Saturday, September 11, 2010

Billy Murphy will blow your mind

.. with his big brass ones! The celebutorney, who appeared on The Wire as himself and whose great-grandpa founded the Afro, told Justin Fenton "he gave incumbent State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy 'a 15-year pass just because she was a black woman'" says his past support was a "failure of leadership" on his part .. and it gets more intense from there. Wowz.
Ok, maybe it doesn't really take brass ones to jump off a sinking ship, but still, those are some sentiments you don't hear every day, no?

Bald stabber on the loose

Keep an eye out for this freaky-looking stabbing suspect who weaseled out of flex cuffs to escape from police

.. and more State's Attorneyiana:
Fenton's story about the "set us back 60 years" remark has generated a giant, steaming pile of comments, about 99% overtly hostile to Jessamy. Except for one Jessamy hired flak true believer in the talk forums. Some nuggets:
"FOR THEM TO HARP ON THE REAL AFFLICTIONS OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PAST TO JUSTIFY THE NONSENSE THAT HAPPENS TODAY IS SHAMEFUL"

"Let social workers work out the issues in people's lives. That's not the job of the State's Attorney. I'm a computer programmer. If I went around telling my coworkers that I think computers should be abolished and used that as an excuse for not writing any programs, I'd get fired."

"She should at least have the courage to stand up and say what she wants people to infer from her statement: "There'll be german shepherds and fire hoses and white policemen beating poor innocent black folk with billy clubs! And black people will be forced to eat in separate restaurants, use separate bathrooms, ride in the back of the bus!!" You know, instead of being a word coward."

and Dan Rodericks is piling it on, quoting an Innocence Project co-director who says Baltimore's State's Attorney's office is currently "the extreme end of obstruction" when it comes to introducing DNA evidence that exonerates a convict (you'd think the wrongfully convicted would be the "not everybody" of "not everybody needs to be in jail" fame... but apparently, everybody, they are not).

.. and, finally, if you really, really can't get enough of this race, the Daily Record subjects the candidates for State's Attorney to a written exam, with predictably dull results.
Inmate found dead in his cell at CB.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nooooooooo!

Dick Irwin officially retired

Sun endorses Bernstein

FYI.

while Cummings & Mfume lead a Jessamy rally

And the Afro-American endorses Jessamy: "In the race for Baltimore City state's attorney, Gregg Bernstein has distinguished himself as the main opponent of incumbent Patricia Jessamy. In part, he has done this by saying the state's attorney's job is 'to prosecute and convict people who commit a criminal offense.' We believe this is too narrow a definition. Another would be the ways the state's attorney's office impacts at-risk communities before a court appearance in [sic] needed."
Page Croyder: ... Jessamy, Jessamy, Jessamy!

Intervene and treat!

Justin Fenton covers Jessamy's "set us back 60 years" remark.
Hello, the 50s were not exactly a kind time for Jews, either. But the big WTF?! = Jessamy saying Bernstein "doesn't think a prosecutor's office should have anything to do with prevention, intervention and treatment." No sugar, Sherlock, it's the prosecutor's office! The job description is to prosecute people! And sending someone to treatment instead of jail is a judge's call anyway, not a prosecutor's! Ay yi yi, oy vey and lawdy lawdy, no wonder this town is in such a mess.

Speaking of, a report from the board of elections says early voting is a big snooze, fewer than 2 percent of Maryland voters showed during the first 5 days. Shameful!target="_blank">official site to watch on Tuesday night

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bad Doctors

Dr. George Shepard has had his medical license suspended after a woman was critically injured during a botched abortion at his clinic. One of the other doctors in this case was not licensed to practice medicine in Maryland.

Baltimore to revert to 1950?

Jessamy: Bernstein will "set us back 60 years".

The 1950s had the lowest crime rates of any decade in the 20th century and the city had a population of 950,000 vs 630,000 today. Gwynn Oak and Ashburton were known not for crime but massive amusement parks. Of course all of this was built on the backs of a violently subjugated underclass and most people didn't have air conditioning, but still.. it's amazing to imagine what it must have looked like!

UGH -- another murdered baby

Spotcrime reports that a 10-month-old murder victim arrived DOA at Shock Trauma at 2:42 this afternoon from 1921 W. North Avenue.

Grabassing

An undergrad groped in Homewood
One thing about early voting-- candidates in hot races sure have to keep up a relentless marathon of gab. Gregg Bernstein's on WYPR right now (but no Jessamy-- she must have worn out her vocal chords at UB last night).
..it's nice to listen to smart people talk!

Drug dealers, take a hike

The East Oliver community plans to walk drug dealers away...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

¡diablos minĂºsculos!

The Deuce has pix of the very young looking teens accused of trying to rob then stabbing a guy in the back in front of the UB library

A month in jail for 18-year-old Demonte Jones, who assaulted a deputy after being told to quit texting in court

... if you see a man in a blue Division of Corrections shirt and pants .. run the other way and be grateful he's wearing pants.

In el mundo de politics, Baltimore Slumlord Watch gets a loony toon e-mail purportedly from candidate for sheriff Mike Schaefer. Apparently his son knows Pauly Shore, and munchkins are involved. Living ones. (Hey, isn't Adam Meister a supporter of his?)
Also, the CP tracks down Sarah Matthews, and has info on other more obscure names on the ballot. And there's endorsements: Gregg Bernstein for SA and Deborah Claridy for sheriff.

