Crime

Will the Spike in Murder and Violence Undermine Criminal Justice Reform?

Growing criticism of big-city progressive D.A.s George Gascón and Chesa Boudin underscores the importance of distinguishing necessary reform from simply failing to enforce the rule of law.

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In 1960, the U.S. violent crime rate started rising, and for three decades this was one of the most vexing and discussed problems in America.

By the early 1990s, policy makers had mostly lost hope. And then violent crime started falling. And it kept falling.

Meanwhile, the number of incarcerated Americans continued to climb.

It was the crime decline that made possible a bipartisan movement to reckon with the injustice of mass incarceration and the failure of the war on drugs.

But last year, the United States experienced the largest rise in homicides in decades, and violent crime rose particularly sharply in big cities, which could bring the return of tough-on-crime rhetoric and undermine the criminal justice reform movement.

Critics say a recently elected group of district attorneys in elite coastal cities, who are dismissing routine property crimes and failing to jail potentially dangerous individuals, are exacerbating the problem.

This backlash underscores why it's so important to distinguish between worthwhile criminal justice reform and simply failing to enforce the rule of law.

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is among this new crop of progressive prosecutors. He was raised by two famous left-wing radicals of the 1960s, Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, and his biological parents were imprisoned on felony murder charges when he was a baby, stemming from their involvement with the Weather Underground, a radical left militant organization.

Since Boudin took office in January 2020, burglary, arson, and murder have all spiked in San Francisco, though rape and assault rates have fallen, and most of his term has taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic—a time when life in the Bay Area has been far from normal.

Boudin is facing possible recall for failing to prosecute and jail a man accused of committing several burglaries and then drunkenly running over and killing two women, and a man twice accused of domestic abuse who then murdered an infant.

But can other progressive district attorneys strike a better balance as they reform the system?

"I think that the big lie was, basically…that overincarceration, more police presence, and more prosecutions actually [were] leading to greater safety. When, in fact, it has probably led to greater insecurity," says George Gascón, who took office this year as Los Angeles County's new district attorney. He's a former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer and once held the same job as Boudin in San Francisco.

Gascón defeated the more conservative incumbent Jackie Lacey with his radical reform agenda, pledging to release up to 20,000 "low-risk" offenders. He immediately ended cash bail for misdemeanors and what he calls "low-level, nonserious crimes."

"We saw people that were being held in pretrial incarceration for weeks or months, simply because they couldn't afford a very low dollar a month to bail," says Gascón. "They were not necessarily dangerous. So the reality is, there is no connection between how much money you have in your bank account and whether you're dangerous or not." 

Since taking office, Gascón has made good on his promise not to prosecute victimless crimes like low-level drug possession and sex work. But he's also declining to prosecute actual property crimes like trespassing.

"Data is continuing to flow, and more so recently, that shows that deemphasizing the criminal process when it comes to low-level nonviolent offenses, actually increases the safety in general, not just for those types of crimes, but even for more serious crimes," says Gascón. 

But the property crime rate jumped nearly 40 percent during Gascón's almost nine-year tenure as San Francisco's D.A., a fact Gascón attributes to local police retaliating against him for co-authoring California's Prop 47, which reclassified many felonies as misdemeanors.

"A lot of cops said, you know, basically we're not going to enforce any of this stuff anymore. They were against [Prop 47]. They wanted to basically teach me a lesson," says Gascón. 

But Gascón's critics in Los Angeles believe he's stripping law enforcement of the ability to keep the city safe. 

"Quality of life crimes are not something that you want to prosecute on every instance, but you also don't want to have a blanket policy that prohibits you from ever prosecuting them as well," says Eric Siddall, vice president of the L.A. Association of Deputy District Attorneys, the prosecutors union that sued Gascón for directing the D.A.'s office not to pursue extra harsh sentences for repeat felons or for crimes involving gang members. A judge recently ruled partially in their favor.

Siddall says that the Los Angeles D.A.'s office has been making positive reforms for years and that Gascón is disregarding public safety

"There has to be a middle ground," says Siddall. "And I think that's what our office was trying to do prior to Mr. Gascón. But when you have a blanket policy that completely ignores quality-of-life crimes, then expect the quality of life to decrease in those neighborhoods."

Seven municipalities including the Beverly Hills, Whittier, and Pico Rivera city councils have issued votes of "no confidence" against Gascón. The L.A. sheriff has publicly supported a recall.

Siddall worries that stripping prosecutors of the ability to pursue harsher sentences against gang members will set back the decades-long effort to stem gang violence in a city once plagued by it.

"He basically destroyed most components of our office and our ability to effectively prosecute cases," says Siddall. "He pretty much dismantled [the gang prosecution unit] and redirected resources to other projects….So it's very clear from his policies, his words, and his actions that he is not terribly interested in dealing with violent criminals here in Los Angeles."

But in recent years, problems with L.A.'s gang database have emerged after LAPD officers were charged with fabricating gang affiliations of individuals they pulled over, forcing prosecutors to review hundreds of possibly tainted cases.

Gascón has also opposed long prison sentences even for the perpetrators of violent crimes.

"Data indicates that…as we get older, there's a less likelihood that we're going to re-offend," says Gascón, who points out that California houses many senior citizen inmates at a great cost to taxpayers.

