Possible overhaul of Louisiana public defender policy

I don’t know if this will solve problems, but something needs to be done to address the sixty-day murders that plague the city.

Rep. Danny Martiny, chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee, is sponsor of a book-length bill that would create a new state board to take responsibility from the state’s local indigent defender offices, which are now overseen by 41 independent boards around the state.

Critics say the system is possibly unconstitutional, among the country’s worst, and suffers from a lack of oversight over public defenders and poor tracking of their caseloads. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges and public defenders themselves have long agreed that the system is broken, but they disagreed over how to fix it.

If you want a glimpse of crime in the Big Easy, check out NOLA-dishu, run by an engineer who plugs in crime stats for the city into Google maps. An indisposable resource.

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"Gun-Town USA" vs. "Gun-free Zone"

An article juxtaposing the success and failure of two different approaches to crime control in the towns of Morton Grove, Ill, and Kennesaw, Ga, in the early 80’s.

The statistics aren’t surprising. Kennesaw, Ga, required that every head of household own and maintain a gun. Morton Grove, Ill, banned guns for anyone not in law enforcement. The result?:

Between 1982 and 2005 the population of Kennesaw, Ga, went from 5242 to 28,189. And immediately after the “pro-gun” law was passed, crime began to move steadily down from an above average 4.3% to a well below average 2%. So population more than quintupled and per capita crime came down by more than half.

In contrast, in Morton Grove, after completely banning guns in town (“we’re just saying you can’t carry a gun IN TOWN”) crime shot up almost immediately 15% while the surrounding county’s crime only went up. It stands now at 2.3%, with a slightly lower population than it had in 1981.

It makes one wonder whether the “Gun-free Zone” status of Virginia Tech helped anyone this past Monday.

And one (and last) comment on the Virginia Tech killings: NBC’s “sensitive” handling of materials glorifying a killer makes the “insensitive” comments of Don Imus seem pretty mild. No wonder their ratings have been in the tank lately.

Update: Blog Idaho relays some Ted Nugent wisdom.

The brain scan that can read people’s intentions

Obviously I’m delving into Johnny B’s territory here, but I couldn’t resist. Do any of you guys think that there is a slippery slope here just waiting for us to slide down without a snowboard?

Minority Report ended like all Stephen Spielberg movies…happily, and at the last minute, with everyone learning their lessons, no worse for wear.

But it typically doesn’t work that way in the real world. What are the ethical implications of being able to read people’s intentions?

Guardian Unlimited

Choice…who’s choice?

This is an example of how weird the laws against abortion seems to a pro-lifer (like myself). The only difference between abortion and murdering your own unborn children is that in the case of an abortion a doctor does the killing. We can all continue to argue whether an unborn child is its own body or officially part of the mother’s body, but an appeals court in Texas decided that killing your unwanted children (without “medical supervision”) is indeed murder. In this particular case the mother had TRIED repeatedly to kill her children (twins) by literally punching herself in the stomach…until she finally talked her boyfriend into stepping on her.

Does anyone disagree with the outcome of this case? Is this a real murder conviction or are they just being convicted because they’re too stupid to get an abortion? I wonder, had the mother been successful of killing her kids without her boyfriend’s help, if she would have been convicted of murder. If not, would that mean this is discriminating against men?

Hat tip to Cajun Tiger.

The Big Not So Easy

The WSJ has a good summary of why it is so tough to deal with New Orleans. Guiliani fought crime without the luxury of rebuilding his city. Nagin’s faults are legion, but he is right when he says Manhatten still has a big hole in the ground five years after 9/11, and everyone expects New Orleans to be up and running.

If what Nagin says is true, that each time federal officials threaten to shut off housing subsidies for displaced New Orleans residents, a new wave of criminals turns up on the city’s streets. That is a sad proposition for the city. So, are all the citizens that do not have subsidized housing in other places and return to New Orleans criminals? If this is the case then just build a series of jails instead of projects, since the purpose is one and the same.

Piyush (Bobby) Jindal, please come help clean this mess up.