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October 24, 2013

Uh-oh: BJS reporting significant spike up in violent and property crime for 2012

Given the historic and unprecedented declines in US crime rates over the last 20 years, smart criminal justice observers knew it was only a question of when, not whether, crime rates were likely to at some point start going back up.  A new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveals that 2012 was the time for crime to start going back up.  This BJS press release, titled ominously "For Second Consecutive Year Violent And Property Crime Rates Increased In 2012," reports these basic details:

Violent and property crime rates rose for U.S. residents in 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. These estimates are based on data from the annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) which has collected information from victims of crime age 12 or older since 1973.

The violent crime rate (which includes rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) rose from 22.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 2011 to 26.1 in 2012. Crime not reported to police and simple assault accounted for the majority of this increase. Violent victimizations not reported to police increased from 10.8 per 1,000 persons in 2011 to 14.0 in 2012, and simple assault rates rose from 15.4 to 18.2 per 1,000. The rate of violent crime reported to police did not change significantly from 2011 to 2012.

The rate of property crime (which includes burglary, theft and motor vehicle theft) increased from 138.7 per 1,000 households in 2011 to 155.8 in 2012, primarily due to an increase in theft. The rate of theft victimization increased from 104.2 per 1,000 households in 2011 to 120.9 in 2012.

In 2012, 44 percent of violent victimizations and 54 percent of serious violent victimizations were reported to police. These percentages were not statistically different from 2011. The percentage of property victimizations reported to police declined from 37 percent in 2011 to 34 percent in 2012....

Other findings from the report include the following:...

  • Violent crime rates increased slightly in 2012 for blacks but remained stable for whites and Hispanics.
  • In 2012, residents in urban areas continued to experience the highest rate of violent crime. Residents in the West had higher rates of violent victimization than residents in other regions of the country.
  • The composition of violent crime remained stable in 2012.  From 1993 to 2012, simple assaults made up approximately 70 percent of all violent victimizations.

To fully understand the impact and import of this new crime data, one needs to dig deeply in to all the numbers and definitions in this full 17-page BJS report.  A review of that document highlights, inter alia, that even these spiked up crime rates being reported for 2012 are still well below the rates reported in 2003, and also that homicide rates appear to be still at record lows.

That all said, the "Uh-oh" in the title of this post is because I fear policy-makers and politicians will focus mostly on the BJS headline stating simply "For Second Consecutive Year Violent And Property Crime Rates Increased In 2012."  A headline like that, especially if and when emphasized by those who oppose any progressive sentencing reform, could very well slow down or stop any developing federal sentencing reform momentum.

October 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

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"Given the historic and unprecedented declines in US crime rates over the last 20 years, smart criminal justice observers knew it was only a question of when, not whether, crime rates were likely to at some point start going back up."

No, it is not just "a matter of time." It's a matter of what we decide to do. When we decide to put away the people who commit crime, we get less crime. When we are flim-flammed into starting to reduce the prison population, we get more crime.

Don't believe me?

All you have to do is put today's entry together with the one Doug wrote not three months ago:

http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2013/07/new-bjs-data-show-continued-2012-decline-in-state-prison-populations-and-continued-federal-increase.html

Well my goodness. The uncanny and astoundingly precise correlation between crime going down FOR 20 STRAIGHT YEARS as we imprisoned more and more criminals, and then going up in EXACTLY the two or three most recent years in which we have started to imprison less, means.........

Well let's see. It means NOTHING AT ALL.

It's just a coincidence, I tell you!

Either that or sunspots. Or hemlines. Or we started using lead-based paint again.

Could we hear again from the "Smart on Crime" crowd about how "smart" it is to adopt the failed policies of the past that increase crime?

