Every single time.

                    But in John’s world, a childish obsession with the letter of the law (rather than the justice it seeks to create) requires every one of these people to go to the expense in time and money (not to mention professional and emotional strain) to defend their actions in court because some criminal decided to harm them, no matter how obvious the conclusion may be to an observer.

                    John, your “rule of law” replaces justice with legalism. It replaces common sense and decency with pedantic technicality. It short, is like — like most everything you espouse vociferously — utterly morally bankrupt.

                    You’re a cretin, a pseudo-intellectual, and a moral halfwit.

                    1. “It short, it is — like most everything you espouse vociferously — utterly morally bankrupt.”

                      Whoops.

              2. Note that John is obsessed with the theft part of this article and has no comment on/completely sidesteps the overarching problem of militarized and often abusive police who are being further enabled by this administration. Probably because he thinks that will allow his messiah-in-chief to really crack down and truly “pwn the libs.”

            2. That’s one way. Another is to ignore it. It’s just words on paper.

              Ignoring it doesn’t repeal the law. If you want to do that, fine. But don’t come bitching to me when the cops ignore other laws that you like. You have made it clear here that you think cops should be free to ignore any law they see as “unjust”.

              1. Ignoring it doesn’t repeal the law.

                Effectively it does and it’s as good as it’s going to get because the law on paper ain’t going nowhere. It’s basically a form of nullification.

                1. Effectively it does and it’s as good as it’s going to get because the law on paper ain’t going nowhere. It’s basically a form of nullification.

                  No it is not. As long as it is on the books, it can be enforced whenever the cops or a DA decides to do so. And again, if you say they are right to ignore laws you don’t like, you can’t then bitch when they ignore laws they don’t like. Who gave you the final word on what is just?

                2. Juice seems to be pro lynch mob

          2. >>>until the drug laws are repealed, they should be enforced

            drug laws didn’t start to get repealed until everyone understood enforcement lost.

          3. They can already ignore any law; it’s a question of whether they’re ignoring only the laws that limit their power or whether they’re ignoring the laws that limit non-LEO power. Given a choice of the two, I’d choose a public servant who errs on the side of acknowledging that laws are not a cudgel to wield against humanity.

            1. As would any person not suffering from a near-sociopathic lack of moral intuition. These moral halfwits depend on written law to replace this missing sense.

        2. According to American Rule of Law, the Controlled Substances Act is a violation of the supreme law, the US Constitution. There is no enumerated power to ban products and services.

      1. The structure of the sentence “…. theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution…” implies that these “cases” are, initially, all about the drugs. If one reads it without the implication, then yes, there is less to condemn about his statement. The fact that he is so concerned about people actually “resisting” the police, on the other hand, is not so easy to dismiss. Does he understand the concept of “civil disobedience?” I am thinking that, in the Vietnam era, he might promote bashing in the heads of all those hippies, since they ignored orders to disperse.

        If some DA was elected to “go easy” on some types of cases, that decision probably reflects the wishes of the population he serves. Which is, generally, a whole lot more important than what the Feds, or even States, might desire. DAs “ignoring” even State laws has a long tradition in many areas, especially when it comes to things like moonshine and pot. These DAs could be said to be exercising their “version” of civil disobedience.

  3. Hint to Mr. Shackford: a world where someone can club me over the head and take my stuff–and the government won’t do anything about it–is not a libertarian paradise.

    1. Are you talking about civil forfeiture, or is that just some silly old-man mumbling?

    2. Poor kirkland does not realize that asset forfeiture is unconstituional.

  4. Look, I get there are lots of problems with law enforcement in this country, but is Reason really going to argue that locking up criminals doesn’t decrease the crime rate?

    1. Shackford is doing just that.

      1. Locking up criminals can decrease the crime rate, but if the laws are so punitive that otherwise well-meaning citizens are being caught in them, and its difficult to get legal work after the fact, especially work that has a future greater than burger flipper, those can increase the crime rate by forcing people into being criminals.

