Category Archives: Crime

Evers Halts Prison Admissions

This will not end well.

Under the order, any defendant who is sentenced to prison will be held in a county jail instead of being transferred to one of DOC’s more than 30 prison facilities across the state.

Neal said most individuals who violate probation and parole rules would also go to the county jails, but some would go to a DOC facility in Milwaukee that is specifically for felons who violate their supervision terms. It is the only such DOC facility.

Although the emergency order could help prevent an inmate from bringing COVID-19 into a prison, it might also put extra pressure on county jails, including potential overcrowding.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said there were “absolutely no conversations” with county sheriffs about the impact the order will have on county jails. The Dane County Jail was notified of the change via email at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

“It’s really got sheriffs really upset,” Mahoney said. “It’s just very frustrating — as we’re trying to keep our own institutions healthy while we continue to hold prison inmates for the Department of Corrections — that we were not involved in at least a conversation about the need to find a collaborative solution.”

Mahoney said if the governor would have consulted county sheriffs, they could have come up with another solution to keep the prisons and jails safe, such as screening all inmates before transferring them to prisons.

We’re watching a very average man lurch from draconian thing to stupid thing without any real understanding of the consequences. Why are we allowing this one man to have so much power over our lives? We elected a governor, not a king.

Evers’ vetoes tell us his values

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s how it starts:

Governor Tony Evers spent last week telling the people of Wisconsin what his values really are by vetoing several bills that would have made Wisconsinites wealthier, healthier, and safer. Our governor’s actions tell us that he would rather Wisconsinites be poorer, sicker, and less safe if it means that he can appease his liberal benefactors and the social justice warriors.

 

 

Test Your Meth for Coronovirus

Well played.

A police department in Wisconsin has generated buzz on social media after it sent a Facebook post encouraging people to turn over meth to police for a “free” test to make sure it is not “contaminated” by the new coronavirus.

The Merrill Police Department framed the post as a public service announcement, writing, “If you have recently purchased Meth, it may be contaminated with the Corona Virus.” It encouraged people to take it to the police department “and we will test it for free.”

“If you’re not comfortable going into an office setting, please request any officer and they’ll test your Meth in the privacy of your home. Please spread the word! We are here for you!” the department added.

Reporting Child Abuse is a Tricky Business

This is really a minefield for parents.

The hospital’s guidance advised doctors to notify the Child Protection Program of even small bruises found on infants who are not yet “cruising,” or pulling themselves up on furniture. Such bruises, the guidance warned, are “sentinel” injuries that can signal possible child abuse. Knox helped to write the policy, basing it on “national guidelines and practice,” Russell said.

The Siebolds offered several innocent explanations for Leo’s bruises. Perhaps they came from Leo’s “Army crawling” over toys on the wooden floor of the family home — or from Leo’s struggle with Brenna Siebold and ER staff during the examination a day earlier. Knox and physician assistant Amanda Palm rejected those theories. The hospital reported the bruises to authorities as “unexplained.”

Mount Horeb Police officers Susan Zander and Jenn Schaaf interviewed the Siebolds at the hospital; one officer knew Brenna Siebold personally. They quickly discounted the allegations, writing in a one-paragraph police report that the bruises were “caused by medical staff.”

After a two-month investigation, the Dane County Department of Human Services also concluded there was no evidence of abuse.

Minor bruises could spark even more investigations under a bill introduced in 2019 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin. It would create a $10 million demonstration program on how to use “sentinel injuries” in children 7 months and younger, including minor bruises, to detect — and prevent — child abuse and fatalities.

Child abuse is terrible and everyone (almost) wants to see it discovered, reported, prosecuted, and prevented. This creates a huge incentive for people – especially medical professionals – to report even their smallest suspicions to law enforcement. And because child abuse is so horrendous, even the accusation can ruin the lives of parents and pull apart families.