This ought to be a riot.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 24, 2013 12:40:11 PM

Douglas stated: "That all said, the "Uh-oh" in the title of this post is because I fear policy-makers and politicians will focus mostly on the BJS headline stating simply "For Second Consecutive Year Violent And Property Crime Rates Increased In 2012." A headline like that, especially if and when emphasized by those who oppose any progressive sentencing reform, could very well slow down or stop any developing federal sentencing reform momentum."

Bless your heart but you never do get around to telling us why the above headline should not "slow down or stop any developing federal sentencing reform momentum." If this headline was a decrease, I am completely confident that you and most of the message board hoi polloi would be screaming for an increase in the momentum and that this was somehow definitive proof we do not need "incarceration nation." When it goes against, suddenly, we have to look at the numbers with more nuance and "dig deeply" in order to "fully understand the impact and import of this new crime data."

Those are some dance moves you have for a professor.

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | Oct 24, 2013 3:02:25 PM

TarlsQtr1 --

"Dig deeply" is academic jargon for "explain away."

But I actually don't want to be hard on Doug. He put up this post certainly knowing that it's really bad news for his side of this debate. That's what honesty looks like, and why I'm a fan of his despite our disagreements on policy.

Still, this is, in my view, all but fatal to the "release them now" movement. Said movement has been assuring us over and over that, if we'd just reduce the prison population, nothing bad would happen. Indeed, many in that movement have been telling us that, with prisoner releases, crime would go DOWN, because fewer inmates would be getting "schooled" as criminals.

OK, how is that working out?

The other thing the "release them now" movement has been pushing is "evidence-based" incarceration policy.

OK, we now have evidence.

Do you think they'll take it seriously and change their views?

Of course they won't, because it was never about evidence to begin with. It was, and is, about ideology: the view that criminals are the victims and society is the villain. So, if, as we see happening, the inmate population goes down and the crime victim population goes up, hey, that's what the Great Satan deserves.

Doug does not think like that. But bunches and bunches of commenters here do. To the far Left, neither this evidence nor any future evidence will provoke a change of heart. That's because, as I say, it was never about evidence.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 24, 2013 3:25:00 PM

"Doug does not think like that. But bunches and bunches of commenters here do. To the far Left, neither this evidence nor any future evidence will provoke a change of heart. That's because, as I say, it was never about evidence."

Bill, you have to be honest, too. When crime rates drop, you say that we need to keep sentencing laws as they are since they deserve credit. When crime rates go up, you say this is no time for reform. You're playing tennis without the net as much as anyone who disagrees with you.

Posted by: Thinkaboutit | Oct 24, 2013 4:52:52 PM

Thinkaboutit --

"When crime rates go up, you say this is no time for reform."

I said no such thing. I said that it's no time for the let-them-off-easy "reform" of the type Leahy/Rand is designed to bring about. Many, many times I have said here that it's time for a DIFFERENT reform -- the re-promulgation of mandatory guidelines.

"You're playing tennis without the net as much as anyone who disagrees with you."

At least three of the people who have disagreed with me recently have analogized the United States to Nazi Germany. That is flagrantly false and scurrilous toward our country, and I am nothing like those people, as I'm sure you know.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 24, 2013 5:58:44 PM

What is notable, Bill and TarlsQtr1, is your own failure to connect all the relevant dots in the data and my posting: national violent/property crimes rates have shown an increase based on this data during a period in which FEDERAL prison populations continue to grow (but STATE prison populations have declined). Ergo, FEDERAL sentencing reform should not "slow down or stop" because it would appear that continuing to growing the FEDERAL prison population is not, at least based on this data, helping to decrease violent/property crime.

The problem, of course, is that we are really not sure what sets of factors play a role here, even though we can be sure that if we lock up the next 10,000 persons arrested for drunk driving there will be less drunk driving. It would be foolish to deny that locking up lots of people serves to incapacitate them (somewhat), but the hard question is really whether that mere incapacitation benefit is worth all the human/social/economic cost, especially given there can be other ways to incapacitate. (This is why I favor, for example, ignition locks to incarceration for all drunk drivers.)