        1. Indeed. Plus, we know that taking away fathers increases the probability that their children will become involved in crime.

        2. The laws dont stop employers from hiring felons. That is their right as a private business. And as we learned recently, that is reasons favorite excuse to limit speech so it probably applies here.

          Ironically civil liabilities can actually cause business to not hire felons due to related avenues and history of crime. Ie banks not hiring people who have committed fraud under civil liability risk.

  5. Barr is right. The discretion district attorneys enjoy should only ratchet one way and that’s toward more prosecution. I mean, if we as Americans can’t blindly follow whatever myriad of bullshit laws our legislatures to look tough on crime pass or all of the dumbfuck regulations our bureaucrats to justify their existence put in place, then we are simply not living up to our founding principles.

    And because he’s not elected Barr doesn’t have to pander to this group so you know he’s sincere.

    1. Yes, DA’s should enforce the law. If they don’t want to do that or think the laws are unjust, they shouldn’t be DAs.

      The solution to bad laws is to repeal them. The solution is not allowing cops and DAs to just stop enforcing any law they don’t like.

      1. How many criminal laws are on the federal books? Kinda of hard to repeal them all when we don’t even have the number. And follow up how many criminal laws should the federal government even have on the books? I can think of handful and certainly doesn’t include how many cherries a farmer can grow.

        1. Sounds like you are justifying repealing and accounting laws.

          I’ll vote for the first libertarian who runs on reducing criminal and civil laws. Oddly they never run on that platform. Hell reason doesnt even mention Trump attempting to repeal regulations.

    2. Ratchet one way of course unless the defendant wears the badge. Forgot that qualifier.

  6. If there is anything an authoritarian, paunchy, partisan, old, intolerant, Trump-appeasing, power-hungry, white, male, dutiful Republican Party mouthpiece such as William Barr can not stand tolerate while awaiting replacement it is social justice.

    Liberals, moderates, and libertarians will put drug warriors such as William Barr out to pasture soon enough. The great replacement is underway.

    1. Looking forward to someone stealing U$749 worth of the good reverend’s stuff.

      1. Like he owns anything.

      2. And stealing $749 worth of stuff every day?

      3. I am looking forward to your replacement.

        And Mr. Barr’s.

    2. +1 for including “paunchy”

      1. Is he paunching down or paunching up?

    3. What good would pushing Barr out to pasture do if you elect Harris as president.

      Prosecutors gonna prosecute.

  7. Reducing incarceration rates as the priority end in itself is likely to result in the crime levels that drove the tough on crime legislation in the first place. There should be a more temperate medium to shoot for.

    And again, Shackford is approving of executive officials not doing their jobs, as long as there is a libertarian reason to not like the job as defined by law.

    1. Shackford being an idiot doesn’t realize that not everyone in prison is innocent and there for smoking a joint.

  8. Is reason actually arguing that the local D.A. should be supreme over the legislature? They should pick and choose what laws they agree with? Now… let me go read the next Reason article about Trump’s executive abuse or immigration overreach.

    What the fuck is this crap?

  9. Broadcasting that you’re going to stop prosecuting X crime is a surefire way to get more X crime. This is a particularly bad idea when X crime involves an actual victim, such as theft. Beyond that, I understand that all laws are enforced somewhat unevenly and attorneys and police are forced by the laws of nature to prioritize some crimes over others, and sometimes that involves letting a lesser crime go unpunished.

    That being said, if our government representatives are unwilling to change the laws based on the demands of the people that they are supposed to be subservient to, the people will look for new avenues of changing the rules.

    If you want to slow the tide of progressive prosecutors revolting against our unjust criminal racket, convert the criminal racket into a respectable institution that dispenses criminal justice that prosecutes crimes that the people agree ought to be crimes. Until then, Mr. Barr, we will continue to elect people that will spit in your face. The spitting will continue until the system has been corrected to reflect the will of the people.

