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Vision 21: The Good, The Bad, and The Creepy in the DOJ’s New Crime Victim Initiative

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The Office of Justice Programs of the Department of Justice is busy promoting Vision 21 Transforming Victims Services, the DOJ’s sweeping “new” agenda for providing “services” to victims of crime.  I’m using the scare quotes here because I don’t trust Eric Holder to do anything about crime other than politicize it.

OJP masthead
Vision 21 Transforming Victim Services

Vision 21 is certainly a paean to identity group activism and identity group representation and identity group “outreach.”  True to form, the DOJ leaves no stone unturned in their efforts to kick the justice system further down the road of pure identity-based balkanization.

But the most troubling thing I’m seeing at first glance is the emphasis on providing “services” to victims in lieu of getting justice for them.  It looks like Vision 21 is providing multiple opportunities for activist organizations to exploit crime victims for other ends.  The involvement of groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Soros-funded, pro-offender VERA Institute for Justice suggests to me that one of the primary intentions of Vision 21 is to neuter the voices of real crime victims who demand real consequences and real sentences for violent and repeat offenders.  And, sure enough, Holder’s handpicked leaders have been floating anti-incarceration messaging in the endless “stakeholder forums” that inevitably accompany such initiatives.

Expect to hear a lot about how victims “want to be heard and included more than they want prosecutions.”  Expect offenders to be counted as sort of “co-victims” of crime.  Expect a lot of talk about the restorative justice movement, which was long ago hijacked by advocates for criminals and is now used primarily to keep offenders out of prison, rather than making them take responsibility for their crimes.  The “criminals are victims too” activists who hijacked restorative justice and profit from the vast “criminal re-entry” service industry are running the show at the DOJ.

Visin 21 is certainly a full-employment vision for the criminology profession.  And putting criminologists in charge of anything relating to crime victims is like sticking puppies in tiger cages.  But feeding the criminologists has been a primary goal all along.  Laurie Robinson’s tenure at the DOJ was dedicated to systematically subjugating the criminal justice system to the academic criminologists, in order to, of course, take all that vengeful punishment and incarceration stuff out of the equation (except in the cases of so-called hate criminals).

Now Mary Lou Leary is carrying the full-employment-for-criminologists ball.  FYI, “smart on crime” here means hopefully not incarcerating anyone, no matter what they do, unless Eric says it’s a hate crime:

This focus on careful analysis is one of the Justice Department’s top priorities. We are committed to promoting programs and approaches that are “smart on crime.” Under the leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder, I can assure you that this is more than a mere buzzword. For this Department, being smart on crime means resisting knee-jerk reactions, investing in solid research, and ensuring that evidence is translated so it is useful to all of you on the frontlines.

Get it?  This is supposed to be a statement about victim programs, but Leary is talking “knee-jerk reactions.”  They’re helping crime victims avoid “knee-jerk reactions,” like wanting their offenders behind bars.  This will be accomplished with science.

On the positive side, The National Crime Victim Law Institute and other highly credible crime victim advocates are also involved in Vision 21.  And the initiatives to professionalize and expand evidence collection is money well-spent.

While the Experts Fiddle, George Soros Buys the Criminology Profession

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This week, the Soros-funded anti-incarceration-criminologists at John Jay College’s The Crime Report excitedly announced a major new initiative: Soros-funded anti-incarceration criminologists are going to pull on their Sherlock Holmes caps and investigate the “causes of incarceration” in America.

Again, because they didn’t find it the last 500 times:

Eighteen of the country’s leading scholars and experts on corrections and related fields have launched a major project to study the “causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration” in the United States.

The panel of scholars, chaired by Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will examine the reasons for the dramatic increases in U.S. incarceration rates since the 1970s, which have produced one of the world’s highest incarceration levels—with more than 2.3 million people behind bars in U.S. prisons and jails at any time.

The topic has been widely discussed and analyzed for years . . .

I can save them the time, of course, but it’s not an answer they’re going to want to hear.  The reason why we have so many people behind bars is because they committed crimes.  

We could actually use a few more people behind bars:

Gwinnett County police have arrested a man who they suspect broke into a woman’s home and raped her, according to Channel 2 Action News.

The attack happened Monday evening in a neighborhood off Buford Drive, according to Channel 2. Officers and canine units eventually caught Marcus Terrell, of Lawrenceville, and arrested him and charged him with the assault, according to Channel 2.

Terrell has been arrested 16 times in Gwinnett County dating back to 1994, according to Channel 2. He has been arrested on charges of DUI, public indecency, loitering, and child molestation. Records show the child molestation charges were dropped for a guilty plea to sexual battery in 2004. He received a one-year sentence.