The problem is that some kids get hurt is weird ways, some kids bruise easily, and some kids lie. Even if the authorities never prove that there was child abuse or actually conclude that there was no child abuse, the accusation will still linger. People will doubt. Employers will wonder. Family members will question. Nobody wants to be the person who did not report suspected child abuse if there actually is child abuse. And nobody wants to let their kids go to little Timmy’s house when his dad is an accused child abuser.

I don’t have any good answers. The amount of scrutiny for child abuse is appropriate given our collective concern for the welfare of children. But once that accusation is made, it can’t be retracted even if it is disproven. Be very careful before you accuse.

NEWS: If You Let Crooks Off Easy, They Commit More Crimes

This is a very long story, but very good. Go read the whole thing. Essentially, Cook County implemented “reform” where they let more crooks out without bail. The judge in charge proceeded to cook the books to show that there were no negative consequences. After pressure from the Chicago Tribune, they found the underlying data to be flawed and there were, in fact, significant negative consequences. This is a good insight to the consequences of criminal justice reforms being considered in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans for months has defended the bail reform he ordered by citing an analysis produced by the office he runs.

His report, released in May, noted that Chicago saw no increase in violent crime after judges began implementing those reforms by reducing or eliminating monetary bail for many pretrial defendants. Far more of these defendants were released from custody, yet only “a very small fraction” were charged afterward with a new violent offense, the report states.

But a Tribune investigation has found flaws in both the data underlying Evans’ report and the techniques he used to analyze it — issues that minimize the number of defendants charged with murder and other violent crimes after being released from custody under bail reform.

One central conclusion of Evans’ analysis was that only 147 felony defendants released from custody in the 15 months after bail reform went on to be charged with new violent crimes, or 0.6% of the total. He has called this a “rare” occurrence.

But Evans’ definition of violent crime, while acceptable to criminologists under some circumstances, was limited to six offenses and excluded numerous others, including domestic battery, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, armed violence and reckless homicide.

Hundreds of these charges were filed against people released after bail reform took effect, according to data Evans provided after the Tribune filed a public records petition to the Illinois Supreme Court. If those charges were included in the analysis, the total would be at least four times higher, the Tribune found.

The report’s underlying data also was flawed in multiple ways that led to an undercount of murders and other violent crimes allegedly committed by people out on bail.

In one example, the Tribune identified 21 defendants who allegedly committed murder after being released from custody in the 15 months after bail reform. Evans’ report said there were three.

[…]

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Sheriff Tom Dart and other law enforcement officials have championed the intent of Chicago’s reforms. But they also have warned that there are consequences when judges release people with violent charges and backgrounds into neighborhoods already shaken by crime and gunfire.

“The low bails give those dangerous criminals a sense of impunity and make their victims less likely to cooperate with police,” Lightfoot said at a news conference as she stood beside police after the July 4 weekend, when 66 people were shot, five fatally.

“The Bill Clinton of Cities”

Ouch.

“San Francisco has squandered its place in the sun,” said John Price, CEO of the genetic engineering company Greffex Inc. “San Francisco is the Bill Clinton of cities. It squandered itself with its flaws.”

Man Commandeers Airport Monitor for Gaming

Good on you, man.

(CNN)Most airport travelers with time on their hands will open a book, browse their phone or take a nap. Others will take things a level further.

A man traveling through Oregon’s Portland International Airport on Thursday was caught playing a video game on one of the airport’s video monitors.
“I couldn’t believe it. You’ve got all these monitors there and he’s playing a video game,” said Stefan Dietz, who captured the moment and tweeted it. The gamer even appeared to be talking on a headset to other players, according to Dietz.

Corrupt Former UWO Officials Reach Plea Deal in Criminal Cases

This better not be a sweetheart deal. Public corruption involving millions of taxpayer dollars needs to be severely punished.

OSHKOSH – The public will have to wait until Wednesday to learn more about the plea agreement two former University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh executives made in a criminal misconduct case stemming from their involvement with the university’s private foundation.

