Coming and Going

1 08 2015

Wentzville

More news from the salt mines:

*  While I’m always hearing a lot of rumors about a lot of General Assembly members getting tired of the relatively low pay grind and wanting to quit and try to find a good job in the private sector or elsewhere, I take almost all of them with a grain of salt, because that’s all their worth.  I take none of them seriously until someone actually pulls the trigger, and that’s what Tom Dempsey, R-SEN-23, also Senate Pro Tem President, of St. Charles, has done.  He was TLed out of the Senate after the end of this term anyway, so he’s bailing out a year and a half early.  Now, Nixon has already declared a bunch of special elections for November for various House seats that have been vacated, but it’s too late for November specials for Dempsey’s seat and Paul LeVota’s seat over in Kansas City.  Probably what will happen is that those Senate seats will have to remain vacant until their normally scheduled election cycles can fill them, and since LeVota’s was SEN-11 and Dempsey’s was SEN-23, both odd numbers, they’re both up in 2016.  More good news about 23 is that Mark Parkinson, himself TLed out of House-105 (eastern-southern St. Peters) after next year, not only happens to live in SEN-23, by happy coincidence, but he just made up his mind very recently to run for SEN-23 next year.  If Dempsey only had quit after the end of the legislative session, Nixon could have called a special for November, and Parkinson would be making his move up and across the Capitol a year early.

*  Mike Cierpiot, House-30, from the Kansas City area, has officially become House Majority Leader.  When King John Diehl had his great fall off the great wall, I was actually thinking that Cierpiot would be the next House Speaker, and honestly, I would have rather had him than Todd Richardson as Speaker.  Even if it will be a professional boon for me that Richardson is now speaker.  He’s the same age as I am, meaning he’s going to be a weak speaker with far less leverage and control over House Republicans compared to King John, which means lobbyists will rush in fill the power void.  While Cierpiot would have a level of control stronger than Richardson but less than King John, I think Cierpiot has more sense.  His wife Connie, who was once in the State House in her own right, has even more sense.  That, and I have something of a personal motivation here to see anyone named Cierpiot do as well as they can; I’ll leave it at that.





I Know What They’re Thinking

30 07 2015

Jefferson City

Money, blah blah, and privacy, blah blah.  Incidentally, in this case, “privacy” means HIPAA, and the concern that cop body cams will show people being loaded into amberlampses (Ebonics for ambulances) in instances where cops are called as backup on paramedic runs.  But the odds of cop body cams actually revealing any personal private privileged medical information in violation of HIPAA is very low.

It’s none of that.  I work around these people, so I know what they’re thinking.

They don’t have the courage to expel or even censure Jamilah NashWeed and Maria Chapelle Nadal for making fools out of the legislative body to which they were elected during the Fergaza Strip hoopla last year.  But by the same token, they don’t have to devote any of what is a very limited resource of time and spend it on their hobby horses.  Remember, the General Assembly is only in session from early January to mid-May, and they have to get a lot done in four and a half months, the most pressing item every year is the budget.  The September special session is almost always used to attempt veto overrides; there’s just not enough time in it to do actual legislation via the regular legislative process.

Sitting on NashWeed and Chapelle Nadal sponsored Ferguson related bills is how they’re being punished for their antics.





It’s His Vehicle Baby

28 07 2015

Jefferson City

The key word is “Kurt Schaefer.”  Who is running for AG.  This committee was more or less his vehicle for free publicity.

In principle, I think this committee is a good thing.  In reality, I don’t think it was really necessary because anyone with both a brain and a shred of intellectual honesty why Nixon’s response to Ferguson in both August and November was so weak.  Because we’re living in BRA, the black undertow can do whatever the hell it wants, because #BlackLivesMatter and racism.  We’re talking about the same Jay Nixon who hypocritically pre-declared a state of emergency for Ferguson before the announcement of the grand jury decision and then held back on any state resources, NG and otherwise, to enforce it.





Remembering Things, More People Should Try It.

20 07 2015

Your Blogmeister’s Desk

Slay, Dotson, Joyce, and just about everyone of civic prominence and importance in this town is preaching gloom and doom and disaster if SCOMO doesn’t find state level absolute felon in possession laws to be square with Amendment 5.