I continue to believe that, as the AG says and with particular focus on our federal system, that we are still using too many tax dollars to lock up too many people for too many years in too many federal prisons for no good law enforcement reason. That is why I do not think this data, alone, should "slow down or stop any developing FEDERAL sentencing reform momentum." Thus, I continue to support/advocate that the FEDS significantly reduce their federal criminal justice footprint (especially in the marijuana and low-level drug enforcement arena) in order to free up monies being cut from supporting state crime control. (E.g., the cost saving at the federal level from the Leahy/Rand-type reform to MMs could/should be reinvested in crime control efforts at the state and local levels that have proven track records.)

The reason I always encourage "digging deeper" is because, both Bill and TarlsQtr1, you are so eager to make hay with this data that you end up doing so in a far-less-than-convincing way. That reality itself serves as a great reminder why crime/punishment data is often misunderstood and misused even by those eager to get this right and to be a straight-shooter in advocating reasonable perspective on such matters.

Posted by: Doug B. | Oct 24, 2013 6:26:49 PM

It takes about 10 years for major law changes to percolate to the street level. So this is the fruit of Booker, ripening right on time. The full harvest remains ahead. Welcome to Detroit, America. Naturally, black people will bear the heaviest burden of this sick, lawless, unauthorized, lawyer human experimentation by the Supreme Court. The rent knows no political affiliation. So Scalia led this charge, and should be openly impeached as a threat to the public safety, and not for any trumped up collateral lawyer gotcha.

I have patience. Under 123D, there should be 20,000 executions a year for 5 years to clear the backlog of violent predators. The count of 123 should begin at 14, and no predator should see an 18th birthday. Then, the number may settle down to 10,000 to eradicate the next birth cohort of violent predators. In 10 years, there will be a genetics test for the most validated personality disorder in psychiatry, antisocial personality disorder. I would support forced abortions of such fetuses in the First Trimester. The organs of any eligible condemned person should be harvested with immediate surgical removal upon pronouncement of death. Each may help up a half dozen transplant candidates. The drop of crime by 90% will come from attrition, the absence of criminals, and assumes no general deterrent effect.

False civil rights lawyer advocates should face the lash of legally immunized victim direct action groups. 20 lashes and tying to the tree outside the local court. Kill them upon second offense defending the violent predators.

The effect will result in unemployment among the lawyers. They may get free retraining courses at government expense, and serve as high school History teachers.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 24, 2013 7:05:41 PM

Doug --

"What is notable, Bill and TarlsQtr1, is your own failure to connect all the relevant dots in the data and my posting: national violent/property crimes rates have shown an increase based on this data during a period in which FEDERAL prison populations continue to grow (but STATE prison populations have declined)."

The problem is that the huge majority of crime and inmates are state crime and state inmates. The small growth in the 2012 federal prison population is utterly wiped out by the 2012 decrease in state prison populations. This has accompanied a big percentage increase in 2012 crime -- again, almost all of it in the states, where prisoners are being released, not in federal jurisdiction, where they aren't.

"Ergo, FEDERAL sentencing reform should not 'slow down or stop because it would appear that continuing to growing the FEDERAL prison population is not, at least based on this data, helping to decrease violent/property crime."

Federal sentencing "reform" most certainly should slow down or stop TO THE EXENT IT WOULD RESEMBLE STATE "REFORMS." But that's what you want it to do -- imitate what these date tell us is failing, and failing in a way that creates human AND FINANCIAL costs to ordinary citizens.

I'll leave it there, for now. Your instinct that this was an "uh-oh" moment for the sort of "reform" Right on Crime has been pushing was, and is, on the money.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 24, 2013 7:08:00 PM

"... we are still using too many tax dollars to lock up too many people for too many years..."

I agree with this self evident truism.

