08 July 2013

Greg Bernstein To Blame For Increased Homicides

Famed creator of The Wire tackles the issue of Baltimore's skyrocketing wave of violence. In a very well laid out, factual presentation, he makes his case that a weak prosecutor is partly responsible for murder rate increase.

Read: Chickens, coming home by David Simon

Be sure to check out some of the dozens of comments beneath the piece. Simon takes time to respond to many of them. Below is a sample of the kind of detailed analysis found in among reader comments.

1) Baltimore Police Department homicide clearance stats are deceptive. The FBI allows homicide detectives to question the colleagues of homicide victims to find out whether a deceased victim may have killed somebody previously. If a colleague claims that the recent victim had killed a previous victim, then the police are allowed to close a previous case with that information, even though there is very little corroborative evidence other than what a colleague divulges. Using the rules of the Uniform Crime Report, this shifty case closure method is acceptable, however, morally ethically and maybe legally this type of case closing doesn’t hold water. The Baltimore Police Department uses this clearance method in a good number of homicide cases, in reality that haven’t closed any of them.
2) +9% is a sky-rocketing homicide rate, especially since every other major American city has a decreasing homicide rate including Detroit.
3) Zero tolerance was very much about locking as many citizens up as possible. IN 2007 Baltimore City had 110, 000 arrests, that would be one arrest for nearly every 6 people who call this city their home. Between 2003 and 2007 Baltimore Police routinely made arrests for loitering, littering, use of vulgar language, open containers, drunk and disorderly, riding a bicycle on a public sidewalk and riding a bicycle without a headlamp (For fun and laughs, go check out the arrest history of BPD Officer Richard Cimini out of Western District, he had a thing about bicycles without headlamps, 100s of them). Clarence Darrow isn’t just wrong on Zero Tolerance, he’s a blatant liar.
4) Crime reporting does deter crime. Crime reporters report crime and how the criminal justice system is a self-generating industry that pleases those that earn their salaries, pensions and benefits from it. The voters realized they are getting snowed by the system and vote the top guy out. A new person gets elected to implement better systems that deter crime. Clarence Darrow should be concerned.

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