While it's true that people are less likely to commit crimes as they grow older, the data on the effectiveness of long sentences on deterring and preventing violent crime is mixed. One study of California's "three strikes" law found that the policy "significantly reduces felony arrest rates." Another study from the Public Policy Institute of California that examined the state's resentencing reforms, which saw the early release of thousands of inmates, found "little evidence of a relationship between more severe sanctions and better recidivism," partially bolstering Gascón's argument. The researchers unsurprisingly discovered a significant drop in drug re-offenders as the state deprioritized drug offenses but a slight rise in repeat offenders in more serious categories like crimes against persons.

"This data and science argument that he uses is baloney," says Siddall. "You're not going to have less crime by letting violent criminals out of prison. You're not going to have less crime by not punishing people appropriately. You're not going to have less crime by not penalizing someone from using a gun. You're not going to have less crime by basically saying, 'We're going to give a pass to the gangs.' That's just not going to work." 

Despite his stated commitment to following the data, Gascón isn't immune to political pressure. He repealed his own order not to seek long sentences for criminals who victimize children or the elderly or commit hate crimes, claiming that because former President Donald Trump had so poisoned the country with hate, he had no choice.

"Enhancements and your larger periods of incarceration do not work, even for hate crimes," says Gascón. "However…I had a lot of people that came to me and say, 'You know, hate crimes are on the increase. And we are wary that given the posture of the national administration at the time…the message you're sending might be that hate crimes are OK.'"

While Boudin's time in San Francisco may test the limits of criminal justice reform, it's Gascón's tenure in one of the world's largest cities that could test the very concept of the progressive prosecutor: that social services can fix most or all urban dysfunction and that withholding police and prosecutorial resources can force the adoption of those alternatives.

While he faces resistance from law enforcement, city governments, his own team of prosecutors, and the legal system itself, Gascón remains committed to the idea that broad, systemic change is needed for safety and justice.

"We are a country that has increasingly become a country of have and have-nots," says Gascón. "The successful democracies in the world are the ones where you shrink that…difference between those that have incredible wealth and those that do not….And in those societies, you see not only greater levels of security and public safety, but you see a greater level of satisfaction across the board, both for those that are affluent and those that are not." 

Produced by Zach Weissmueller; opening graphics by Isaac Reese

Photo credits: Ringo Chiu/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom; Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/Newscom; Candice C. Cusic/MCT/Newscom; Jan Knapik/ Splash News/Newscom; Ringo Chiu/ZUMA Press/Newscom; J. Emilio Flores/La Opinion / La Opinion Photos/Newscom; Image of Sport/Newscom; Hans Gutknecht/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; JIM RUYMEN/UPI/Newscom; shealah_craighead/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Illustration: Lex Villena; Steve Rhodes, ID 24084034 © Brandon Bourdages ┃Dreamstime.com

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  1. “…claiming that because former President Donald Trump had so poisoned the country with hate, he had no choice.”

    FFS; and Soros bankrolled this and other DAs

    1. Precisely. This article’s only cited source is interviews with those same malicious, Soros-toady DAs who are determined to let BLM/Antifa terrorists burn, loot, and murder whomever they like with impunity, while selling the Big Lie that we’re in an epidemic of crime and terrorism by right-wing extremists and no one else. And Zach Weissmuller swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

      Clearly, Zach, you should be writing fake news for the New York Times.

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    2. Gascón is that guy from HS who everyone wanted to punch in the throat. It’s not his fault that crime soared after he made changes to allow criminals free reign. It’s the police fault for not wanting to bother picking up criminals that he would just release, just to make him look bad. I’m not sure, but I think a prosecutor with a personal persecution complex is a problem. Seriously, this doesn’t even make sense to a 5 year old.

      Oh, like everything else that is icky, it’s also Trump’s fault. Trump caused a crime wave with his tweets. Everyone’s fault but Gascón. He’s a caricature.

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  2. I’m all for sensible reforms, like making our prisons something other than nightmare rape factories, but the stopping of prosecution (for covid jail occupancy was the excuse around here) has unequivocally increased crime.

    1. If criminal law was limited to acts of force and/or fraud against the life, liberty and/or property of other people, then I believe most problems with criminal justice would solve themselves.

      1. I agree.

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      2. Yep. Prosecute those who committed violent acts or destroyed someone’s property, and leave everyone else alone.

      3. In 2020, of the 1,291,000 people in state prisons, 55.2% (713,000) were in for violent crimes, and 17.6% (227,000) were in for property crimes.

        Now, yes, that leaves the rest in for drug offenses, public order offenses, and “other”. But when a group like the Marshall Project calls for reducing the prison population by 50%, or a group like the Prison Policy Initiative complains that the US incarcerates people at five times the rate of the UK, they by necessity mean they want sentences for people who committed violent crimes and property crimes reduced, since everybody else combined is just a quarter of the prison population.

        1. I don’t know the source of these particular numbers, but the “problem” with many such statistics is that they’re based on sentencing orders, which overwhelmingly result from plea bargaining, and understate the seriousness of the actual conduct that led to prosecution. If you looked at what those “property criminals” and “drug criminals” actually did, you’d find that many of them, if not most, are violent criminals who got a deal to plead to lesser charges. I’ve read tons of papers on the allegedly “non-violent” people getting sentenced to prison, and they only rarely address the effects of plea bargaining.

