Wednesday, January 25, 2006

January 25

There will be a hearing Friday in federal court regarding the intended execution of Vernon L. Evans Jr. The Supreme Court said today that it would hear arguements in a Florida case that the three-drug combination used for lethal injection (also used here)= cruel, unusual.

An unidentified man found dead with a gunshot wound to the head behind the GreenMount* School in Remington was city homicide 28.

Troy Smith was arrested January 20 for the fatal stabbing of Terrance J. Williams last September.

In the Ink: shot to death, Johnny Evans, 43; Gary Rideout, 41; Raymond Williams, 35; Mervyn Beckles, 23; Fernandez Woodson, 23; Karlee Blackwell, 14; Gregory Hopewell, 21; Kayla Baker, 12; Lemuel Davis, 48; Clyde Tatum, 18; Antwoine Armstead, 21. Stabbed to death: Kristopher Reinhard, 16, two unnamed males, 15 and 20.

Your tax dollars at work: the city has already paid out $187,000 to settle brutality claims in three separate incidents involving flex squad alleged rapist Jemini Jones. Meanwhile, flex squad officer Michael Nelson has been reassigned.

Crazed ex-boyfriend Jose Padilla-Colin pled guilty to kidnapping 19-year-old Delmy Beatriz Rivera in Frederick last July.

A rally was held at the SSq mall scene of the murder of Warren Fleming.

A second adult, Clyde Colmes Jr., has been charged in the daycare shooting, and the boy's dad, John Linwood, is a felon with a "criminal record that dates to the 1960s."

millsWhat the ?! Channel 2 sportscaster Keith Mills was charged with two counts of burglarly. Apparently our short sporty friend has some kind of problem with Vicodin, admitting "the rush and euphoria was real good." ED: Isn't Vicodin what you get from the dentist after your wisdom teeth get pulled out? Wouldn't a bag of frozen peas work just as well?

More tumult at the liquor board: now the head of the agency, Nathan Irby, has been suspended.

Good point: why are we debating slots when we already have video poker?

CP reader Maggie Blom: "the city has left-winged itself right into its own hell."

*It really is spelled as one word with an uppercase M in the middle. Weird.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

wonder if the greenmount school body had something to do with the school meeting the night before???

Saimon Fitzyerald said...

Blom's comment that the city has "left-winged itself into its own hell" is a little bizarre. Her points about the failure of the local criminal justice system, poor police response time and poor services are well-taken. The criminal justice system is certainly failing dramatically. Crooked cops and witness intimidation hold the system back even more.

But throwing out all rights of the accused would certainly embolden the (now) illegal activities of crooked cops and crooked commanders. In other words, I do think that the bill of rights is worht respecting.

Criminal Justice Reform is certainly necessary, but in such a process, questions should be asked about whether the traditional jail system is aggravating problems of violence, especially regarding the incarceration of non-violent offenders.

On a different note, is the War in Iraq an example of how the United States has "right-winged itself into its own hell?"

That's a rhetorical question, but the point is that incompetence and callousness are more disasterous than simply a right handed or left handed ideology.

taotechuck said...

Well spoken, Simon. I am troubled by our culture's increasingly common tendency to categorize complex issues into the simple polarity of "us" and "them" (or, more commonly, "right" and "left").

I agree that incompetence and callousness are two of the biggest problems facing this city (and our country, but let's keep it local). Sadly, both traits rear their heads in virtually every facet of city life.

I'll pick on the media for a moment. As yesterday's post pointed out, a disappointing number of our local journalists cannot form a proper sentence; how in the world can we expect them to master the nuances of objectivity? As long as we're too calloused to demand more from our media, our journalists will continue to parrot official press releases while claiming that they are objectively reporting the news.

What is especially sad is that this "objective" reporting is nearly always tinted in some shade of red or blue, which inevitably only widens the chasm between people who often share very similar goals. It is a very destructive and vicious circle.

John Galt said...

Kinda funny thing, Chuck. I agree with your point about the the partisan-ization (sic) of journalists. It's just that I'd kinda stopped thinking of the reporters in the local media as journalists. I fell over when I realized to whom you were referring.

On Blom's op-ed, I agree with most of it. Now when she objects that much of the police manpower is deployed on the other, 'darker' side of Greenmount Ave., I have to grin. That's my 'hood. The hoodlums are virtually self-supervised here, relative to their astronomical numbers. I wish I had the same deployment per resident hoodlum that Blom's Guilford enjoys.

Of course, she's not thinking about resident hoodlums (or is it hoodla?), but rather about those coming to jimmy her doorlocks from my side of the great divide. What I'd ask same-minded folks to acknowledge is that if we zero-tolerance them in my area where they live and are best surveilled and thereby lock 'em up, they won't be available to jimmy her door or anyone else's, for that matter.

It's not about chasing them from neighborhood to neighborhood with enhanced visiblity, it's about making quality arrests and incapacitating them behind bars where they belong.

The Cybrarian said...

It's bizarre when people get so ideological that they label their identities in such a way: "conservative," "liberal," etc. It's like announcing to the world you're incapable of forming an opinion on individual issues based on relevant facts, you have to page Rush or Al to find out what you think.

