Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CJCC: Flying Fur Alert!

Almost didn't go to CJCC, but then I heard the rumor that O'Malley himself was going to appear and "yell at everyone," potentially too exciting a spectacle to miss. Sadly (but unsurprisingly) the Big Man never showed, but reporters anticipating flying fur weren't let down.

Hamm noted the increase in murders and said they were "attributable to gang activity ... it's the same guys we've been arresting year after year, they'r ejust putting Blood or Crip in front of the name." He noted there are six outstanding warrants for four murders and that the wanted men had been arrested more than eight times, that murderers are getting younger and that 15-year-old Zachary James was thought to be resposible for four murders. Any questions?

Sheila Dixon had a question: "the murder victim in Leakin Park [Leonard Garrett] had been arrested more than 18 times and was awaiting arrest when he was murdered. Why was this guy out? He'd been on probation three times, why was this guy out? Can anyone help me out here?"

Jessamy jumped right in: "Sheila, if you were really interested, you could research this case. Arrests are made but in order to secure a conviction you must have evidence ... you brought it up here because you wanted to make a public statement. If you want an answer, call me!"

Bickering ensued, broken up by Judge Glynn. "Anyone could look it up, I doubt anyone knows the facts of the case off the top of their heads."

Frank Conaway had a question for Hamm: "At a previous meeting I asked you about the Jayne Miller investigation and if the unreported crimes were troubling to you. Now that there's been a spike, is that troubling you?"
"Yes," Hamm replied peevishly.

Then Jessamy talked about gaps in city substance abuse services.
Then some guy got up to talk about a $1.4 million DOJ grant for creating a statewide domestic violence database.
Apparently the state was given millions to create a database after Richard Spicknall II killed his kids, but nothing every came of it and the state still has 56 different databases for restraining orders and the like.
And so the meeing wrapped up.


John Galt said...

So, let's review:

We have lotsa incidents. Bad ones. Maybe on account of police intransigence we've really always had them. Maybe it's quite new.

Hamm states that the incidents are being caused by very familiar faces and Jessamy replies that whatever grounds for conviction of these people she has been given, it's not adequate.

Now, one could contest the veracity of the stated positions or, one could take them at face value. That would mean that you need many more officers to supervise our many familiar faces with sufficient diligence to be in a position to obtain fairly straightforward convictions.

More cops. It says we need more cops. Many more. Probably double.

And, Ms. Dixon, for that you need to pay the market wage, which is about $50,000 to start. Please appropriate that additional money, Madame President and have the council issue a set of hiring deadlines for the Commissioner.

Now, what was difficult about that?

Anonymous said...

You have to admit dixon has point there. Something is freaking wrong if someone with 18 arrests and a warrant out is walking around-- even if the police are terrible.

Jessamy sounds like a grade school teacher when she talks, definately not my idea of hard prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

Here's something that needs fixing in Baltimore - LEADERSHIP - Why do we keep voting for these people if they are "shocked" the system they created is broken.

John Galt said...

Think about it a sec. The meaning of the warrant is that the Courts have demanded that he be detained pending trial. The Court and, by extension, the State's Attorney, have done everything short of executing him to keep him off the streets.

The burden of survelling, locating, and apprehending him falls on the police.

Apparently, they haven't the current capacity to do that. Which means, you need more babysitters for these hoodlums. How many. I dunno. Keep hiring until the streets are free of them. But until then, keep adding cops. Good ones. Expensive ones.

It's the primary reason Baltimore sucks: because the babysitters are out of proportion to the problem people. If one in three adult black males is a problem person, then I guess one in twenty responsible adult males in Baltimore need to be cops.

And a proportionate number of prosecutors, defenders, jurors, and correctional officers. That means only a handful of people will be available to earn a living in the private sector. And this is why the optimal level of punishment is not constant over densities of criminals.

Higher density areas should have much steeper penalties that in, say, Kent County, because the high density jurisdiction cannot afford to sideline its population to spend all its time playing around with these morons.

Anonymous said...

".... The Court and, by extension, the State's Attorney, have done everything short of executing him to keep him off the streets...."

What are you talking about? The police DID THEIR JOB with this guy, 18 times over.

The police are able to catch these miscreants, but the reason they keep getting out to kill or be killed is because the court systems and prosecutors fail to do their job.

I understand the need to crit the police, but at least give the court system and the SA their share of the blame. Your supervillian, MOM, is not responsible for everything.

John Galt said...

I'm actually not on NO'M. here.

The point is, whatever case the police have brought to the [court & prosecutor] system, it was apparently insufficient. (Now, if it turns out the case was ironclad, why hasn't the BCPD or Attorney General filed an article 78 on the State's Attorney?)

Whatever is the standard of establishing evidence, nexus, and causation, that determines how many cops are needed.

If the SA's office won't prosecute anything with fewer than sixteen witnesses, then get sixteen cops on every corner.

I'm not defending the prosecutor's office. I'm just calling for whatever manpower is needed to overcome the obstacle(s). It's just been too many years of fingerpointing while the murders pile up.

I was imagining that that was the point of having CJCC meetings: to cut through the crap and get the job done. (I'd love to hear what Judge Glynn thinks on who dropped this ball.)

You may think that somehow someone ought to make it possible for cops to do their job with finite resources. So do I.

But until that is present in 2006 Baltimore B, I just want the guy off the streets. If that can't be done with fewer than a million cops, then start hiring them, but it's gotta stop.

John Galt said...

It seems our friend Mr. Garrett had, in addition to a bunch of cds charges, two handgun incidents. One was STETted and the other was null prossed after some evidentiary motions and administrative review. So, it seems the 'system' was merciful once and nexus presented by police was questionable once. It sounds as though this multidefendant case depended on nexus and the exclusionary rule may have thrown out the gun.

Keeping up with Mr. Garrett, who was a typically bad Baltimore hoodlum, wouldn't be a chore is he were one of a very few hoodlums. But in this haystack, it takes an awful lot of officers to keep an eye on all these pointy lil' needles.

InsiderOut said...

just because the police make an arrest does not mean that evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. maybe some of the arrests violating the constitution or maybe some of the arrests were by police officers themselves facing charges. The fact that someone has been arrested 18 times is meaningless.

John Galt said...

Talk about reasonable doubt. The offender in question had a STET for a handgun. He was not a model citizen. He also skipped on bail October 5 just before being killed. He was not a model citizen. He was caught in possession of CDS with intent on multiple occassions, even if the prosecutions didn't all get through to conviction for technical reasons. This happened in four different Maryland jurisdictions.

The presumption of innocence is only in the courtroom. Out here on the street, we use all the available data to come to a reasonably supported conclusion.