          In addition, I’ve seen quite a few “studies” that completely misinterpret the term “non-violent” as it often appears in sentencing orders. In the courts where I practiced, those words meant that the offense WAS a violent offense, but that a sentence-enhancement allegation had been dropped in a plea bargain. You will see sentences for “aggravated battery/non-violent,” but never for “embezzlement/non-violent.” Academic act, at least, as though they are oblivious to this feature of many penal codes.

          I’m convinced that, while some changes are warranted, much of the “criminal justice reform” movement is based on false narratives and broad-brush allegations extrapolated from bizarre, exceptional cases. I spent forty years in the justice system, as a police officer, an appellate court law clerk, a prosecutor, and as a private lawyer. Suggestions that our prisons are teeming with non-violent property and drug offenders are completely contrary to my personal experience. I can count on one finger, for example, the number of times that I ever saw a defendant sentenced to prison (as distinguished from jail) simply for use or possession of drugs (including for sale). In fact, most of the drug cases within my experience that resulted in prison sentences, the records included evidence of violence common in the drug trade, up to and including murders or attempted murders of witnesses or territorial rivals.

          1. This is how I have assessed the data as well. Nice post.

            Stick around, Duane.

          2. Exactly! I’ve done some prison reform consulting and we never found anyone in prison for simple possession.

            In cases we investigated that were claimed as such, it turns out the reason the guy was in Pelican Bay, Joliet, etc was the murder he committed with a joint in his pocket… or yes he had a gram on him while committing the aggravated assault.

            As for the misdemeanor sentences where jail time is actually being served, we found it almost exclusively a part of the plea in exchange for reduced charges.

          3. ^1.
            Facile cites of ‘studies’, absent cites, are worthless; they’re like claiming guns are a public health issue since the CDC makes that claim.
            There was a agit-prop over in the ‘paying to sit on your ass’ thread who was busted for cherry-picking the numbers most favored by his narrative and ignoring the real ones; this would be the lefty asshole EdG who offered:
            EdG
            May.13.2021 at 6:37 pm
            “How many times are they going to keep repeating the same lies? It’s sickening. Here’s the truth:
            1. Weekly unemployment claims totaled 23.1 million on May 9, 2020.
            2. Weekly unemployment claims had DROPPED to 3.7 million on May 1, 2021.
            3. Nearly 20 million people have RETURNED TO WORK or stopped drawing benefits.
            4. The average claims preceding the pandemic was 1.7 million.
            5. There are just 2 million more people drawing unemployment now than there were in January 2020.
            6. The nation currently has 8.5 million job openings.
            7. Even if every one of the 2 million extra people drawing now went back to work tomorrow, there’d still be 6.5 million open jobs.
            8. The average unemployment benefit equals $14.60 per hour. With no health insurance or other benefits. No Social Security contribution for retirement. No 401K or other pension.
            Bottom line: This article is packed with lies. The relatively few people drawing unemployment are but a blip in an economy the size of the United State’s.”
            See all those cites? Me neither; check the replies; fucking lefty liar.

          4. “broad brush allegations” indeed.

            Gascon is nothing but assertions-without-evidence, nothing but claims, never any proof. Of course, the people that voted him in deserve him, I just hate people who use such facile rhetoric. Even when they’re not in a position of responsibility.

            His “explanations” sound a lot like DiBlasio justifying non-prosecution and non-incarceration and then, for the applause line “And we’re safer for it!” What an insane vomit soup of delusion, pandering and intellectual hairballs.

            I think about that every time I see NYC crime statistics. Just a blatant contrafactual, and I wonder if those “savvy, street smart Noo Yawkas” can tell when someone’s claiming the sky is orange and the sun rises in the West…

    2. It’s what you get when you have a knob to control brightness but not one for contrast.

  3. Don’t worry. Criminal justice reform — AKA the Koch / Reason #EmptyThePrisons agenda — will happen. Because the Koch / Reason libertarian choice for President knows he’s in office to do what billionaires want.

    #BillionairesKnowBest

  4. Reducing police headcounts is not criminal justice reform. But it seems Reason’s *snicker* brain trust *snicker* thought otherwise.

    1. The Reason Recipe:
      More cartel members
      Fewer cops.

      PROFIT!

  5. “We are a country that has increasingly become a country of have and have-nots,” says Gascón.

    California certainly leads the nation in that regard. And thanks to Gascon and Boudin, more haves will become have-nots. What is an honest but poor person to think when he sees society basically abandoning any semblance of safety for those at the bottom of the economic ladder? Neither Gascon nor Boudin has ever given the slightest indication of caring about poor, law-abiding people. Their glorification of criminals shows their character as well as their priorities.

    1. Now this principle will extend to police protection. If you’re rich enough to afford private security you can live in safety. If not, then that’s your tough luck.

  6. You know, “criminal justice reform” can be interpreted in more than one way.

  7. So the problem with the crime surge and the attendant harm it causes is that people might want the police to do something about it?

    1. Here I thought the problem was that attempts to reign in abuses by the police might be abandoned.

      1. There has never been an attempt to allow cops to continue abuses. Even in the policies you hate such as qualified immunity, subsequent abuses are punished.

        You’re simply deranged at this point.