Former Chancellor Richard Wells and former Vice Chancellor Tom Sonnleitner, who have been free on $10,000 signature bonds since their first court hearing in June 2018, reached a deal with prosecutors, Assistant Attorney General Richard Chiapete said this week in a letter to the court.

Winnebago County Circuit Judge John Jorgensen on Friday granted a request from Sonnleitner’s defense attorney, former federal prosecutor Steven Biskupic, to seal the agreement until the end of Wednesday’s plea and sentencing hearing.

[…]

The Wisconsin Department of Justice charged Wells and Sonnleitner in April 2018 with five counts each of misconduct in office in excess of their authority as a party to a crime after negotiations stalled in the lawsuit, which the UW System filed more than a year before. The Justice Department also represents the UW System in the civil case.

The criminal complaint, which largely mirrors the lawsuit, claims Wells and Sonnleitner improperly funneled $11 million in taxpayer money into five foundation building projects: the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel; the Culver Family Welcome Center; two biodigesters, which turn waste into electricity; and the Oshkosh Sports Complex, which includes Titan Stadium.

The complaint also outlines how Wells and Sonnleitner wrote a series of “comfort letters” to various lenders, assuring the banks the university would help out if the foundation was unable to make loan payments. The DOJ says money can’t go from the university to the foundation under state law. Attorneys for both men argued the letters did not constitute legally binding commitments.

Trump Deploys The Hulk to the Border

Hehe.

As the Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno brought the bad guys to book with his famous thunderclap, a signature superhero move as loud as a sonic boom or a hurricane.

But the actor most famous for bringing the Marvel Comics legend to life in the long-running 1970s CBS television series will have to rely on more traditional crime-fighting tools in his latest role, as a sheriff’s deputy in the New Mexico desert.

The 68-year-old former bodybuilder will be sworn in on Thursday as the newest recruit of the Socorro county sheriff’s department.

As a deputy, Ferrigno will continue a journey in law and order that began as the ferocious green alter ego of Dr David Bruce Banner on the small screen and progressed to real-life spells as a reserve deputy in two California counties … and as a member of notorious Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s volunteer posse which targeted illegal immigrants.

No Bail Policy Allows Crook to Continue Crime Spree

Some folks are trying to bring this to Wisconsin.

A serial bank robber targeted four New York banks, was released under the city’s new law which requires no bail for holding suspects, only to strike a fifth financial institution, police claim.

The suspect, Gerold Woodberry, 42, is alleged to have robbed banks in New York’s Midtown Manhattan, Harlem, West Village and the Upper West Side, since December 30, sources said.

However, under the new ‘no bail’ law, he was released on Thursday.

‘I can’t believe they let me out,’ sources said he was overheard saying on the way out of the New York Police Department’s headquarters, reports the New York Post.

‘What were they thinking?’ he added, allegedly striking a fifth bank in Downtown Brooklyn on Friday, the sources told the Post.

[…]

The new law, designed to reduce jail overcrowding and which went into effect in the new year, drops the bail requirement for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, including robberies.

Epstein Video “Lost”

Uh huh.

NEW YORK (AP) — Video footage of the area around Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell on a day he survived an apparent suicide attempt “no longer exists,” federal prosecutors told a judge Thursday.

Officials at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York believed they had preserved footage of guards finding Epstein after he appeared to have attempted suicide, but actually saved a video from a different part of the jail, prosecutors said.

The FBI also has determined that the footage does not exist on the jail’s backup video system “as a result of technical errors,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maurene Comey and Jason Swergold wrote in a court filing.

Governor Evers Wants to Let Crooks Out on the Street to Commit More Crimes

No.

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers and fellow Democratic lawmakers have introduced a series of proposals designed to reduce overcrowded prisons, but without support from Republican leaders they are unlikely to gain traction in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Evers told the Wisconsin State Journal in an interview published Thursday that he hoped the bills would spur a bipartisan discussion on the need to address the state’s rising prison population, which is expected to reach 25,000 inmates by 2021. Evers campaigned on the pledge to cut the state’s prison population in half.