No lapses here

An ethics complaint against commish Bealefeld apparently over police politicking has been withdrawn

Unethical Credibility Stealing!

cries The Sun, over a Bernstein ad:
a recent attack ad by Gregg Bernstein, a Democratic candidate for Baltimore state's attorney, unethically stole the credibility of this newspaper to back up his claim that the incumbent, Patricia C. Jessamy, was putting violent offenders back on the street. The actual source of that supposed "fact" was an unscientific sampling of callers to Ron Smith's radio show, which Mr. Smith alluded to in an opinion column on the op-ed page. It was not the judgment of The Sun's editorial page, nor was it a fact uncovered by The Sun's reporters.

State investigates rape at nursing home

State investigating the rape of a 90 year old woman at a nursing home.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fun times

Can't get enough Bernstein/Jessamy drama? You can check out the live show tomorrow at 5 at the UB school of law.

Daylight robbery/stabbing

Three juveniles have been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a man on St. Paul Street around 3:30 this afternoon. The victim is expected to survive.

Never a dull moment in Baltimore Politics!

... just got a press release and "table of contents" (in .pdf format.. who does that?) from "the Committee to Elect Sarah L. Matthews"-- allegations Frank Conaway's nickname = Poppa Bear
Sarah tableofcontents
SarahMatthewsPressBriefing

Feds and the squeeze

A delightful letter from Rod Rosenstein.

A NJ gang member films inside the belly of the beast

And "Benjamin L. “Bennie” King Jr,""The former chief financial officer of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau formally confessed Thursday to stealing more than $1 million from the organization over the course of a decade — money he admitted spending on high-stakes poker and at strip clubs."

And another thing

... all of this political-establishment "support" voters think they're seeing for Jessamy-- the "Unity Ticket," the Cummings ad and O'Malley's "endorsement"-- has zero to do with fellow politicians sincerely believing Jessamy is the best person to manage the State's Attorney's office, and everything to do with politicians not wanting to be the first chicken to stick their neck out of the henhouse and risk incurring the imaginary wrath of the racist stereotype of the Older Black Woman Voter. To paraphrase what one legislator told me, "I don't like Jessamy, she throws tantrums in meetings instead of coming prepared. But my constituents would never vote for a Jewish person, and what's Bernstein going to do for me to make it worth me taking the heat?"
.. and that's just really depressing.

SA's race not about race?


Bernstein visited Perkins Homes over the weekend, perhaps poking some holes in the conventional wisdom that race will be the deciding factor in how people vote.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jessamy Bashing?!

A comment from "Wendy" the other day:
I really enjoy reading your articles. However you are really irritating me w/ all this pro-Bernstein & Jessamy bashing. The State's Attorney cannot get convictions 100% of the time and with the lying, sneaky underhanded police who screws up the cases before the State's Attorney ever touches them, they're lucky for the convictions they do get. If Bernstein should win, I really hope that he will be the savior that you and his fellow endorsers believe he is. But when he is NOT, be sure not to forget that either!!!!!!!
Dear "Wendy",
For the past five years, no media outlet on the planet has been more supportive of the State's Attorney's office than this one. We have dutifully reprinted almost every single press release they've put out. During the Zach Sowers epic drama, we didn't take sides. Gleefully mocking her many costume changes is not really bashing in my book. But you're right in noticing that my opinions have changed, and since you brought it up, here's some reasons why:
  • The State's Attorney's office employs at least three people full-time in communications, but only two people to coordinate witness protection for the entire city.
  • Excuses and blame whenever things go wrong. Dropped cases, a bad relationship with police.. it's always somebody else's fault. Have you ever heard the State's Attorney's office say something like, "the prosecutor came to court unprepared, and that person's been fired," or "we're sorry Carl Lackl didn't get the form letter offering witness protection. In the future we'll try to do better." Or even, "we're sorry things didn't turn out as we'd hoped." Never! Doesn't some buck have to stop somewhere? Why would you want someone with nothing but excuses and blame as your employee?
  • Where's the numbers? The SAO "doesn't do conviction rates"? First of all, the SAO does track the outcome of cases, (homicides, at least, I've seen the files), they just don't release those numbers to the public, apparently. But anyway, is she really saying it's okay to not attempt to define or measure success? What a cop-out, especially considering prosecutors already can-- and do-- drop cases all the time for lack of evidence and are able to opt to prosecute only the cases where there's a chance of winning.
  • And what about those "rules"? The "do not call" list, which not only makes the office judge, jury and executioner for an officer's career, but imagine how much that must bone to be the victim who happens to be responded to by a "bad" officer.
  • And the "one witness" rule. Isn't it a cornerstone of the American judicial system to try a case based on its individual merits? Blanket rules and policies subvert the judicial process.
  • John Alexander Wagner. The man accused of stabbing Hopkins researcher Steven Pitcairn was arrested numerous times for violent crimes and probation violations without ever serving significant time. It could be (and was) argued by the SAO that police brought weak cases numerous times. But there's no excuse for prosecutors dropping charges when Wagner was caught on videotape beating and robbing a guy, and if they hadn't, Pitcairn would likely be alive today. ... And that is completely excusable as a lot of peoples' fault. BUT
... we could go on. The "sleeping baby." Using taxpayer's time to grandstand about Bealefeld's stupid sign. ... I don't think anyone expects one person to be the "savior" of the clusterfudge that is Baltimore crime. But at the very least, after 15 years of fussing, blame and excuses, isn't it time to give someone else a chance?

ps. Early voting locations are not open today but they will be open tomorrow from 10-8. You can go to any of the locations in the city. You don't need your voter registration card, though you do need ID. And you don't have to vote for all races, like if you have no idea who's running for the Orphan's Court. I went to the one at Reisterstown Rd. & Northern Parkway yesterday & it was safe with plenty of parking.

Kicking & screaming

A study of child abductions shows the best defense is a fast-thinking kid who makes a ruckus