  8. I have deep philosophical problems with imprisoning people at all, but I think one must consider the possibility that the high rates of incarceration and the drop in crime were related (in the fairly obvious ways).

    1. Bingo. This past year’s wave of riots proves beyond all doubt that a large number of people are simply not safe to allow on our streets. And if the law heeds these so-called reformers and stops doing their job, the people will either have to replace them, or do it ourselves.

    2. If we had sound borders and a wilderness, I’d be persuaded to consider banishment instead of imprisonment. Outlaws can live without laws in the wilderness.

    3. So, in your view, what is the appropriate punishment between fine and execution? If someone attacks and robs another, disabling that person for life, is that just a fine in your world?

    4. I have some problems with it as well, but more practically than philosophically. Since violent crime recidivism rates are 65% within 8 years and nonviolent crime recidivism is 40%, it seems as though the current punishment scale is not adequate.

      People with reasonable mental faculties tend to not risk more than they are willing to lose. Couple the fact that the majority of people don’t start a hard drugs habit when they are over 25 with a law that proscribes selling to an adult as a misdemeanor with a hefty fine but to under age 25 as a death sentence, few dealers are going to risk the latter. It’s a slow process, but over time that means they start to age out their market with few young takers.

  9. A little over a year ago, we had made INCREDIBLE strides with regards to police reforms. Body cams, police unions, qualified immunity reform, eliminating no-knocks….it was all on the table.

    We won’t see that again for decades thanks to the mostly peaceful protests.

    1. And right after the George Floyd incident, pretty much everyone across the political spectrum was onboard for some kind of reforms but the radical BLM movement pretty much squandered the opportunity.
      I think there are a lot of decent sincere people out there with BLM signs and attending the actually peaceful protests and vigils. But I cannot understand why those people aren’t absolutely enraged at the radicals who have wrecked a great opportunity to actually get some meaningful reforms that might do some good.

      1. BLM certainly screwed the pooch by making everything about race, but it’s the partisan politics aspect that really pisses me off. I see Republicans and conservatives reflexively opposing all of these police reforms simply because of the politics of the people who support them.

        It would be nice if people could judge policies and ideas based upon the policies and ideas themselves, not the politics of the people promoting them.

        Partisan politics makes people stupid.

        1. What ideas are BLM advocating other than “defund the police”?

          1. Talk about missing the point. BLM makes everything about race. Someone says the unions are the problem, BLM says it’s racism. Someone proposes QI reform, BLM says it’s racism. Someone complains about their mother’s gout, BLM says it’s racism. It’s totally moronic and only succeeded in distracting people from any real issues and meaningful reform.

            1. I think you’re missing my point. You said to look past their views on race and judge them by their policies. So I’m asking what are they advocating for other than defund the police?

              1. I didn’t say they were advocating for anything. They hopped onto the reform bandwagon and then made it all about race. Then come the protests which were mostly leftists virtue signaling to each other. Conservatives who reflexively oppose anything the left supports were faced with a choice between supporting police reform and agreeing with the people they hate, or coming up with excuses to oppose it. Now police reform is off the table, thanks to BLM idiots and partisan morons.

                1. I think Conservatives support the reform bill by Sen. Scott the Democrats opposed and voted down because it came from a Conservative. At the present time Democrats control the House and Presidency and have a 51 to 50 majority in the Senate. If Pelosi does have a bill she adds enough pork and leftist agenda policies to insure the GOP opposes it. She always names them something they aren’t so it will look bad when the GOP opposes it. It isn’t about getting anything passed and more of a political ploy to make the GOP look bad.

              2. “So I’m asking what are they advocating for other than defund the police?”

                Give them more money so they can buy more swanky mansions?

              3. He doesn’t even realize that reform happened under Trump despite BLM being active. He is ignorant to basically everything. He just knows the right is to blame. Despite the fact that the major crime spikes are in democratic areas.

          2. Marxism, the end of the historic family structure – – – – –

        2. Yes it does. It’s not sensible to move away from reasonable reforms because some idiot activists are rioting and calling for all kinds of crazy shit. But people are stupid in fairly predictable ways and that could easily be foreseen. You have to seize the opportunity when it presents itself.

        3. I see Republicans and conservatives reflexively opposing all of these police reforms simply because of the politics of the people who support them.

          Is there honestly anything you don’t blame on the right?

          Do you even know where 3 strikes, the drug wars, etc started? In urban centers. Your favorite new president was at the center of those aspects.

          My god man, you’re broken.

          The right has always championed reform, just not idiotic reform that fits on a protest sign.

          Trump signed a reform bill into law while Obama never did.

          You’re just pathetic at this point.

      2. No, there are no well-meaning BLM members. It is an organized false-flagging criminal gang, paid for, directed, and supplied by Soros.

        1. I didn’t say members, I said regular people who think that their BLM sign just means that they think black lives matter. Such people do exist in pretty large numbers.

          1. I have limited sympathy for useful idiots, especially over the age of 18.

      3. But I cannot understand why those people aren’t absolutely enraged at the radicals

        Honest question, if they were, would you even know about it? Aside from the obvious answer that leftist media wouldn’t report anything contrary to the narrative, would those people even want to paint a target on their backs by openly denouncing the people that just burned down whole neighborhoods with impunity?

        BTW, I’m not even saying that there are honest BLM types that are outraged at the mob violence, I’m just wondering if there’s a way to know if there are or how many there are.