[…]

The bills would set incarceration limits for non-criminal supervision violations, extend earned release eligibility to include vocational or educational programs and expand on a compliance credit to allow for shortened community supervision options. The measures, introduced by Rep. Evan Goyke and Sen. Lena Taylor, both of Milwaukee, applies only to nonviolent offenders.

Setting a target prison population is not a rational or moral goal. The population of our prisons is a function of how much crime is being committed and how we choose to punish people. If we can reduce the number of crimes being committed so that the prison population declines, then great! If the prison population increases because more people are committing crimes, then so be it. But to just let criminals out on the street to commit more crimes in order to reach an arbitrary number of people in prison so that Evers can feel good is dangerous and immoral.

In my experience, the vast majority of people are decent, law-abiding folks. They might speed or double park every now and then, but they are good people. A tiny slice of the population are wretched human beings who commit the vast majority of the serious crimes. Those people are just bad, and they will continue to commit crimes for as long as they are able to because they are criminals. That’s just what criminals do. Bakers bake. Farmers farm. Drivers drive. Criminals commit crime. The only way to reduce crime is to remove the criminals from society as often as possible and for as long as possible.

Criminalizing Jerk Parents

This is bad law.

State Rep. Don Vruwink, D-Milton, has experienced that firsthand. He’s been officiating since the 1970s. Referees and umpires face more hostility today than they did when he was starting out behind the plate, he said. Vruwink is co-sponsor of a new bill in the state Assembly that aims to address the problem.

The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, could make it a criminal misdemeanor to harass or intimidate a sports official in Wisconsin.

Vruwink said the bill’s purpose is to help address the national shortage of youth and amateur sports referees, which hasn’t spared the state.

[…]

Reports of confrontations and assaults on officials are increasing, said Dave Anderson, executive director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA).

WIAA pushed for the legislation to be drafted, while NASO, the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has also expressed support for it, according to a WIAA news release.

Anderson emphasized that the purpose of the bill isn’t to have parents arrested.

“The last thing anyone really wants to see is somebody to go to jail or going to prison because of their inability to control emotions in a kids’ basketball game,” he said.

Rather, it will serve as a tool to make the environment more comfortable for referees and umpires at a time when it’s critical to retain them, he said. Anderson said the legislation will not only benefit WIAA’s member high schools, but also younger kids who play sports and adults who participate in recreational leagues.

There is no question that there has been a general decline in decorum at youth sports events. However, criminalizing the behavior is not the answer. There are already laws against assault or disorderly conduct. If a parent goes that far, then those laws can be used. This bill is an effort to criminalize behavior that falls somewhere below the threshold of those laws. The bill is attempting to criminalize being a jerk. While nobody likes jerks at games, it is a bad idea to begin hauling those parents off to jail.

Armed Congregants Thwart Killer

Had it not been for an armed resistance, this could have been much, much worse. In the video, I count four armed men responding with the security guard being first.

WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported that the church shooting was captured on a live stream of Sunday’s worship service. In the video, which has since been taken down, a person stands and pulls out a weapon, then appears to fire twice before another person shoots back, according to WFAA.

Some congregants holding guns rushed toward the shooter, while others ducked under church pews, WFAA reported.

Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting an “evil act of violence” in a statement Sunday afternoon.

“Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life,” Abbott said. “Cecilia and I ask all Texans to join us in praying for the White Settlement community and for all those affected by this horrible tragedy.”

