Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Crime and punishment

Opinion by Zachary Faria - Yesterday 1:47 PM

CNN has turned to its trusted “experts” to argue that keeping violent criminals in jail would not keep people safe from violent criminals.

CNN and 'experts' say keeping violent criminals in jail won't make people safer
CNN and 'experts' say keeping violent criminals in jail won't make people safer © Provided by Washington Examiner

This “news” report comes in the aftermath of violent attacks in Memphis, Tennessee. According to CNN’s Emma Tucker, “the suspects in two violent attacks there this month had been released from prison before serving their full sentences for prior convictions.” Naturally, it follows that if they had remained in prison where they belonged, they would not have been on the street to commit the gruesome crimes that they committed.

Ah, but the “experts” see it differently! 

“Experts told CNN research shows harsher penalties are not an effective deterrent to violent crime,” Tucker says. Evidently, this slogan about "deterrence" (which is a separate discussion from confinement of violent offenders, by the way) means that we should let criminals out on the street sooner to commit more violent crimes. According to CNN and its chosen experts, we must give violent career criminals a “fair shake at life and fair rehabilitation.”

Now, let’s examine the two cases in Memphis that CNN is using to argue this point. The first is Cleotha Henderson, who has been charged with the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher. Henderson had previously been charged 17 times throughout his life, including charges for aggravated assault, unlawful possession, and rape. He was serving a 24-year sentence for aggravated kidnapping but was released in November 2020, four years early. Henderson has now been charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, and first-degree murder (among other crimes) in the Fletcher case. He is also being separately charged with aggravated kidnapping, rape, and unlawful possession of a weapon unrelated to Fletcher's death.

The other case is that of Ezekiel Kelly, who killed four people and injured three others in a daylong killing spree. Kelly’s case is far more jarring — he had been arrested after a shooting in June 2020 and charged with (among other crimes) two counts of attempted murder. Such a charge often carries a life sentence with a minimum of 10 years in jail. Instead, he was somehow allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to just three years in jail, of which he only served 11 months.

Fletcher and the four people killed by Kelly would all be alive if these two violent criminals had been made to serve their full sentences. We know this because these two violent criminals would be in jailright now

Moreover, although rehabilitation has its place, nobody charged with 17 crimes, including violent crimes, is going to be a strong candidate for rehabilitation. Nor is anyone charged with attempted murder just two years ago.

Had these violent men been serving their full sentences, Memphis residents would, in fact, be safer. They would also be safer had the two been serving longer sentences, as they both should have been. That would also be true in several other cases in New York City, Los Angeles, and other cities where repeat violent criminals have been given slaps on the wrist because of “experts” pushing rehabilitation as the only goal of the justice system.

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