        1. I’m thinking of people I know personally. Who go out on a Saturday and hold up signs in my nice small town. Who are entirely peaceful and seem sincere (even if I think they are really missing the point in many ways).

          1. You live around a lot of Sturmabteilung supporters?

            1. Well, people who are suckers for nice-sounding slogans, anyway.

              1. Really puts the past in a much more relatable perspective.

        2. There are many well-meaning BLM supporters who don’t know anything about what BLM stands for or anything about the mob violence because they get most of their news about it from social media. I know a number of people like this. IMO, it was made worse by the extended lockdowns because many people were getting ALL of their information from their self-made echo chambers.

          1. My mother in law still believes that the Capitol riots were much more violent than any of the “peaceful protests”.

            1. Too bad we don’t realize it at the time, but when you marry her, your marrying into the whole kit and kaboodle.

              My mother law watches Fox News; compared to your MIL, I consider myself fortunate.

            2. “My mother in law still believes that the Capitol riots were much more violent than any of the “peaceful protests””

              Do you dare ask her to give you some numbers regarding the deaths?

      4. I agree. They lost that opportunity.

  10. Gascon has given a pass to violent criminals, even ordering DAs not to show up at parole hearings. Nobody should be surprised at the rise in crime.

    Philly is no different. Krasner is such a bad DA, that his own party refused to endorse his re-election.

  11. “A lot of cops said, you know, basically we’re not going to enforce any of this stuff anymore. They were against [Prop 47]. They wanted to basically teach me a lesson,”

    And because this DA is not just excuse making there is evidence to back up that this was more than just words right? He can show a decrease in arrests for crimes that are being reported in areas where he hasn’t decided to unsurp the role of the legislature right?

    1. There should be only one reply to police departments who refuse to enforce the law. The same reply that anyone else gets when they refuse to do their job.

      “You’re fired.”

      1. Nice non-response to his post.

  12. Poverty causes crime. It’s not that poor people are criminals, it’s that desperation causes good people to make bad choices. And poverty leads to a culture of lawlessness. Why follow the rules when there’s nothing left to lose?

    Poverty went down after the 70s because society as a whole become more affluent. So what happened last year that caused a spike? The pandemic. Laws and edicts forced millions out of work as businesses were forcibly shuttered. The homeless problem was already rising (in large part due to Democratic incompetence at the local level) but skyrocketed after the lockdowns. We didn’t suddenly get more substance addled brains, we suddenly got people on the margins who were forcibly unemployed. And poverty causes crime.

    I don’t want the government paying people not to work. But when the government is actively hostile to free markets and job creation, then the least it can do is dish out some dole for the people it shoved past the margin. Not my wish, because in my perfect world the government would get out of the economy and stop picking and choosing who gets to be in business and who doesn’t. No favors to Carrier Air Conditioning, no favors to FoxConn, no imprisoning food vendors and hair stylists. Just keep the fucking mitts off. Government that needs more than a 10% flat tax is a government that is doing too much. Let corporations hold a bake sale if they want a boondoggle in Wisconsin.

    1. A lack of legal opportunity causes people to consider illegal opportunities.

      How is some person in poverty supposed to be an entrepreneur when they’ve got to spend tens of thousands of dollars on licenses while following a Byzantine web of regulations?

      Down the road from here is a seafood restaurant that started out as a literal shack on the side of the road. No government today would ever let that happen, and that budding entrepreneur may have resorted to selling drugs instead.

      Poverty is not created. It’s the default state of man. Want to get rid of poverty? Look at how wealth is created, and then get the government out of the fucking way.

      1. I think this is one of the better ways to sell libertarian ideas to socialist-leaners who are genuinely concerned about the poor (such people do exist). It would be so much easier to escape poverty if all you needed to start a business was a brain and some good or service to sell.

        1. They’ll accuse you of wanting to let corporashunz poison children, with no government watchdog to rein them in.

          1. I see you too read r/libertarian.

          2. There is the possibility of tiering. Size of business/transaction affects regulation compliance requirements.

            Mass manufacturing has different byproducts than a woman making stuff in her garage.

            1. Sounds like a whole new bureaucracy, and more disincentive for a business not to grow.

              1. disincentive for a business to grow.

            2. “There is the possibility of tiering. Size of business/transaction affects regulation compliance requirements.
              Mass manufacturing has different byproducts than a woman making stuff in her garage.”
              None of which affects the desired outcome of getting the government out of the equation.

        2. Except socialist-leaners usually believe the economy is a zero-sum game, which means one man’s gain must be another man’s loss. Which is exactly true in a socialist economy. Explaining how growing the pie makes everyone’s slice bigger is a losing battle.

          1. No one says that. It’s the propaganda in your head. Don’t be an abuser. Entitled employers are the problem.

            1. I thought you died, Hihn?

              1. Not Hihn. Stupid enough, but not enough ransom note CAPs.

  13. Stop electing democrats, stop listening to Soros idiots, and get your country back.

  14. I reject your argument that poverty causes crime.
    There are literally millions of poor people who do not commit crimes.
    There are lots of people who enjoy hurting, raping, and terrorizing other people.
    They will continue to do evil even if you gave them a free house and a guaranteed basic income.

