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October 15, 2009

Are Republicans likely to return to the "soft-on-crime" playbook in 2010?

This new local article out of New York, headlined "New Drug Law Stirs 2010 Election Battles," prompts the question in the title of this post.  Here are the basics:

Queens Republicans and their Assembly colleagues signaled last week that they will make a major issue of the repealed Rockefeller drug laws in next year’s legislative elections.

Vincent Tabone, vice chairman of the Queens GOP county committee and Republican Assembly campaign committee issued blistering attacks on Governor David Paterson and state Democrats last week when Paterson hailed the start of the judicial diversion program, a key phase of the reformed drug law, at ceremonies in a Brooklyn courthouse.

Tabone, who doubles as 26th AD district leader in Bayside, also used his attack on Paterson to point out that his local Assembly representative, Ann Margaret Carrozza, a Democrat, had voted for the drug law reform which, he said, will clear the way for 1,500 drug felons now in jail to have their sentences reduced and some be let out of jail....

Tabone retorted that Republicans like Senator Frank Padavan and prosecutors and police officers opposed the changes, to no avail. As he and the Assembly GOP see it, more than 1,500 drug felons may be “hitting the streets soon.”  Among those are criminals who “sold drugs to children or sold drugs on school grounds or operated meth labs.”

As regular readers may recall, I was surprised (and perhaps ultimately pleased) that crime and punishment issues were barely discussed in any major elections during the 2008 cycle.  But as this local article suggests, during the 2010 cycle when Republicans may find other issues hard to turn into easy "sound bite," I would not be at all surprised if we start seeing a lot more "soft-on-crime" attack attempts. 

I have reasons to hope that "soft-on-crime" attacks will not prove as effective in 2010 as it might have in decades past.  But only time and lots of political parrying will reveal if we might see these criminal justice issues making an election cycle political return.

Some old posts on crime and politics in the 2008 season:

October 15, 2009 at 06:50 PM | Permalink


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A good place to start is right here: Among those are criminals who “sold drugs to children or sold drugs on school grounds or operated meth labs.”

Is this true? Is there no discretion in those cases? And how many? 1, 2, 3? Was it children selling drugs to children on their own school grounds?

Or was it some gangster walking in at lunch time with an AK-47 telling them they better buy drugs or else?

Or maybe the schools were closed.

There is always exaggeration come election time and it works, but it doesn't have to work. Why is the defense bar always so silent?

Posted by: George | Oct 15, 2009 7:38:17 PM

The conviction may be for a non-violent crime. However, criminals do not specialize. The burglar may be a rapist, and the shoplifter may be a serial killer. The lawyer wants to loose this tsunami of criminality to generate jobs. The lawyer must be held accountable for this betrayal of the public interest. The black community will pay the dearest price for its support of the Party of the criminal lover lawyer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 15, 2009 9:54:48 PM


"criminals do not specialize" You obviously don't know enough criminals. All that I have dealt with, +1000, over my 20-plus rent-seeking years have their standards-low and twisted as they may be.

Where is the proof that early release unleashes a "tsunami of criminality." Your extreme form of social darwinism, would eventially have you, yourself, in line for transportation or execution. You must accept a failure rate that accompanies efforts at rehabilitation or be willing to pay for incapcitation. Remember, in your scheme not everyone qualifies for 1,2, 3 dead.

"The black community"? Are you a racist or a friend of Rush? The legitimacy rule of law hopefully transcends the "color" of a community.

Posted by: SC poned | Oct 15, 2009 10:49:45 PM

SCP: There is one arrest for every 10 violent crime victimization. There are 2 arrest for every 3 murders, among the 17,000 murders. However, there are 100,000 unresolved missing persons reports, and the murder number is likely far higher than 17,000. There are 5 million violent victimizations a year, and 600,000 arrests for violent crimes in the US a year. You have to be very careless or very busy to ever go to jail for a violent crime. The people in prison are the "losers" that get there by either of these paths. They are therefore the most dangerous people in the nation.

Multiply the violent crime rate in the recidivism rate by 10, and it is a heavy load. If you value each weekly violent crime at $10,000 times 50 a year, in cost to victim and taxpayer, the $50K it costs to keep the criminal in prison returns 1000% a year, guaranteed, with no risk to capital. Each violent crime cost that if the victim just goes to the ER. The cost of each crime is likely closer to $100,000, including the drop of the value of the housing in the area. The value of the property may drop to zero, since no one may be willing to live there at all, not even homeless criminals.

Black folks do not have a higher rate of antisocial personality disorder than white folks. They have less police protection, deterred by race whore activist lawyers who sue the police for rousting black predators. The lawyer is the racist, since he herds crime into black areas.

Meanwhile, in lawyer residential neighborhoods, the death penalty is at the scene. Not 123D, 1D. And there are no excessive force lawsuits in lawyer residential areas. Crime where the lawyer lives is a rarity. It is rampant where the lawyer works. If you want to lower crime make the lawyer live in the neighborhood of their clients. Crime ends there in a week, after the papers reports a couple of armed robbers dispatched at the scene, like rabid dogs, and not a word from the lawyer neighbor.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 15, 2009 11:46:00 PM

SCP: Rummage here:


And thank the lawyer for this extreme racial disparity, mostly caused by the destruction of the black family by the feminist lawyer.

This British report on bastardy contains a lot of data from the USA. Bastardy sure is rough on kids. Thank the lawyer.


Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 15, 2009 11:59:50 PM

S.C., let's rephrase your argument into something more concise.

The tough-on-crime effort over the last 30 years is a failure and is no more successful than Prohibition was.

Posted by: George | Oct 16, 2009 12:10:05 AM

This stuff is self evident to me, as it is to the ordinary citizen, and to the majority of the public. The majority of people support the death penalty. The overwhelming majority of criminals believe in the death penalty. We should defer to their expertise and experience in that life.

We are all like creatures looking down from the land down into a sewer. The lawyer is like a fish in a sewer. He swims in it, and has no awareness of the water, let alone the existence of land and air above it. That is why the self-evident about crime is impossible for the lawyer to grasp.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 16, 2009 12:12:35 AM

George: A 40% drop in crime across categories, races, ages, locations, is a tremendous lawyer achievement. That is lawyer profit seeking (adding millions of % of return for the investment in the salaries and expenses of the US Sentencing Commission and it state equivalents).

For a pittance, the lawyer gave us this drop in crime that added $trillions in increased value of neighborhoods, and drops in the $billions in costs of crime. Forget real estate prices when you lower the crime rate. Forget the ability to focus on education and business when security had been enhanced by the government (in profit seeking).

Say, we look only at crime costs, in the US, $trillion a year. Knock off $400 billion in costs. Pretty good return on investment in a few lawyers meeting occasionally and putting together a couple of sentencing formulas. Now these are gone, and the lawyer is orchestrating an opening of the floodgates of criminals.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 16, 2009 12:22:30 AM

Regarding criminals specializing, S.C. is in good company: "Most criminological literature reveals little offense specialization." Petersilia, Turner, & Fain, Profiling Inmates in the Los Angeles County Jails: Risks, Recidivism, and Release Options 38 (RAND 2001).

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Oct 16, 2009 2:34:42 PM

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