Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This. Must. Stop.

The crux of the story on the latest wave of killings is buried on Page A-6 in paragraph 37 (screen five of six online). How can a responsible newspaper bury the most important fact, the one that answers the unstated question of How To Make It Stop, so far down in the columns of a big piece on the crime wave? Only the T-P could answer that.

The uncle of one of the victims nails it in paragraph 28, but the paper doesn't stop to analyze his words:
"These young men have three choices in life," [Jonothan] Ellis, 36, said. "They can either live right, live behind bars, or die and be put six feet under."
And that's it, folks. The shooters have no fear of landing behind bars, at least not for any extended period of time, not in New Orleans. That's the next logical turn for this tale, but the T-P misses the corner and winds up in the weeds. The paper's long story instead brings in a criminologist to suggest that the spike is in part tied to the stress of The Flood Formerly Known as Katrina. It's an interesting sidebar, but no more than that. (I can almost hear the right wing exploding heads of radio and cable running with the shooters-as-victims idea, but I prefer to leave the dial on OZ.)

The T-P turns to the central issue toward the end of the full inside page:
"Capt. Bob Bardy, commander of the 6th District, which includes Central City and
parts of Uptown, said a recurring theme in many of the city's violent crimes is that repeat offenders [are] let out of custody on low bonds. (Emphasis mine)
According to the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office and Bardy, Thomas Harrison, 26, is wanted in the shooting of a 41-year-old man Sunday morning. A week earlier, Harrison was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a gun in the shooting of the same man -- but was released that same day on a $30,000 surety bond by Magistrate Judge Gerald Hansen.
Harrison is now wanted on two counts of attempted second-degree murder.
'Don't believe what some people are saying,' Bardy said. "'We're making good cases and we're having people come forward to identify assailants. But they're going to jail, coming out and shooting people again'."
Am I the only person who wants to know why someone arrested for a crime of violence with a handgun is released onto the street? Is there no rational person left in the downtown government complex who can figure this out?

I have a suggestion for you: leg irons and tents. We need to rebuild Camp Foti (the large tent detention center built by then Sheriff Charles Foti in the 1980s), and start stashing these thugs there until such time as the rest of the wheels of justice can be scrapped free of rust, oiled up and made to turn again.

Yes, I am familiar with the Eighth Amendment, but if any judge thinks that letting the prisoners sit in the shade of a tent and get three squares a day is cruel and unusual, then they can always fall back on running for a judgeship here when they are removed from the Federal bench for mental incapacity.

Its time for a little "Texas law".


Comments:
Ya You Right
 
what does living right entail these days? making 5 dollars an hour to raise a familly in 1500 dollar a month apartment? I would rather deal drugs myself.
 
The most pathetic line in the story was the one about there only being three murders in Central City in August. Centrl City isn't a big area to begin with and I believe the two projects are still closed. They're bragging about three murders in one moth in area with a population that's probably down to five to ten thousand, just guessing. Even if the pop. is twice that, it's not good.
 
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