This problem is from over-criminaliztion, to generate government make work jobs across the board. Not from excessive sentencing. 20 million Index felonies, 2 million prosecutions. The prosecution business has a 90% false negative rate. When they have a guy, they got the wrong guy around 20% of the time. How much can a specialty fail before it is more tightly regulated?

Start regulation by removing all immunities. Let victims sue for negligent failure to prosecute. Let innocent and exonerated defendants sue for legal malpractice. Let the internal traitor vermins buy liability insurance as all others must under the oppression of the lawyer profession.

All new laws must meet Daubert standards, and be mala in se. Then they should be tested in small jurisdiction and validated. Only West Virginia has a desuetude doctrine. Any law not enforced for 10 years should automatically be void, unless passed again. An Amendment should impose desuetude on the nation.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 24, 2013 7:19:32 PM

My apologies, Bill. You support tougher sentences when crime goes up (mandatory minimums). You are for tougher penalties when crime goes up (mandatory guidelines). You support reform as long as that reform is a one-way ratchet.

Posted by: Thinkaboutit | Oct 24, 2013 8:31:51 PM

Thinkaboutit --

I confess to supporting what works (jail) and opposing what flops (rehab)(see my post today on C&C, here: http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2013/10/the-consequences-of-unseriousn-2.html). I likewise confess to preferring the interests of crime victims to those of the people who victimize them.

Guilty as charged!

P.S. Mandatory guidelines are a METHOD for determining sentences, and do not dictate any particular sentence. Judges remain free to depart downward, just as they were before Booker. They would just have to give a reason other than "I feel like it."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 24, 2013 9:12:56 PM

The lawyer makes money off the criminal, and not off the crime victim. So the treasonous bitch and her male running dogs everywhere in government responsible positions will not allow any remedy that even inconveniences the criminal.

Here is a proposal to turn the rent around. We will have to eventually kill this treasonous hierarchy. I am never forgiving what the lawyer has done to this nation.

Meanwhile. By a federal statute applying to federal jurisdictions, and by tying federal crime subsidies to the enactment of the same statute in the states.

Crime victims, individually or as an aggregate class, may sue the police for a deviation from professional standards of due care that resulted in damages by a crime, property, money, or personal injury. Still making money from the taxpayer, but the incentives are reversed for the plaintiff lawyer, for the police, and for their bosses, the prosecutors. I would also make judges liable for their pro-criminal decisions that foreseeably results in a damage from crime.

These specialties are in total failure and torts should help them improve. They will shrink, both from liability and from the drops in crime. I estimate that short of 123D, crime can drop another 40% from better enforcement.

In a naturalistic experiment, I live 5 miles from a Fallujah like high crime area. It is a residential area where lawyers live. Virtually no crime. It is frickin' Japan or Switzerland here. College educated troopers arrive where called within 2.5 minutes, 3 at a time. Guns are drawn. Show them a weapon, the death penalty is at the scene. Once in a while, a black kid who did not get the memo, tries to rob a place. Dead at the scene. No excessive force litigation here, ever. That is the standard of due care of the police, 2.5 minutes. Dispatch the bad guys. Keep the crime rate lower than in Japan. Any deviation deserve a monetary award to those injured by the carelessness of the lawyer and his agents, the police.

Recently, the administration has turned Democratic Party, the party of rent seeking, lawyers and the protection of the criminal. So things may change rapidly, but the above was the situation for decades.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 25, 2013 12:22:08 AM

Bill,

I would like to point out that roughly a full day after this post was placed here by Professor B., there has been exactly one post (a response by Professor B that was pretty weak) that addresses WHY your and my interpretation of this data is wrong. The other posts from those in general disagreement with us, most notably by Thinkaboutit, concentrate on whether your positions are as incoherent as theirs obviously are.

If the headline read the opposite this post would have had a chance of being the most responded to thread in the history of this website. Too funny.