Terrell has also been arrested several times in Dekalb County, according to Channel 2. Officials in the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, told Channel 2 that they can’t discuss Terrell’s criminal history at this point. They said more details may come out at his preliminary hearing . . .

One year for molesting a child.  This type of thing happens every day.  But the public doesn’t hear about it.  Nor will the experts be discussing and analyzing it at this task force.  What they’re going to be talking about is how to get the maximum number of people out of prison for any reason whatsoever no matter what they’ve done, a practice they refer to as “filling in the knowledge gaps”:

The group  will examine a wide range of issues related to U.S. corrections, including the costs and benefits of current sentencing and incarceration policies, and it will explore any evidence  that “alternative punishments might achieve similar public safety benefits and lower financial and social costs,” according to the official announcement of the project.

The panel will also assess existing research on incarceration, identify research gaps and offer policy recommendations.

In its statement announcing the project, the MacArthur Foundation said, “It is evident that there are significant knowledge gaps regarding the causes and consequences of incarceration.”

Knowledge gaps.  Like, how we can live with ourselves while letting people who rape children walk the streets.

Or, how the experts are going to conceal their activities from the public that is paying for their latest silly and deceptive study, as they quietly empty the prisons at the behest of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations:

The new study somewhat parallels ongoing or proposed work, including projects by the Pew Center on the States [Soros-funded] and affiliated organizations on sentencing reform in several states, and a national criminal justice commission proposed by Sen. Jim Webb  (D-VA) that is yet to be approved by Congress.

Members of [Jeremy] Travis’ study panel include some major leaders and researchers in the corrections field.

They are:

  • Michael Tonry, professor of law of the University of Minnesota [Soros funded] 
  • Avelardo Valdez, professor of social work at the University of Southern California [Soros funded]
  • Bruce Western, professor of sociology at Harvard, who wrote a 2006 book on punishment and inequality in America [Soros funded]

The panel already has held one meeting. In the future it may call in experts to make presentations but will not hold public hearings.

So George Soros engineered a complete takeover of every university criminology department in the United States some time around 2004, and now the intellectual minions he spawned are being invested with the power to destroy our criminal  justice system from within, while the same journalists who dampened themselves when the Koch brothers paid for one little economics chair at University of Florida studiously pretend they can’t see this, a disciplinary crime exacerbated by the fact that they are also taking money from Soros through their own professional organization of crime journalists at John Jay College’s Center on Media Crime and Justice, which Soros cleverly bought a couple of years ago.

OK, but what’s my point?   

 

 

Chardon High: Why Kids Kill? It’s Not “Bullying.” But Don’t Wait for “Experts” to Admit It

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It’s the family, usually:

Parent of Teen Accused of Shootings Faced Charges (Cleveland.com, no link)

The father, Thomas Lane Jr., was known to county authorities because of a series of arrests for abusing women in his life, court records show. It’s not clear how much contact the father and son had.
But between 1995 and 1997, the boy’s father and mother, Sara A. Nolan, were each charged with domestic violence against each other.
The father was later charged with assaulting a police officer and served time in prison after trying to suffocate another woman he married several years after his son was born, according to court records.
He held the woman’s head under running water and bashed it into a wall, leaving a dent in the drywall, court records show.
But soon after he went to prison, the woman wrote a letter asking that he be released early.
She had divorced Thomas Lane but said in the letter that he was always a good father to their twin daughters and a son she had before they married.
Some youths who attended a vigil at a church on Chardon’s square Monday evening said that the teen lived with his grandparents and had multiple step- and half-siblings. His grandmother declined to comment.

But you can’t sue school districts that way.

And these bullying industry experts don’t get a payday . . .

if they can’t blame the usual suspects: the victims themselves.

Nor can this one, who was quick to advertise his services. 

Meanwhile, the White House is awaiting news of whether they can exploit the tragedy.

 

 

James Alan Fox. Professional.

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Surveying the current crop of well-known criminologists is sort of like watching a sack of drowning cats trying to make excuses for the guy who just threw them in a lake.  It didn’t used to be that way.  Once, giants in short-sleeved button-down shirts with clip-on ties labored anonymously in room-sized IBM computers.

Now we have celebrity criminologists like James Alan Fox jealously guarding his speciality of crawling into sex killers’ brains and popping back out to tell the rest of us stuff like: “serial killers are really angry, and they blame other people for their problems.”  That is, when he isn’t seething with thinly-disguised contempt towards crime victims, who seem to bother him by existing.