    1. Well, poverty is certainly closely associated with crime. It’s probably a lot more complicated than “poverty causes crime”, though.

      1. I think it’s probably more accurate to say that “crime causes poverty.” Generally, and in the long run, disregard for societal norms (often codified into laws) that have evolved over millenia to allow individuals to interact in mutually beneficial ways will lead to financial ruin.

        Obviously, there are notable exceptions. And as you noted, a lot of it is probably just correlation and not necessarily causal.

      2. Are we overlooking the $$$ amounts involved in graft, corruption, deceitful marketing, abuse of employees, and stock market grifts??

        Because if we did, it would take a whole helluva lot of muggings and drug deals to even out the crimes committed by the wealthy, and I’m pretty sure it would break the asserted association of poverty with crime.

        1. Does your keyboard have a hammer and sickle key?

      3. “Poverty causes crime” is at best a gross simplification, and at worst, completely untrue. A child molester or a rapist does not start molesting or raping because he is poor. There are so many other factors; poverty being pretty low on the list compared to shitty parents and mental health issues.

  15. “Will the Spike in Murder and Violence Undermine Criminal Justice Reform?”

    Will Newsom, Cuomo, et al get the proper blame for causing an increase in urban violence?

    1. Sevo is what happens when you’re not educated and absorb talking points.

      1. Marketfucks is what happens when you’re not educated and absorb no points at all.

  16. Reason still doesn’t get it

    the left is using criminal justice reform as an often literal cudgel to smash their enemies

    in blue areas, there is no second amendment, no first amendment, no fourth amendment, no tenth amendment

    non-Democrat-approved opinions are banned from every public arena either with force of law or, failing that, informal violence made possible by the deliberate absence of state protection

    BLM race war mob shows up your house or business and tries to burn it down? better grab your kids and run because defending yourself is a crime

    you can be damn sure the DA has their back and will happily plant a knife in yours

    all you can do is run somewhere redder

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/convicted-felonies-antifa-attacked-drew-help-take-case-scotus/

  17. Violence is up due to being the world’s most incompetent nation against Covid, thanks to Trump. This is not mentioned here at all. Trump is a boastful sexual assaulter who has never been prosecuted for his proud confessions of sex felonies, also never mentioned on this site.

    1. “Violence is up due to being the world’s most incompetent nation against Covid, thanks to Trump.”

      You misspelled “Newsom”, TDS-addled asshole.

    2. I take back what I said in the morning links about DOL’s post.

      Jesus Christ.

    3. (posted twice; love the threaded comments)
      Missed this:
      “…Trump is a boastful sexual assaulter who has never been prosecuted for his proud confessions of sex felonies,…”
      Yeah, three years of investigations by thousands of folks who hate his guts, and a pathetic steaming pile of lefty shit like you is going to break this wide open? Are the walls closing in, scumbag? Asshole, is this the beginning of the end?
      Fuck off and die, shitbag.

      1. No, no, not “walls closing in”, the other one. The one CNN liked so much…oh, yeah “blockbuster revelations!”. That somehow cause the walls to close in.

        Amazing post, that was. Untrue things, flying overhead without apparent linkage; causal, logical or even rhetorical. I don’t think I could make a post like that.

    4. BTW, a casual look at this asshole’s web ‘personality’ suggests that he’s simply one more whiny piece of lefty shit.
      Fuck off and die.

      1. Shouldn’t you be in school? You might learn something instead of listening to the loudest voice.

        1. flag for the asshole

    5. Damn, this mute function is awesome!

  18. Is this the first time Reason has criticized including property crimes with victimless crimes when discussing refraining from charging criminals? Because they haven’t been helping the cause by ignoring the distinction.

  19. Pretty much the only good thing so far about Jimmy Carter’s long-delayed second term is that so many disasters are piling up so quickly now that it forced the government’s hand and led them to proclaim the pandemic is now over. Yaaaaaay!

  20. Will it ? God I hope so! In the last ten years states have been slowly undermining the progress that the US made in the late 80s and early 90s to get a handle on violent crime. They have adopted various measures to do away with cash bail because it was somehow ‘unfair’ to ask those under indictment to post a surety to give them some incentive to show up for court. That has allowed individuals charged with serious offenses, including murder, to walk out of jail on their own recognizance with the excuse that they had never failed to show up for a court appearance before. So if they have never had criminal charges before we are to assume that they will just hang around and wait patiently for their court date and never, ever, try to make contact with potential witnesses or the families of potential witnesses because that would be, like, sooo icky, right? Then there are the early releases for three and four time losers who worked very hard to acquire a life sentence – stealing, burglarizing homes, strong arming little old ladies, stealing social security checks, breaking legs for drug dealers and whatever other offenses one can conjure up. Somehow, because it took three or four felonies for them to acquire a lengthy sentence, our weepy congressional delegates think it is unfair to force them to serve the sentence they showed the community they deserved. And on and on and on. If someone can tell me why the citizens of the US are safer with all theses snot-wads out on the street, I’m willing to hear it.
    Now we are looking at 74,000 early releases in California, 62,000 of whom are convicted of violent crimes. We were also informed that the Bureau of Prisons has no plans to return the convicts given furlough due to Covid 19, back to prison to complete their sentences – it might disrupt their lives, don cha know!
    Course the people whose lives they ruined and whose families they destroyed driving drunk for the umpteenth time or whose parents lost their life savings to fraud or whose child was disabled after failing to make her scheduled payment for a drug or gambling debt, their lives are permanently disrupted, but who cares, right ? Wrong place, wrong time, no big deal, nothing to get all upset about really.
    If we want to see violent crime continue to spike (and I think the people pushing this criminal justice reform want exactly that) all we have to do is keep following this path. There was a reason that violent crime rates dropped by half in the 20 years after 1992. It was because we locked up the top 15% most prolific criminals for thirty or forty years. We locked up the people who refused to modify their behavior after three separate felony convictions. We locked up the large volume drug dealers because they are never just selling drugs – the nature of the business requires that they also become loan sharks, leg breakers, pimps, fences and murderers. Those measures worked and the people who were locked up, by and large deserved every day of the sentences they received and if we stop incarcerating those people we will shortly be living in a nation where no citizen has any rights, no one can own a gun except the police and only the rich will be able to safely walk in our parks because they will have armed security. Please, please, abandon this campaign. It will not end well.