For the record, I agree with you about Prof. Berman 100%. He is very much a stand up guy and all of us, lawyers and legal novices like myself included, owe him some gratitude for this fine website. It is just fun to chip away at the ivory tower on occasion. ;-)

Posted by: TarlsQtr1 | Oct 25, 2013 10:10:51 AM

TarlsQtr1,

"If the headline read the opposite this post would have had a chance of being the most responded to thread in the history of this website. Too funny."

Bingo.

Doug is the only liberal among the zillions out there who makes even an attempt to rationalize away the bad news from the increase in crime.

The rest of them are maintaining radio silence.

Fear not, though. After this blows over in a few days, they will be right back to the refrain that releasing criminals won't produce any more crime.

Some of them, though, will initiate a slight change of tune: They'll say that, well, OK, there might be slightly more crime, but it's worth it to make the system "more humane."

When that happens, I'm planning to ask specifically how many more murders, rapes, armed robberies, yokings, child molestations, swindled old folks, and on and on, we should tolerate for this more "humane" system. Wanna take any bets on my getting a responsive answer?

Thinkabout it, disappointingly, seems to want to make me the subject, instead of discussing whether he agrees or disagrees with the view that when we put more criminals in prison, we get less crime.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 25, 2013 10:44:17 AM

Here we go again. The finite encapsulation paradigm which dictates that punishment and societal reintegration strategies must fit within a fixed sentence period. This automatically creates a zero-sum fsctor in which more punishment MUST result in LESS societal reintegration strategies, and vice versa. Until this paradigm is seriously fixed, no "smart on crime" or "tough on crime,' or "'x' on crime" programs will be of any rational value, and the seesaw will continue.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Oct 25, 2013 3:36:33 PM

The percentage increases are notably quite high pretty much across the board (averaging perhaps 15%).

The obvious whipping boy is a very deep recession, but I'd be skeptical of that as a solid explanation standing alone given the weak statistical link between the two. AFAIK, we still have fewer teen pregnancies and lower high school dropout rates than we did a couple decades ago, but young adult unemployment for non-college grads has been very high indeed and more importantly very sustained with lots of people who are long term unemployed.

Reduced state level incarceration is a plausible cause (and indirectly caused by the Great Recession which forced the budget cuts). This hypothesis should be pretty easy to test one way or the other since state level incarceration rates vary quite a bit and simple regression analysis should allow one to see if state incarceration rates trends are closely tracking crime rate trends.

The "good things can't last" explanation would be a good fit if twenty years of decreases were followed by a couple of modest increases that were still close to flat, but doesn't make a lot of sense in the face of a dramatic rebound in crime rates revealed in this report.

I don't see anyone rushing to assign blame to declining policing standards (although tight state budgets have led to modest law enforcement layoffs), or to increasingly well protected Second Amendment rights. There were gradual downward shifts in abortion rates a couple of decades ago, but nothing that would fit such a dramatic surge in crime rates.

This is happening at a time of record low illegal immigration. One could argue that this is reducing a buffer of law abiding working class people in low income neighborhoods thereby destabilizing them, or could point to low illegal immigration as a symptom of extreme economic distress in existing illegal immigrant communities giving rise to crime. Stable violent crime rates for whites and Hispanics disfavor the latter interpretation.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Oct 25, 2013 7:17:18 PM

Doug, when you look at the methodology section, the NCVS recently changed it methods and questioning protocols. Do you know anything about what they altered? Any chance those methodology changes contributed to the reported increase as opposed to crime itself increasing?

Ohwilleke, as I'm sure you know, such a regression analysis would not support the view that reduced incarceration increased crime. Compare crime rates in high-incarceration states like Florida and Texas to New York, which has seen the largest crime reductions in the country along with the most dramatic reductions in incarceration. Your explanations about youth employment, budget cuts and reduced levels of illegal immigration are more likely candidates, IMO. I wouldn't be surprised if youth unemployment is the biggest driver, but people also seriously underestimate the crime-calming effects of illegal immigration. Hardly anyone outside border regions ever discusses it, though it's well-known to folks in El Paso, Brownsville, etc..