I wrote in this space four days ago:

…even though before Amendment 5, the state’s felon in possession laws were hardly ever enforced.  Felon in possession raps, then and now, almost always fall to the Feds.

To add some clarity to that, I’m wondering why everyone in this town is so antsy pantsy about having a state level absolute felon in possession law when I don’t recall it ever being used that much, maybe except as an add on charge as plea bargain fodder.

But then I remembered something else:  Until 2007, Missouri’s actual felon in possession law was not absolute itself.  It only disallowed felons to possess firearms during their probation.  Once they were off papers, they were good to go.  In theory only, because the Feds’ felon in possession law has been absolute since it was enacted in 1968.  What happened in 2007 is that the General Assembly made the state’s felon in possession law absolute at the same time it got rid of the ridiculous permit to purchase scheme.

Therefore, the time period before the state’s felon in possession law was made absolute in August 2007 must have been the end of the world.  Right?

I think the source of the anxiety is that Joyce and Dotson know that even if the state level absolute prohibition remains, that it’s not going to result in waves of ex-felons found to be in possession of guns filling up state prisons.  It’s not like there’s that much room in state prisons anyway.  No, what they want is for yet another technical process crime relating to felons and firearms to exist to use as plea bargain fodder.

 





Make the Death Penalty in Missouri More Racially Equitable: Execute More Black Murderers.

18 07 2015

Fulton

Callaway County serves as the starting point for a bizarro world twilight zone story from the P-D about the application of the death penalty in the Show-Me.

So, let’s get the scuba gear on and get this deep dive started.

In mid-Missouri’s Callaway County, there were 22 homicides from 1984 to 2012. Five were punished by execution, or about 23 percent.

If the same rate applied over that time to 4,462 homicides in St. Louis — a caseload of overwhelmingly black victims — the state would have executed 1,014 people from city cases. But there were just eight.

There hasn’t been a successful death penalty case out of the City of St. Louis since 1994, and that was a white perpetrator.

Why so few capital cases out of St. Louis?  Because the perpetrators are also black.  That, and the death penalty is almost always reserved for heinous murder causes; most black on black murders aren’t particularly heinous as far as murders go, just plain TNB.

Remember, Joe Mokwa told us back in 2001 that three-fourths of city homicides involve both a suspect and a victim that have similar life and criminal histories, racial code and dog whistling for black thugs as both perp and vic, which was in turn more dog whistling to white people that they shouldn’t worry about being murder victims in the city, which of course was belied by simple multiplication.  But his fundamental point is right — The typical St. Louis City homicide is your typical TNB-ookfest Jamal-Shitavious showdown.  It’s not worth all the time, work and effort to try to get the death penalty against whichever one wins the duel.

That disparity shows that Missouri’s application of the death penalty is arbitrary and so unfairly administered that it could be unconstitutional, according to a study released Thursday by University of North Carolina professor Frank Baumgartner.

It’s proof that black lives don’t matter as much as white lives, when it comes to applying the harshest penalty available, he said in an interview.

No, what it proves is that black murderers matter more than white murderers.

Baumgartner’s study said 80 people were executed in Missouri between 1976 and 2014, during a time when there were more than 11,000 homicides. The percentage of homicides that resulted in executions was very low: 0.7 percent. That increases to 2.1 percent when the victim is white but decreases to 0.3 percent when the victim is black.

That’s because a white murder victim is way more often the result of a heinous homicide, done mostly at the hands of another white person, but way too often, at the hands of a black person.  Meanwhile, if a black is a murder victim, it’s usually TNB.

The Rev. Elston McCowan, the Missouri NAACP prison and criminal justice committee chairman, said the study represented what his organization has known “for a long time.”

“African-Americans and poor people receive disparate treatment in the criminal justice system,” he said. As for the death penalty, he said, “one way to equalize it is not to have it anymore.”

Okay, so does he want more black murderers to be executed for the sake of deterring future murders of potential black victims?

McCulloch noted the vast majority of homicides in St. Louis and St. Louis County are prosecuted as second-degree murder cases, which do not even qualify for the death penalty, because an essential element for first-degree murder — cool reflection — can’t be proven.