  10. I admit, I at first disagreed with John (and others). And I tended to believe that using their discretion can help those who commit lesser and truly victim-less crimes. Of course, from a libertarian viewpoint, discretion is good when it is used primarily in one direction. However, not going after the BS laws, bur rather just letting DAs and cops use their “discretion”, then they do become weapons to use against whomever they don’t like, while letting those they do like get off scot free. It is true that when cops and DAs are truly let free to use their discretion, then what is to stop them from not enforcing good laws (theft, murder, arson). Selective enforcement is another tool for tyranny. To paraphrase Lex Luthor: we should not be relying on the kindness of monsters.

    1. Of course, from a libertarian viewpoint, discretion is good when it is used primarily in one direction. … Selective enforcement is another tool for tyranny

      And that is why discretion is never good, not even from a libertarian point of view, because that discretion will inevitably be abused.

      The only way to get laws changed in a more libertarian direction is to enforce them uniformly, on everybody, so that voters get pissed off enough with them and actually change them.

  11. Technically he’s Correct. But I think he could have been more POLITE THOUGH

    1. You mean as polite as people are towards him? I think he has met that standard.

  12. But Gorsuch.

  13. I’m still waiting for Barr to enforce the laws against the illegal shenanigans of the FBI and DOJ under the Obama administration.

    1. Or those of Trump himself and/or his minions.

  14. “There is another development that is demoralizing to law enforcement …”

    Good! We need all of those we can get!

    1. I would think we need incentives for them to pursue real crimes, not simply crimes which are profitable for police departments intent on asset forfeiture.

      Real crimes would include those under $750 thefts.

  15. Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution. And when they do deign to charge a criminal suspect, they are frequently seeking sentences that are pathetically lenient.

    At least he is respecting the presumption of innocence principle by speaking of the accused as a “suspect” instead of just a “criminal” as some of them do. Baby steps.

  16. Law

    Moved by the understanding that purity of German blood is the essential condition for the continued existence of the German people, and inspired by the inflexible determination to ensure the existence of the German nation for all time, the Reichstag has unanimously adopted the following law, which is promulgated herewith:

    Article 1
    Marriages between Jews and citizens of German or related blood are forbidden. Marriages nevertheless concluded are invalid, even if concluded abroad to circumvent this law.
    Annulment proceedings can be initiated only by the state prosecutor.
    Article 2
    Extramarital relations between Jews and citizens of German or related blood are forbidden.

    Article 3
    Jews may not employ in their households female citizens of German or related blood who are under 45 years old.

    That was law. So were the gulags under Stalin,

    On and on. Laws allowing slavery, imprisonment for drug possession, asset forfeiture, shooting your dog, all legal.

    Yup the law is the law. Now be a libertarian and stand up.

    Always focus on the individual.

  17. Bill Barr prefers the prosecutors who convict innocents, bully the underdogs, build juries with racism, cover for cheating police, obtain unjustified warrants, love the war on doobies, and the like.

    Mostly because he is a vestigial right-wing bigot, an authoritarian jerk destined to be replaced by a better American.

    1. A better American like Kamala Harris?

      1. Yes, ANYone!

    2. Mostly because he is a vestigial right-wing bigot, an authoritarian jerk destined to be replaced by a better American.

      True to his political ideology, RALK wants the Ubermensch in charge of the Untermensch!

  18. I live outside of Chicago and Cook County, where Kim Fox is the District Attorney. Cook County has a vast record of choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore, who should have charges dropped and who should be released on their own recognizance. Gun crimes, drug crimes, shootings? All have gone free because of social justice warriors in elected office or sitting on the judicial bench. AG Barr may have overstated the issue and been playing to his audience, but from where I sit, more prosecutions and convictions and incarcerations would be helpful.