Bill you're the one who wants to make you the subject! By my estimate you author about a third of all comments on Doug's blog, probably because you know very few people would come visit your own blog to read what you have to say and Doug gets good traffic. A more secure person would state their opinion and move on, but you so desperately need attention you come back to repeat the same mantra again and again, then show up at my blog to anonymously troll. After a while (and it's been a while), it comes off as pretty pathetic.

A couple of questions for the lock-em-up crowd: If simple assault and thefts that aren't reported to the police are the main source of the increase, how would locking people up help in situations where the authorities don't know about the offenses?

Further, since it's mostly lower level crimes like simple assaults that don't get reported, why should we think those offenses would be punished via incarceration, anyway? If I shove you it's counted as a simple assault in the crime victim survey, but nobody's going to prison over it. (To you specifically, Bill, on that score: Given that simple assaults and petty theft are the stated source of the increases - agg assault actually declined in the survey - why are you pretending this is about "murders, rapes, armed robberies, yokings, child molestations, swindled old folks, and on and on"? Did you read the survey or are you just engaging in blatant, reflexive demagoguery ... again?)

A big portion of the increased thefts are cell phones and other personal electronic devices and are opportunity driven. Is that something anyone thinks high incarceration rates will solve?

Finally, as I said to Bill when he came anonymously trolling on my blog, these are survey data, not reported crime, and even by these data crime remains at 40 year lows. There was a slight uptick in the middle of last decade, too, then the downward trend began again. Interpreting one or two years' data as a trend is a fool's errand, but clearly there are plenty of fools out there eager to pounce on the chance to do so.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Oct 26, 2013 8:28:22 AM

"but people also seriously underestimate the crime-calming effects of illegal immigration. Hardly anyone outside border regions ever discusses it, though it's well-known to folks in El Paso, Brownsville, etc.."

Yup, the increase in Hispanic gangs and the associated violence has nothing to do with illegal immigration . . . .

Posted by: federalist | Oct 26, 2013 11:18:08 AM

Here's another:

"A big portion of the increased thefts are cell phones and other personal electronic devices and are opportunity driven. Is that something anyone thinks high incarceration rates will solve?"

Well, robberies of cellphones is a problem, and whether or not high incarceration rates solve the problem, robbers must be punished.

My thoughts, honestly, are that there are people in prison that shouldn't be. I also think that lenience often leads to increased victimization. The point is that locking people up for carrying a hunting rifle 20 years after they committed some fairly minor crimes is a waste of resources and cruel. Conversely, we continue to read of stories of violent crimes committed by people with persistent records of serious criminal activity. The other issue, I think, is that the punishment for aliens who are deported for crime and who come back needs to be ratcheted up--big time. A rapist who is deported and who comes back should be facing a minimum of 20 years.

I think a lot of the perception that we have gone too far when it comes to harsh punishments stems from some of the nonsense that we see from the criminal justice system. When prosecutors try to throw people in jail for over a decade for the "crime" of recording police activity, they trash the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. When Eric Holder's DOJ tries to incarcerate a man for killing a grizzly bear in defense of his family, he makes law and order people wonder whether the DOJ is an out-of-control monster run by ideologues. Additionally, we have the militarization of the police force--including an arrogant cop who, after his guys killed a man by mistake (they were kicking in his door unannounced looking for an on-the-loose robbery suspect) basically crowed about the killing saying something to the effect of "you pull a gun on a cop, you're going to get shot." Of course, left unsaid is what people are supposed to do when unknown people are kicking down your door. Or then we have the VABC agents who, in plain clothes, decide to terrorize a 20 year old for buying Lacroix water and then arrest her when she, quite naturally, tries to get away. And on top of that, the thug prosecutor who dropped the charges, said that it was right that she got arrested and spent the night in jail. And I am not even getting into the lunacy of some of the ridiculous, over-the-top, sex offender collateral consequences for relatively minor offenses.

