Northwest Indiana Times:
Preckwinkle: Criminal justice system racist
CHICAGO | In the winter of 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama asserted that blacks and whites “are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates and receive different sentences for the same crime.”
Speaking Tuesday at the Fairmont Hotel during an event sponsored by the Executives Club of Chicago, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle echoed that assertion about Cook County’s criminal justice system.
“Nobody talks about institutional racism, but what kind of a criminal justice system has an outcome where 70 percent of the people are African-American and the rest are Latinos.”
Preckwinkle described Cook County jails as “entirely black and brown people. … This is in a county where a third of our population is African-Americans, a third Latino, and a third white and Asian.”
This is an easy problem to solve, Miss Prickwinkle. If blacks and Hispanics don’t like being the disproportionate patrons at Crook County’s Graybar Hotel, then they should commit fewer crimes. In fact, to end the racial disparity problem, then they should reduce their crime rate to the same low level as whites and Asians.
Ted Pierson, co-chairman of the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, a Chicago area civil rights organization, agreed with Preckwinkle.
Pierson said there is a racial discrepancy in offenses and who is held.
“We’ve found that whites actually commit more drug offenses than African-Americans, but African-Americans are locked up while whites are taken to the station and released to their parents,” he said.
We’ve been through this before. However, there’s an angle that even my brilliant mind missed, an angle that has been a topic of discussion on AR this weekend. The reason many black and Hispanic gang-bangers seem to get really long prison bids for “drug crimes” compared to whites who get punished a lot more leniently is because the black and Hispanic gang bangers have a lot of their crimes pled out of existence and pled down to “drug crimes.” The reason for that is that a drug crime doesn’t have a human victim that is too scared to testify in court out of fear of reprisal or doesn’t want to testify in court because of “stop snitching.” Therefore, the prosecutors and the lawyers for the black and Hispanic gang banger defendants plea down to “drug crimes,” and they are given prison bids on the long end of what is legally permissible for the given “drug crimes,” under the sentient awareness of everyone involved that the defendant really did a lot more.
While Preckwinkle expressed concern over this issue she also said that beyond the bully pulpit of her office, she has little power to affect change; most of the decisions fall to judges and probation officers.
“People are in jail because judges put them there,” she said.
I’ve never been to jail or prison, other than a tour as an outsider as part of a Citizens Police Academy. All that means, in the fucked up FUBAR mindset of Miss Prickwinkle, is that some judge must be giving me a pass. My never having committed a crime serious enough to warrant arrest, prosecution or incarceration must have nothing to do with it.
Second City Cop takes this up. One commenter makes this point:
You can not go around locking up whites for no reason just to even out the stats. Major high crime cities account for most murders and violent crimes. Whites are the minority in these cities. Let our people go. We can not even drink water from the same fountain in without being shot at. The white sheep are not responsible for the new babies mama style fatherless children. There are so many churches in the poor neighborhoods and nobody gets married.
I disagree, unfortunately. While you can’t “go around locking up whites for no reason just to even out the stats,” you can move the goalposts around depending on which race has the ball. What I mean by that is that to fend off liberal bitching and lawsuits, you can lock up a white man for any ticky-tack offense, while giving non-whites a pass on all but the most serious offenses, “just to even out the stats.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that that kind of thing is happening in a city as liberal and full of civil rights loudmouths like Chicago. While the percentage of whites in the Crook County Jail are small, I bet most of them are in there on average for far less serious offenses than the blacks and Hispanics who are raping them.
A few more interesting tidbits from the MSM article:
Preckwinkle said she believes that because a small number of offenders committed high-profile crimes while on electronic monitoring, judges have been weary of approving that remedy for defendants in their courts.
She said that judges fear their name will be plastered all over the media if that happens in their court, causing them to lose in their next election. Preckwinkle said she supports the idea of having retired judges making electronic monitoring decisions.
This is one reason why I rarely link to media that publish the name of sitting or retired judges in good standing, relating to something they do in a case over which they are presiding. My recommendation is that for all but the Federal and State Supreme Courts, we can know that a particular person has been nominated or approved for the judgeship, or is running for re-election or re-election either against another person, or in a Missouri Plan yea/nay retain/reject scheme, but the names of judges involved in actual proceedings aren’t released. Personally, I think criminal defendants’ names shouldn’t be released unless and until there is a guilty verdict or plea.
John Lott, author of the book “More Guns Less Crime,” challenged the idea that the nation’s drug laws were biased against African-Americans in a piece for the libertarian Cato Institute, published in March 2009. In it he suggested penalties for drug offenses were set up “because the lives of many blacks were being destroyed by blacks and people thought that they could help by having large penalties on those involved with crack (cocaine).”
Black politicos and civil rights leaders wanted the harsh crack-powder punishment disparities in the 1980s, precisely because crack was affecting blacks. It didn’t take them long to discover that the perpetrators of crack crimes were also heavily black, so it barely took a decade for the civil rights industry to do an about-face and demand the disparity be undone. President Obama signed Federal legislation in that stead last year.
A 1994 study by Stanford University professor Joan Petersila of about 11,000 inmates in California concluded that sentencing relied heavily on prior criminal record, seriousness of the offense and the presence of a gun, while race played a negligible role.
It might be too much to ask, and too big a study to undertake, but I bet people like Miss Petersila would also find that there is a high correlation between sentencing relative to the legal maximum for the crimes to which the defendant pled guilty, and other criminal charges the defendant was facing at about the same time, or even the suspected crimes for which the defendant was simultaneously arrested in addition to the one(s) to which they pled guilty. “The presence of a gun” usually stems from gun crime multiplier laws, endorsed by the NRA as a political ploy to head off further gun control. Most liberals are against gun crime multipliers, for the same reason, and because of the “disparate impact” on favored minorities.