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    Heres what I’ve been doing… ,,,

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  20. Well Mr. Shackford – how much more BS are you going to feed your little mindless minions here today?
    Perhaps you folks on the left – sj reformers like you – don’t understand that the law is a social compact that requires obedience.
    Obey the police? What a concept. I wonder how many young black me would be alive today if they had followed it? Standing there with your hand hidden, with or without a gun, in a dark street, is not the kind of thing to make the police feel friendly towards you. I suggest to fools like you that you go and look at a few Youtube videos of police shootings where the person being arrested has behaved in this manner. Put your foolish and uninformed self in that position, Shackford – and then think of your wife and children, waiting at home for you to return safely. See how fast you get that gun out. These men and women show amazing courage in the face of potential death every day.
    And it’s no joke – when a cop goes to work, there is NO guarantee that he or she will finish the shift. What dangers do idiots like you face in your workday? Paper cuts? Feeling offended by someone like me who calls you out for being the jerk that you are with one sided articles like you write here?
    No one says the system is perfect, or that every cop is a saint. But people like you with a hatred for order and justice, you’re the problem. You take Barr’s comments out of context, misconstrue them to deceive people who don’t do their own research, and think it good.
    You, Shackford, are a major part of the problem. Not because you have an opinion, but because you lie, and deceive, people.

    1. You have your entire premise backwards, Canuck. And I think it’s because you’re starting from fear and propaganda rather than from actual facts. While it’s true that “there is no guarantee that [a cop] will finish the shift”, that’s true of all of us. As a statistical matter, being a police officer is not the most dangerous profession. It’s not even in the top 10.

      Note that even that ranking is dominated not by danger from criminal or domestic violence but by the large number of deaths in traffic accidents. Those are tragic but they are a direct consequence of the really large number of miles police drive each year and some fundamentally unsafe choices about how they conduct traffic stops. The next most common cause of death for cops is suicide. Once you control for those two causes, police work is less dangerous than many other jobs.

      Your second mistake is to think that any citizen has any obligation to “make the police feel friendly towards you”. They have created and exaggerated the fear then blame the victim for not behaving perfectly to alleviate their misplaced fears. Blaming the victim is not acceptable in any other context yet you shout it here. Again, baloney. That’s not our job.

      If you are a cop and you think the job’s too dangerous, if you think the Fourth Amendment puts too many restrictions on your ability to be a cop, go find another profession. In the meantime, Canuck, maybe you should look in the mirror before you accuse other people of attempting to deceive.

      1. As a statistical matter, being a police officer is not the most dangerous profession. It’s not even in the top 10.

        Barr didn’t say “every single police officer”; obviously, Atherton police is not at much risk. But some precincts are gang infested hellholes and very dangerous to any officer who goes there. Fact.

        Your second mistake is to think that any citizen has any obligation to “make the police feel friendly towards you”.

        You have no obligation to do so; it is simply a good idea. I mean, you don’t have an obligation to be nice to your waiter, your hairdresser, or your proctologist either, it simply is prudent to do so.

        If you are a cop and you think the job’s too dangerous, if you think the Fourth Amendment puts too many restrictions on your ability to be a cop, go find another profession.

        That’s just what people are doing. That’s why we have a cop shortage and why departments across the country need to hire less and less suitable cops just to fill their departments at all. See, the more demands people like you make on cops, the more adversarial you become, the worse the police departments become.

        1. You say those precincts are very dangerous and call it a fact but cite to nothing other than your opinion. I look at the actual published statistics on fatalities and injuries and call you a liar. But I invite you to prove me wrong. Post a link to your statistical evidence that even the most gang-infested precinct actually results in more officer fatalities than other professions.

          Contrary to your final paragraph, people like me are not making more demands on cops – we are demanding that cops return to the standards and accountability that they used to have. It’s not like the Fourth Amendment was just invented last week. That boundary has been a core part of policing for a very long time.