And never forget, news consumers: there is no such thing as objective reporting, because there are always facts that have to be edited out and there are no such thing as objective witnesses or sources.

Chuck, consumers have demanded more from the media, and the media has responded, with five shows a night about Brangelina's fetus.

Galt said...

And speaking of journalists immersing themselves in their material, it seems WMAR sportscaster Keith Mills will be in an excellent position to go under deep cover at central booking. He is charged with two counts of burglary.

InsiderOut said...

what has left-winged ourself into our own hell is the preoccupation with criminals over victims. Galt has talked about how the politicians cater to the relatives of criminals. Judges are more concerned about a criminals hard life than the actual crime or how that crime has affected our city. We have left-winged ourself into our own hell because he justify/excuse so much criminal behavior in our city. Our judges, prosecutors, and jurors all place too much weight on these factors in making their decisions. The consequences for criminal actions are so weak that there really is no deterrent effect in our justice system. All you have to do is say you grew up without a male role model, you are addicted to drugs (even if it is only marijuana), and you were never given a real shot by our schools and your criminal behavior is excused. Granted, there are some true sob stories that should be heard like that, but all criminals use that sob story whether it's true or not (no one verifies it) and get slaps on the hands. We need to have more tough love ruling our justice system, not left-winging ourselves with victimizing criminals and creating excuses for their behavior!

Galt said...

BTW, as much as I enjoyed hearing someone else rant in the city paper, did anyone happen to read the story on how the Marty & Lenny show has pauperized the police department (again)?

excerpt:

(City Councilman Ken)Harris says that Ambrose places some of the blame for the overspending on 151 unfilled patrol vacancies. To make up for those unfilled spots, the department has had to spend on overtime; patrol costs swelled from $6 million in 2005 to $11.8 million in 2006.


So, to recap, the Commissioner has utterly failed to do any meaningful recruiting even though he declares that he needs no additional resources to fill those slots. This has gone on for years. The officers, overworked, are gettin' kinda punchy and arresting everyone who looks at 'em funny. So, a really great idea would be... I know,....

let's assign them all to double shifts at a cost at least 50% higher than securing additional personnel. That way we can make ourselves dependent upon whatever misbehaved officers are already on the force, drive any decent officers up the wall 'til they go postal on law-abiding citizens, AND squander what little money can be squeezed out of a patronage-based municipal employees'income maintenance system to provide for actual..... essential public services? ?? ???

Yeah,... THAT'S the ticket!

And when someone complains about the absurd level of crime here, you just tell 'em there's no money to be had. Anywhere. Impossible.

Just make sure that while you say it, you stand over that rathole down which they've been throwing the overtime moneys.

And while we're milking the public safety budget, ain't there some way to divert some more dough into that nifty municipal hotel,... or maybe a Mayoral yacht or somethin'? Maybe a municipal airport to prop up the municipal hotel we're building to prop up that municipal convention center that was supposed to prop up the downtown hotels that we're now going to undercut on rates. Hmmm. Somethin' in there don't sound too good, do it?

Well, at least the hotel's only gonna cost us a coupla times its fair market value. I mean,.. it's not like we really have to pay the.... bonds..... off.... at maturity.......

Anonymous said...

I don't think Ms. Blom's comments are bizarre at all, nor do I think she in any way suggests "throwing out the rights of all the accused". In fact she clearly states that what has gone awry is that the rights of the criminals have been made to be far greater than the rights of the victims. For that matter, the rights of the majority of us law abiding citizens of all races and colors who live in this city. Most journalists and most of the people in Baltimore do not like George Bush and complain about his war in Iraq where over 2000 U.S. soldiers have been killed; however, they are negligent and blind when they miss the fact that over 4000 U.S. citizens die every year in the top 20 U.S. cities in crime. If you look at those 20 cities (feel free to look it up on your own) you will find every single one of them is and has been run by left wing criminal rights Democrats for years. 35 years in Baltimore, check out Detroit, and all the other top crime cities if you don't believe me. So we're clearly losing that war in our own cities and it's costing us more every single year than George Bush. Add to that the fact that Saddam Hussein killed over 200,000 people/year during his reign. So who is the real criminal and how in the world does this show that George Bush is somehow to blame?

Harold Smith

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading Mr. Galt's comments, he seems to see things as I do. I must apologize Mr. Galt for not seeing things from your side of the street (York Rd). I understand where you are coming from, and if it were possible I would like to retract that statement from my comments, that was an uneducated speculation on my part. I just had a bug up my %#@ after reading the article "Murder By Numbers" in the City Paper I wrote a reply, and there it was. As for the rights of the criminals being greater then those of the law-abiding citizens, I still believe that is true, but Mr. Insiderout said it so much better then I did.
Thank-you for all your input.
Maggie Blom

Galt said...

A basic problem in discussing the left-right inclinations or reader-posters is that they differ fundamentally. Conservatives are essentialy of the view that they are entitled to remain unmolested by third parties. The sanctity of person and property is paramount and supercedes the likes, dislikes, and deficiencies of third parties. Those whoverstep has trangressed. Judgement is not only acceptable; it is required.