I believe in harsh punishments for serious criminal behavior. I also believe that in order to have a regime of harsh punishment for serious criminal activity, we have to be careful about when the hammer drops. In other words, I don't want to give the Gritsforbreakfasts of the world ammunition to undermine the system that helps keep us safe. The difference between me and someone like Grits is that I care about justice--Grits only cares about liberal fantasies that society is what causes people to commit serious crime.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 26, 2013 11:51:56 AM

Two of the best comments I have read here in some time, Grits at 8:28 AM and federalist at 11:51 AM, minus the last two sentences.

Maybe we can get a government that functions, is rational and then respectable. Sound bites are for nursery school.

Thanks!

Posted by: albeed | Oct 26, 2013 12:31:26 PM

Grits --

"By my estimate you author about a third of all comments on Doug's blog..."

By your estimate, the cops came after you with weapons.

Then you tried to hide behind your five year-old granddaughter to get the cops not to show the tape that proved your accusations were false. Gosh, Gritsy, you're so macho.

"...you come back to repeat the same mantra again and again, then show up at my blog to anonymously troll."

Liar. I have never, to my memory, posted anything on your blog, and everything I post on the Internet I sign with my name. All of it. Get some morals about truth-telling.

You can start by either proving your accusation of anonymous trolling or apologizing for it.

No? No can do? Of course not. You simply don't have what it takes -- namely, basic decency -- to apologize when you lie. That, of course, has a lot to do with why you lie to start with.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 26, 2013 12:37:30 PM

For a little humor that makes a point concerning the discussion above about the increase/decline in crime, here’s a link to a Bloom County cartoon from the early 80s.

http://www.gocomics.com/bloomcounty/2013/10/20#.UmstNPmTjxg

Milo the intern bursts into the office of the editor of the Bloom County Picayune shouting: “Boss, remember all our sensational panic-causing stories about the great child-stealing epidemic?

The Boss: “Yeah.”

Milo: “There never really was one.”

The Boss: “Great Scott! Run a correction below the tide schedules on page 109.”

However, some people here want to describe the crime in the 60s, 70s, and 80s as being like a zombie apocalypse. Except for certain unfortunate communities and then in most cases only certain neighborhoods in those communities, there were no zombies.

Obviously in the afflicted communities, things needed to change to make them safer. But the only changes needed were improved police tactics, such as the aggressive stop and frisk recently practiced in NYC.

For the rest of the country and for the country viewed as a whole, absolutely nothing needed to be done. There were no zombies.

At least there was a correction in the cartoon.

Posted by: Fred | Oct 26, 2013 4:35:13 PM

I have no idea about zombies, but I know crime went way up in the 60s and 70s, way down over the last 20 years, than went up last year amazingly just as the prison population started to decline.

Do you deny any part of that?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 26, 2013 6:33:30 PM

Fred --

What evidence do you have for your claim that improved police tactics ALONE are responsible or the decrease in crime over the last 20 years? I am not aware of a single researcher who makes such a claim or anything remotely resembling it. What is your evidence?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 26, 2013 6:54:34 PM

Has the use of leaded gasoline resurged?

The Obama administration "improved" the methodology of this gold standard to delay the obvious until after the election.

Are we going to have to take the entire elevator ride back to the rates of the '70's? Or we going to do something about the lawyer running the criminal law?

Here is a tsunami still off shore but definitely headed our way.

Unprecedented rates of bastardy across all races.

A mentality and a language of extreme entitlement and assertion of legal rights down to age 10. PC is always from case. So discipline will be eliminated from all settings, to generate government make work jobs for Democratic Party constituents. Their majority and domination of elections is into the foreseeable future. In the absence of a revolutionary philosophy and zeal, the Republican has been defeated by rent seeking, now infecting the majority of voters.