      2. Bullcrap. No other job (outside the military) REQUIRES that you go out with the expectation that you may face a gunfight, someone attacking you with a knife, or fighting with you to prevent you doing your duty.
        And, for the record, I didn’t say that being a cop was the most dangerous job, so structuring your silly ass argument around that idea doesn’t cut it. But I admit, you DO make a great straw man. Next time, address what I say, not what you think I said, or would like me to have said.
        I speak from experience, not some silly uninformed liberal opinion such as yours. I watched my mother spend ten hours in fear that Dad might not return home from a shift where he and other officers had to deal with a highly dangerous situation. I was too young to understand at the time what she was so worried about.
        Dad went to work, KNOWING that there was a chance he could be injured or killed. And if you’re too uninformed or stupid to realize the stress that puts on a person, you need to educate yourself. No surprise that suicides are a major cause of death for police officers. The stress is incredible. You’ve never experienced it, even secondhand, you have NO idea.
        I did not say – again you and your straw headed ideas – that “any citizen has any obligation to “make the police feel friendly towards you”.
        You’ve misconstrued what I said to make another of your asinine points. My point was, since you’re too obtuse to understand it, that when a cop says ‘put down the gun’, or ‘put down the knife’, or ‘put your hands up’ – the smart guy, the guy who survives the incident without injury is the guy who obeys.
        If you’re too stupid – and you seem to be – to understand that sometimes you give in to win the issue another day on better terms – you know, like in court with a good lawyer – you’re simply too stupid.
        Next time you look to debate me, address the comments I made – don’t divert the discussion to some issue you think works for you.

        1. So you’ve got nothing but hyperbole and fear.

          For the record, you’re wrong on all counts. I served in situations where my life was on the line. I know all about it. But I also know how to evaluate risk and how to read statistics. Your degree of fear is unjustified by the actual facts. Your fear leads you to conclude that constitutional protections are unnecessary. Your fear blinds you to the historical truths about the dangers of blind deference to authority. Governments kill orders of magnitude more people than muggers. And I say that as someone who was on the other side of that line.

          1. Again, more crap. You seem unable to argue the original premise and continue to try to deflect. Try to stay with the topic, ok? I know that’s tough when you’re being made to look a fool and need to change the topic, but try.
            Obeying the police, something you seem to object to, is a basic part of civil society. We WANT criminals to obey the police – that way, some poor cop doesn’t have to live with the consequences of having to shoot some criminal who is endangering his life. Do I sound less than sympathetic to the criminal? Gee, can’t imagine why, but if I have a choice between a dead cop or a dead criminal, guess where I choose? Thing is, the criminal is the one making the choice here. Obey the lawful commands of the officer and live. Don’t, and die. Easy peasy.
            As for where in hell you are determining that I am fearful, I have no idea. How about sticking to the reality of what I write, the actual meanings in the words, because your ability to divine truth (as you see it) is sorely diverging from what the truth actually is.

  21. Throwing people in prison brought the crime rate down? Check.

    And accurate.

    Disobeying police orders in any way, shape, or form is bad? Check. (“Comply first, and, if warranted, complain later.”)

    Well, it’s “bad” in the same sense that sticking your finger into a live power outlet is “bad”, or that gargling with gasoline and then having a smoke is “bad”.

    Police officers are in danger at every moment of every day? Check. Literally comparing police officers to soldiers going off to war? Check.

    You are saying that there are no police officers anywhere in the US that are patrolling dangerous, gang-infested territories? That those police officers aren’t at risk of being shot at by gangs and criminals? None? At all?

    The drug war is good and saves lives? Check.

    Now here you have a point: the drug war is ineffective, costly, and destroys lives (technically, Barr is correct that it also saves lives, just not as many as it destroys).

  22. There is a limit to the resources available to prosecute crimes. DAs use their discretion all the time in choosing which cases to prosecute. Barr is just angry that some DAs have decided to prosecute crimes he wouldn’t choose (white collar crime that is more expensive to follow up since the suspects have lots of money and lawyers) while dropping prosecution of petty drug crimes for suspects that are easy to convict because they have no resources.

    1. What about the guy arrested for stealing from parking meters, who paid his bail in quarters?

      I’m just kidding, only backwards places have coin-op parking meters any more.

  23. If you’ve ever read the news and wondered if there was a rule that prosecutors _must_ be sociopathic sadists, Barr just confirmed that there is.

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