Liberals have a need for validation. The imposition of judgement is an obstacle to receiving acceptance from the judged. This can be avoided by ascribing consequences not the acts of individuals, but to anonymous circumstances and inanimate objects. Liberals are desperate to retain their optimistic faith in the redeemability of human beings.People are never 'bad' or wrong, just flawed. Therefore, the appropriate remedy, they think, is to go fix the flaw for them and punish no one.

The conservative, on the other hand, is largely convinced that remedies are the responsibility of the individual, and that society's burden begins and ends where censure is justly levied. The consequences for the wrongdoer alone provide the guidance to the 'good life', not just for the benefit of others, but also ultimately for the offender as well. To relax them, even altruistically, promises to throw everyone into confusion.

Anonymous said...

If the conservative view is that people should be left alone by third parties, wouldn't that mean supporting same-sex marraige, morning-after birth control and the right to abortion?

John Galt said...

Answer: same sex marriage - yes, I think so. Ultimately, conservatives must embrace the idea of personal choice, unless they can credibly argue that publicly-practiced homosexuality damages someone.

On the subject of abortion/termination practices, it is complicated by the fact that the concept of leaving alone is biologically impossible between mother and child before a certain stage. How would you figure out which, if either, has greater rights?

That said, as a pragmatist, I support the right to choose, if only because the prospect of regulating the inside of a uterus is... daunting. I'm also sympathetic to the view that offspring are their parents' property until maturity, subject to a duty to maintain in working condition. The interesting question there is: who is responsible for the conduct of 'defective' progeny after maturity. Hint: 'Society.' is NOT an eligible response.

InsiderOut said...

Ms. Blom thank you for the kind words about my post. I applaud you for coming with the greatest phrase to sum up Baltimore's problem that I have heard. It's ingenious. I love it. Thanks.

Saimon Fitzyerald said...

The other problem with this logic is the fact that one of O'Malley's most aggressive "right wing" policing policies have failed because of poor execution. The increased use of arbitrary arrests and excessive power and freedom of so-called "flex squads" have alienated most Baltimoreans that would have previously supported police wholly.

A lack of trust in police is devastating to community police work as well as the process of prosecution.

Chuck basically has my point well understood. InsiderOut, anonymous, and to a lesser extent Blom seem to judge and blame me for the city's problems because I am perceived as "left wing." Let me just say, you don't know me and you don't know my politics or my analysis if you haven't read my analyses. In any case, I won't return fire because I don't see what that accomplishes.

Galt said...

To bring this back to BaltoCrime, just WHAT is right wing about Hizzoner's arresting law-abiding folks? He's at least as big a moron to us as to the left.

Now, as for surveilling the beat and arresting hoodlums when they break a law, ... yeah,... sic 'em. But, you see, upon examination the BCPD really doesn't do that very well.

I'd hope that left and right could meet up in the middle and come out against ineptitude, leaving Marty with a core constituency of a) criminals and b) mindless drones. Mind you, those make for a plurality in this town.

InsiderOut said...

Simon,
O'Malley's pressuring police into violating our citizen's rights is NOT right-wing. It is offensive. It violates the rights of non-criminals. Conservatives care about that. They just don't care about violating criminal's rights.
What we have been criticizing here is the left-wing approach in our justice system towards how we treat criminals (Galt explained this well). This is not a criticism of left-wing politics outside of the criminal justice system.
Simon, I don't know you personally so I don't believe it is a personal attack, unless you are one of the judges that regularly excuse criminal behavior or care more about criminals than law-abiding citizens. (Here's an example, a judge recently said on the record that a handgun charge was not a big deal because it was not a violent crime, but just a simple possession case. He didn't want to send the guy to jail for a long time, despite him being a felon, so he dismissed the case).
You are correct that the loss of trust of the police by the community is devasting. Our left-wing mayor, however, created that situation.

Anonymous said...

I am a conservative, AND I believe in same sex marriage, & abortion, but also the death penalty. So let's not generalize!!!

Maggie

Anonymous said...

How people can say they believe in civil rights for homosexuals, access to birth control, abortion rights, clean air and water, etc. and then vote Republican blows my mind. I can only think it's an emotional decision, because it makes no damn sense.

Anonymous said...

Because we also believe in rights for the law abiding citizens, the liberals are more concerned with criminal rights. I do believe in, and greatly respect environmental issues. The way things are going,and the liberals allowing all the filth/criminals to walk freely on the streets of Baltimore!!!!!! Clean water, and air are a lesser concern when you have to worry about getting shot walking to your car by a repeat criminal. That statement you made is ridiculous. You act like Republicans have no respect for the environment, this is one of the most filthy cities I've ever seen, and it's totaly run by Democrates/Liberals. I used to live in Philly, and Northeren Jersey minutes from Manhatten, so I know what I'm talking about, this city, a large part of it anyway, is like a toxic dump. And!!! a haven for criminals!!!

Tim

Anonymous said...

Keith Mills isn't "short". He's like 6'2".