The defunding of our defense, the prison providing incapacitation, as the sole effective crime reduction measure available.

What is unknown.

Is there a prenatal genetic test for antisocial personality disorder that can be given to all pregnant women, and forced abortions of those with it?

A swing of the pendulum, where victims and their families come to understand the stealing, bad faith, and betrayal of the lawyer profession. A movement of public self help against the criminal and its ally, the lawyer profession.

As in the French Revolution, the merchant class figures out the massive theft by the Inquisition 2.0, and eradicates the lawyer hierarchy.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 26, 2013 9:23:49 PM

Grits always make ad hominem remarks. In my case, he calls me crazy. Yet, I am not the one who believes in mind reading, in future forecasting, and that standards of behavior should be those of a fictitious character, as the lawyer does. I do not believe that the Sovereign speaks with the Voice of God, as the sole justification of its legal immunity. That is a committable delusion. Even the Unabomber would find that one ridiculous.

There are two classes of people lower than the lawyer, the convicted felon and the journalist. Believe it or not, the journalist has a code of ethics. The journalist violation meter of Grits is whirring at a high speed.

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Something he can not understand. When you make a personal remark in a debate, it is like knocking over your King in a hopeless chess position. It is an intellectual surrender, a sign of frustration in the traverse.

All left wing ideologues, even well trained Harvard Law grads do the same. They attack the person. The facts abandoned the Left 100 years ago. They killed 100 million people, and still failed to persuade. All ideals have been stripped as masking ideologies, and only crass rent seeking remains.

China has imitated us, and adopted a capitalism on steroids. They are kicking our ass economically, with growths of 9%, down to 7% during the worst of the recession. Eventually that wealth will translate into military and political domination. The British Empire stemmed from the wealth generated by the steam engine and wealth enabling laws. We should change course, and begin to imitate ourselves too, before it is too late.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 26, 2013 9:38:19 PM

well i see another post has went bye-bye. so i'm just going to ask outright doug! Just how many times are law enforcment or govt agents allowed to comit a felony not a violent felony...just a plain old felony before we're allowed to respond as they would when catching someone doing the same. You know. Shoot thier ass?

Plus you need to hit the old law library and refresh your memory on the 3 or 4 United States Supreme Court decisons that specifically say all americnas have not only a RIGHT but a DUTY to resist a govt agent operating OUTSIDE the law. Even if that means you have to hurt to kill them! Which i think is only fair since they have no problem doing the same to us for little or NOTHING.

Let's see if you have the guts to leave this one!

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 27, 2013 2:59:05 AM

RS: The police are the agents of the prosecutor. That lawyer allows 90% of serious crimes to go unanswered. He then crushes all public self help. He prosecutes the members of the public that try to stop crime. Why? To maintain government make work jobs. Rent seeking is a synonym for armed robbery.

I urge all law students to spend a morning in traffic court. They will recognized nothing they have learned in class, despite they are supposed to be run according to the Rules of Criminal Procedure. It is a fast moving money making machine, where grateful people are eager to settle. Try to assert a right, you get surrounded by four muscle builder thugs, hands on their tasers. I offered to a victim of intimidation to file a complaint against the yelling and threatening judge. He declined, "I still have to drive around here."

This prosecutor has absolute tort immunity for his misconduct. When he has a guy, around 20% of the time he has the wrong guy. Not only that but he forces a quarter of the the wrong guys to confess, even in capital cases. This error is grossly negligent, and should be subject to exemplary damages.

End all immunities. End appeals on the law. And have all important cases reviewed on appeal by experienced investigators, searching for weakness in the substance of the case, not the procedure. They do that in Italy. American lawyers think the Italian legal system is a joke, and our system is the best. The reverse is true. The lawyer knows nothing, and matters of guilt are too important to not get judged by experts.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 27, 2013 10:22:23 AM

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