That’s one thing that the above numbers being thrown around miss.  Not every homicide is a murder, not every murder is a first-degree murder, and not every first-degree murder has a heinous circumstance to justify the death penalty.

Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the pro-death penalty Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, in Sacramento, Calif., said the study was meaningless.

“Unfortunately there is an awful lot of violence in the inner-city areas, and a lot of that is gang-related and those tend not to be prosecuted as death penalty cases,” he said. “Another factor is the local jurisdiction. Black victim homicides tend to be in jurisdictions that have a high proportion of black population, and support for the death penalty is lower in that population (and) those jurisdictions tend to elect (prosecutors) who seek the death penalty less often and form juries who seek the death penalty less often.

And yet another factor is that so many black on black murders are TNB; even if premeditation can be proven, the circumstance isn’t really heinous.  And also, in our day and age, trying to execute a black murderer is very politically problematic.

For some, the disparity may be hard to see. Missouri has executed five men this year, a time period that was not part of the study. Three were white; two were black.

It’s been the same trend for decades. Of the 80 men who have been executed between 1976 and 2014, 48 were white, 31 were black and one was American Indian.

Nationally, a white person who is convicted of first degree murder is twice as likely actually to be executed than a black convicted of first degree murder.

But discrepancies are stark when one considers the race and gender of the victim. Homicides involving white victims are seven times more likely to result in executions than those involving black victims. Homicides of women or girls are 2½ times more likely to result in executions than those of men or boys. Homicides involving white female victims are 14 times more likely to result in executions than those involving black male victims.

And while black males make up 52 percent of all homicide victims, people who kill black males are the least likely by far to be executed.

Homicides of white or female victims tend to be the heinous circumstance variety if first degree murder caliber premeditation can be proven.  Homicides of black men tend to be TNB/impulse-driven by other black men that doesn’t often rise to the level of first degree murder.

Just one white person has been put to death in Missouri for killing a black person: a member of a white supremacist prison gang who murdered a 78-year-old black man during a robbery.

White on black murders in this state are pretty rare.  Now, I bet if you take this same set of circumstances but make the perpetrator black and the scene of the crime St. Louis City, the murderer will probably only get convicted of second degree murder, because the robbery circumstance will make everyone think that the murder wasn’t premeditated.

Usually, the racial bitching when it comes to the death penalty is that blacks are executed too often.  Now, the gripe is that blacks aren’t executed enough.

That is a very easy problem to remedy.





Right to Know

16 07 2015

Jefferson City

P-D headline tonight:

Court upholds public’s right to know pharmacy used to supply Missouri execution drugs

I respond:

About eleven months ago, the consensus from state officials and the state’s major media outlets was that the public had a right not to know Michael Brown’s actions inside the Ferguson Market.





We Have Liftoff

16 07 2015

Downtown

Two stories from yesterday.

First, various city civic leaders want SCOMO to make state “felon in possession” laws square with Amendment 5.  Which I think they eventually will, even though before Amendment 5, the state’s felon in possession laws were hardly ever enforced.  Felon in possession raps, then and now, almost always fall to the Feds.

Second, as a follow up to a story I covered here yesterday:

Police Chief Sam Dotson said last month that he was taking more cases to the feds, citing the increase in violence and concerns about an amendment to the Missouri Constitution. St. Louis officials say Amendment 5, passed last year, makes it difficult to get charges to stick against convicted felons caught with guns.

Now, in previous stories like these, Joyce and Dotson eventually get around to admitting that the far bigger factors are the Democrat-appointed white liberal and black judges on the 22nd, and nullification-happy black jurors.  But you read those things deep down in the paragraph count of those articles, because neither Joyce nor Dotson really have a big incentive to scream those things from the mountaintop.  Joyce’s ACAs conduct prosecutions and other business in the courtrooms of those judges, and Dotson’s cops often testify in those same courtrooms.  So of course Joyce and Dotson aren’t going to do too much judge bashing.  As far as citing black jury nullification?  In our day and age?  In this city?  Fugghedabowdit.

What this all means is that, at least until SCOMO takes up the matter, we officially have liftoff of the official easy to blame consequence-free excuse for black crime in the city of St. Louis.  Amendment 5.








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