Antisemitic Attacks Sweep Across New York

Five people were taken to hospitals near the rabbi’s home after the suspect entered the Hanukkah celebration in the New York suburb and began stabbing people, according to police and witnesses.
The victims were Hasidic Jews, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council for the Hudson Valley Region said in a tweet. Two people are in critical condition, council co-founder Yossi Gestetnertold CNN.
One of the victims was the son of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, at whose home the attack unfolded, and another victim suffered head wounds and is in serious conditions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The rabbi’s son is recovering, he said.
The attacker pulled out a knife that was “almost like a broomstick,” said Aron Kohn,who attended the Hanukkah celebration.
There were at least 100 people in the home at the time, as the rabbi was “lighting the candle” on the seventh night of Hanukkah, Kohn said.
The suspect tried to run into a nearby synagogue, but someone closed the doors, Kohn added.
[…]
Saturday’s stabbing is the 13th act of anti-Semitism in the state in the last three weeks, Cuomo told reporters. That’s in addition to other hateful incidents targeting the black, Latino and LGBT communities, he said.

Rogue bureaucrats and leftist aggression against self-governance

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News.

Once again Wisconsin finds itself in a heated legal battle over a common sense law because of the insistence of liberals that they be able to cheat in our elections. The latest skirmish comes over the routine business of cleaning up our voter rolls.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission was formed in 2016 after the monstrously corrupt Government Accountability Board was dismantled. The WEC is charged with administering and enforcing election laws in the state. The WEC does not make law. It is charged with administering and enforcing laws.

One of those administration tasks is to maintain the state’s voter rolls. Every Wisconsin voter registers in their local district to ensure that the people in a particular district, municipality, county, etc. are electing their government. It is a cornerstone of representative government that the elected leaders are elected by people who actually live in the area to be governed. It is critically important that these voter rolls are accurate for selfgovernance to be a reality. If people from Chicago, for example, can drive up to Racine and cast a vote, then the good people of Racine are being denied self-governance.

One of the mechanisms that the state uses to maintain the voter rolls is participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which is a coalition of 28 states and Washington, D.C. that monitors people’s movement. For example, if someone moves from Hudson, Wisconsin, to Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and gets a new driver’s license, the state of Minnesota would update the ERIC system. However, that person is still on the voting rolls in Hudson unless someone removes them.

In order to keep the voter rolls accurate, the state passed a law that requires the WEC to send notices to anyone who ERIC indicates moved within or without of the state to verify where the person actually lives. If they moved or if the person does not respond, then the WEC is directed to remove the person’s name from the voting rolls within 30 days and invite the person to reregister to vote in the correct precinct on or before the next date they want to vote.

This is truly a sensible, routine, administrative function that should not be controversial. There is absolutely no hardship on anyone here. The worst case is that someone might be accidentally removed from the voting rolls, but can reregister when they go to vote next time. Wisconsin has same day voting registration and requires a photo identification to vote. Being accidentally removed from the voting rolls might cause a minor inconvenience for a few people who have to reregister, but the benefit is that hundreds of thousands of incorrect voter registrations are removed, thus lessening the opportunity for election fraud.

In October, the WEC sent out about 234,000 of these confirmation notices, of which only 18,800 responded. By law, the WEC is supposed to use that information to update the voting rolls. The WEC refused, so the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sued them in state court to make them follow the law. A state court judge ordered them to follow the law. The WEC commissioners — specifically the three Democrat commissioners — refused to follow the court order. The decision is being appealed in state court by the liberal Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and the liberal activist group the League of Women Voters is suing in federal court, but the court’s order still stands and the WEC is still refusing to comply with the law.

This is how our republic crumbles. Our government institutions refuse to comply with the will of the people or the law of the land. Our elections are undermined by the willful manipulation of bureaucrats and activists bent on their own agendas. We allow swamp creatures who supplant their will for the will of the people to hold dominion over us.

Wisconsin could be the deciding state in the next presidential election and that the election could be decided by a handful of votes. That is why the leftists are driven to undermine our electoral process any way they can to open up opportunities to cheat. That is why this exceedingly routine effort to maintain accurate voting rolls is being fought so vigorously. That is why we must insist that our government abide by the will of the people and follow the law.