  21. Why is anyone talking about criminal justice reform before law enforcement finishes creating a Drug-Free America?

  22. No, black lives matter will destroy criminal justice reform, just as they were intended to do. Just as they did last time around.

    That is the point of making criminal justice reform about racism. The entire point is to make people angry and divide them, while keeping the issue alive for the next election.

    This is why immigration reform never gets passed. This is why issues of abortion never get addressed.

    This is why once the gay rights issue was completely and fully settled it was less than 5 minutes before we decided that men using the bathroom with women was the most important issue on the agenda. And now men competing in women’s sports is the most important item on the agenda.

    I have written on this here many times. Radley Balko et al had this country on the verge of tackling multiple issues of criminal justice reform, including several that are not on the agenda anymore like overhauling our system of forensics. Then hands up don’t shoot happened. Then black lives matter was created. And instead of making the issue about criminal justice reform, the issue became tackling racism. And magically the issue became irresolvable.

    This is not accidental. It is not just groups differing about root causes. This is an intentional campaign to divide and distract the citizenry in order to seize power.

    No, serious criminal justice reform is not on the table.

    It was for a few weeks. After George Floyd there was no opposition and changes that have been on the table for decades could have been swept through in a matter of weeks. Instead, the left pushed ahead with racism. And the country was so horrified that they bowed their heads and ascented.

    And did the left accept? No. They did not.

    They changed tactics and decided that reform was impossible. We must defund the police. We must end policing. Prosecuting criminals was no longer allowed in Democrat controlled cities. Because that’s racist.

    This was also not an accident. They wanted to push past what people would accept. They needed pushback. The same was true of black lives matter and antifa. They needed to be violent enough to have police respond so they could be victims. But police never responded, because they all reported to Democrat mayors. So they kept pushing and pushing. And the media kept calling it peaceful as buildings burned. Because it was not organic. It did not spontaneously arrive. It was a think tank originated and derived strategy to drive a wedge for political game. They needed to push until someone on the other side pushed back. That way they could paint them as racists and proclaim that they were out to get all minorities.

    You will not be seeing serious criminal justice reform. Any reforms you see will be designed to fail. That is the strategy.

    All you have to do is take them at their word. Read the BLM manifesto. Listen to what the Democrat leadership has to say. Listen to what they write about.

    Four times in my adult life the Democrats have said they were going to shut down the federal government and blame it on the Republicans. Four times national news media told me that this is what the Democrats were going to do. Four times the Democrats did what they said they were going to do. And four times the national news media acted as if they did not just tell me that this whole thing was a ploy and loudly proclaimed that the Republicans just shut down the federal government.

    I don’t understand why people don’t believe these people. They said they are trying to tear it all down. Obama made it clear that his mission was not reconciliation, but to reignite racial animosity. The entirety of the left has abandoned the civil rights movement and the ideals of Martin Luther King. They now publicly say that a colorblind society is not only not a goal, it is actively racist.

    Why don’t you take them at their word? They have not been

    I don’t know why the libertarian media thinks that the far left are their allies. They hate you more than they hate Republicans. There can be no détente with these people. Their first principles are incompatible with ours. They do not believe in individual rights. Our entire ethos is fundamentally and inextricably tied to individual rights. Just give it up. They are never going to love you. They’re always going to insist that you give up and truly love big brother.

    1. Very well said.

    2. “I don’t know why the libertarian media thinks that the far left are their allies.”

      Reason continues to talk of “unintended consequences”, and how Democrat policies aren’t working. No, the consequences are entirely intended, and they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. Like you said, they’ve come out and said what they’re trying to do, and they are doing it.

      When all the green new deal bullshit “backfires” and poor people lose their standards of living because they can’t afford everything they can now, Reason will pretend that making these people poorer, and more dependent on the ruling class, wasn’t intended.

    3. “There can be no détente with these people.”

      It is extremely concerning to see someone as level-headed as you write this. FWIW, I agree.

      “I don’t know why the libertarian media thinks that the far left are their allies.”

      Because a major patron cut a deal with a bigwig of the Far Left, and Libertarian media are good employees who write what they are paid to write. They may not be allies, but at least they won’t be canceled in the interim, and perhaps the horse will learn to sing.