 

Rogue bureaucrats and leftist aggression against self-governance

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

In October, the WEC sent out about 234,000 of these confirmation notices, of which only 18,800 responded. By law, the WEC is supposed to use that information to update the voting rolls. The WEC refused, so the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sued them in state court to make them follow the law. A state court judge ordered them to follow the law. The WEC commissioners — specifically the three Democrat commissioners — refused to follow the court order. The decision is being appealed in state court by the liberal Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and the liberal activist group the League of Women Voters is suing in federal court, but the court’s order still stands and the WEC is still refusing to comply with the law.

This is how our republic crumbles. Our government institutions refuse to comply with the will of the people or the law of the land. Our elections are undermined by the willful manipulation of bureaucrats and activists bent on their own agendas. We allow swamp creatures who supplant their will for the will of the people to hold dominion over us.

Wisconsin could be the deciding state in the next presidential election and that the election could be decided by a handful of votes. That is why the leftists are driven to undermine our electoral process any way they can to open up opportunities to cheat. That is why this exceedingly routine effort to maintain accurate voting rolls is being fought so vigorously. That is why we must insist that our government abide by the will of the people and follow the law.

Man Uses Narwhal Tusk to Subdue Terrorist

Um, I guess whatever is handy.

LONDON (AP) — A mysterious figure who used a rare narwhal tusk to help subdue a knife-wielding extremist on London Bridge last month has been identified as a civil servant in Britain’s Justice Ministry.

Darryn Frost ended his silence Saturday, telling Britain’s Press Association that he and others reacted instinctively when Usman Khan started stabbing people at a prison rehabilitation program at a hall next to the bridge on Nov. 29.

Frost used the rare narwhal tusk to help subdue Khan even though the attacker claimed to be about to detonate a suicide vest, which turned out to be a fake device with no explosives. The intervention of Frost and others helped keep the death count to two. He said another man used a chair as a weapon in the desperate struggle.

Alleged Murderer Was In Deferred Prosecution Program for Felony

When will we learn? We are not helping a kid like this by going soft. We are merely encouraging a course that leads down one of two paths: death or prison.

The suspect arrested in Saturday’s fatal shooting on Madison’s Near West Side was previously charged with forgery and recently allowed to enter a deferred prosecution program, according to court records.

Marcus T. Hamilton, 20, was arrested on a tentative charge of first-degree intentional homicide, according to the Madison Police Department. Those charges were referred to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office, Madison Assistant Chief John Patterson said Sunday.

[…]

Last year, Hamilton was arrested after police said he used a fake $50 bill at a restaurant and was charged with felony forgery. In July, he pleaded guilty to forgery and was referred by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office to its First Offenders Program, according to court records.

In September, he was accepted into the program, which typically allows a person to avoid a criminal conviction in return for obtaining treatment and staying out of trouble. The details of Hamilton’s deferred prosecution agreement were not available Sunday.

Outgoing Governor Pardons Killer Whose Family Donated Money to Campaign

This is awful. This is not an old case where the felon has since reformed. This just happened two years go.

The outgoing Republican governor of Kentucky has sparked outrage after he pardoned a convicted killer whose family had hosted a fundraiser for the politician and given him money.

Matt Bevin, who was defeated in his bid for re-election in November, has issued over 400 pardons in his final days in office.

Among those were Patrick Baker, who had been sentenced to 19 years in jail in 2017 after he impersonated a police officer to force his way into a home, then shot a man inside.

In 2018, Baker’s family hosted a fundraising event for Mr Bevin, which scooped $21,500 for the governor. Baker’s brother and sister-in-law also personally donated a further $4,000 to Mr Bevin’s ultimately unsuccessful re-election campaign.

[…]

Mr Bevin wrote in the official order announcing Baker’s pardon that the evidence used to convict him was “sketchy at best”.

He had made a “series of unwise decisions in his adult life”, Mr Bevin added, suggesting a drug problem had led to Baker falling in with the wrong crowd.

But the judge who sentenced Baker in 2017, David Williams, said he had never seen a more “compelling or complete” case in his thirty years of experience. “The evidence was just overwhelming.”