  23. It may be quite informative to see a map of violent crime increases vs strict Covid lockdowns. My swag is that the more severe the lockdown, the greater the increase in violent crime.

    1. “It may be quite informative to see a map of violent crime increases vs strict Covid lockdowns. My swag is that the more severe the lockdown, the greater the increase in violent crime.”

      SF does not provide public access to data regarding violence by district, but over the last year, in the Bay View/Hunters Point neighborhoods, the number of shootings and deaths by shooting, have increased *drastically*, such that the Captain in that district was recently replaced.
      This is ‘south-side Chicago’, largely black, where most of the ‘public housing’ (get your free shit here!) is located, where, if you were employed in low end entry jobs, Newsom made sure you were unemployed as of March 2020.
      For several reasons, there are no links here. Take it on my rep for factual posts or whine otherwise; there are matters more important than proving to lefty shits that my posts are factual.

      1. Wow, going full racist.

        1. Wow, going full stupid!

        2. Delicious whining… Keep going, lefttard.

  24. Missed this:
    “…Trump is a boastful sexual assaulter who has never been prosecuted for his proud confessions of sex felonies,…”
    Yeah, three years of investigations by thousands of folks who hate his guts, and a pathetic steaming pile of lefty shit like you is going to break this wide open? Are the walls closing in, scumbag? Asshole, is this the beginning of the end?
    Fuck off and die, shitbag.

  25. It’s important to remember that “reform” literally means nothing more than “change”, with a positive connotation tacked on.

    When you hear somebody say “reform”, it just means “change I want you to approve of”. But, should you? Not without digging into the details.

  26. Reason, you seriously have a problem. If this is what you attract, you might want to think about it. You can tell which articles trigger the violent thugs.

    1. Fuck off and die; give somebody’s dog a place to piss.

      1. oh stop your (fake) tough guy persona, you are embarrassing yourself, wimp

        1. Yea, I think STD was meant to be capitalized in your handle.

        2. “oh stop your (fake) tough guy persona, you are embarrassing yourself, wimp”

          If that was directed to me, fuck off and die; give somebody’s dog a place to piss.

    2. Are you posting via a ouija board, Hihn?

    3. Speaking of triggered: I just came here to read some butthurt libtard comments. This is great. Keep ’em coming, whiny snowflakes!

  27. as the “reform” is creating the spike , hopefully it does undermine it

  28. There is some reason to believe that the spike in murder and violence is a result of criminal justice reform.

  29. The existing policies were put in place right at the beginning of a ~25-year drop in crime. One might think they don’t need reforming at all.

  30. “… and violent crime rose particularly sharply in big cities…”

    Strangely enough, big cities mostly run by Progressive Democrats. Who would have believed it?

  31. Butthurt lefttards in full frenzy in this thread. Love it.

  32. People with mortgages don’t murder and steal so much.

    Explain how to make fewer poor people or shut the fuck up about your “ideas.”

    No human should ever be put in a cage.

    1. “Explain how to make fewer poor people or shut the fuck up about your ‘ideas.’”

      How not to make people poor:

      -Treat humans as adults who can make their own decisions and can have their own thoughts.

      -Stop being intolerant.

      -Stop having a problem with nature and embrace competition as a driving force of progress.

      -Stop whining about tolerable degrees of inequality if they are a side effect of the cake growing for everyone and no other systems are known that can increase wealth for all individuals even if the agents in it are flawed and immoral. Because that’s really what makes capitalism so much better than leftist utopias: it works despite the reality of human nature.

      -Stop being a leftist

    2. “Explain how to make fewer poor people or shut the fuck up about your “ideas.””
      Get the government out of the way and let the market function.

      “No human should ever be put in a cage.”
      Bullshit. Those who are psychopaths need to be removed from society. They violate the most basic human contract: Do not initiate violence toward another.

  33. This is all nonsense. When the government speaks of reform they are talking about changing something they are responsible for. They will reform their failing policies with more failing policies and blame the other party for the failure. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 328 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

  34. “Explain how to make fewer poor people or shut the fuck up about your ‘ideas.'”

    How not to make people poor:

    -Treat humans as adults who can make their own decisions and can have their own thoughts.

    -Stop being intolerant.

    -Stop having a problem with nature and embrace competition as a driving force of progress.

    -Stop whining about tolerable degrees of inequality if they are a side effect of the cake growing for everyone and no other systems are known that can increase wealth for all individuals even if the agents in it are flawed and immoral. Because that’s really what makes capitalism so much better than leftist utopias: it works despite the reality of human nature.

    -Stop being a leftist

    1. was meant for tony

  35. “there is no connection between how much money you have in your bank account and whether you’re dangerous or not.”

    I mean, yes there is. There is a wealth of sociological, anthropological, and statistical evidence of it.

  36. Let everyone out isn’t reform, it is freaking insanity.

    1. Reform would be decriminalize victimless crimes, which has largely been done already, and to make sure police who abuse power are prosecuted, which has partially been done already but cannot be fully done because of unions (supported by the left).

  37. The main goal of reforms is always to improve the course, help in development, simplify people’s lives and everything in this direction. The issue of violence in various manifestations is heard every day – work on the reform needs to continue. I also recommend you find more about an in-depth question on Domestic Violence, this informative compilation reveals the issue to the fullest, there are many comparisons, analysis of situations in the regions, as well as historical aspects.

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