Last week, Fox summoned all his professional expertise to pen a very nasty little screed decrying ABC news for hiring crime victim Elizabeth Smart to comment on crime.  Here is Fox describing the poised young woman, who survived kidnapping and months of repeated sexual assault:

The 23-year-old college student is well-known, of course, for having been kidnapped from her home at the age of 14 and repeatedly raped by a homeless religious extremist, and lucky enough to live to tell about it. However, ABC is looking for Smart to speak about much more than her own victimization. Apparently, the network believes that her harrowing ordeal qualifies her as an expert on the general topic of kidnapping.  Her name may be smart, but she is hardly an expert.

Does the professor realize that he is projecting all the gravitas of an aggrieved teen?  Yet he also manages to sound like a middle-aged professor trying to kiss up to news executives by pretending that their coverage of topics like “kidnapping” is somehow dependent on dense intellectual inquiry.  Here, by the way, is the cover of one of Dr. Fox’s dense intellectual inquiries:

That’s not lurid and exploitative because the authors are academics.

Fox certainly is an expert at what he does, which, in addition to stating extremely obvious things about serial killers, involves playing down the legal significance of woman-hatred as a motive for sexual crimes against women.  I’ve written here, here, and here about his prominent role in deceiving the public about the ways hate crime laws are subjectively enforced, all in order to serve the demands of activists.  Fox’s particularly low and ugly sub-speciality in this ruse is using his “expertise” on sex killers to distinguish between ‘hate motivations’ and ‘just killing bunches of women because you have low self-esteem, or can’t get a date.’

In other words, whenever some extremely angry guy gets a gun and mows down random women, or goes into a bar and attacks the first woman he sees, or rapes and murders woman after woman, you can count on James Alan Fox to blather on about the guy’s feelings of insecurity while carefully pretending that the question of whether the crime should be prosecuted as “hate” isn’t relevant.  Reporters never interrupt this delicate tap dance with questions as Fox sashays “women killed by gunman looking to kill women” into the “non-hate” column.

So when James Alan Fox complains about the networks hiring “non-experts” like Elizabeth Smart, he isn’t just being offensive on a personal level: he is pretending that he and his credentialed peers aren’t pushing their own agendas when they appear on the evening news.  Although these agendas routinely come with funding from activist groups, the network media never seems to mention that.  Fox’s personal style is misdirection by omission, as when he manages to crawl through lengthy interviews about the causes of inner-city crime without mentioning broken homes or missing fathers.

It would be interesting to ask him why he thinks Elizabeth Smart’s captor wasn’t prosecuted for “gender bias hate” — or to ask that question of any of the academics who pull in big salaries and grants to lecture us about what we should be believing and not believing.

One might occasionally expect a little humility from the academic discipline that brought us whoppers like “unemployment increases crime . . . oh wait, scratch that.” One would be in error.  The outrage expressed by Fox over the Elizabeth Smart hiring isn’t just about her: it is the outrage of a class of people who are used to getting away with promoting their own faux objectivity and controlling the message without being challenged or questioned at all.

But Fox’s outrage is also very much about Smart being a crime victim. Criminologists who tend to see criminals as the only victims of our justice system (in other words, criminologists like Fox who get quoted in the New York Times) are rendered deeply uncomfortable by the presence of actual victims.  Victims, like their equally unreliable sidekick, The Public, often have the temerity to complain about crime, instead of relying on criminologists to tell them how they should feel.  Fox’s meltdown over Elizabeth Smart is awash in the sort of anxieties and antipathies that criminologists reserve for crime victims (and never for criminals).  He slips from fatuousness to outright contempt:

I will resist the temptation to judge whether such a role is healthy for someone who endured nine months of sexual assault and servitude, with the psychological effects lasting well beyond her rescue. More to the point, what insights can Smart bring to the table or the set of Good Morning America? . . . Smart may have had an up close and personal, albeit untrained perspective of her abductor, but most kidnappings are for very different purposes than hers. Wouldn’t viewers learn much more from an analyst who has specialized in the study of kidnapping . . . Obviously, hiring Smart is much more of an attention grabber.  To be fair, ABC’s decision to feature Elizabeth Smart as their kidnapping specialist reflects a fairly common practice in what could be described as the mass media version of “it takes one to know one.”

“It takes one to know one”?  It takes one to know one what?  That saying is a pejorative, as is the entire tone Fox assumes here:

There are countless other examples of activists who turn their victimization into a credential for instant expertise. After surviving a mass shooting at a crowded Texas restaurant, Suzanna Gratia Hupp became the darling of the NRA, was elected to the Texas state legislature and published a book — all on her experience-based advocacy for right-to-carry laws. Closer to home, Donna Cuomo gained the limelight as the aunt of a teenager once murdered by furlough-absconder Willie Horton, and eventually gained a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives predicated largely on her tough-on-criminals agenda.

The darling of the NRA.  Gained the limelight. What did these people ever do to Fox, other than being crime victims and refusing to hide their faces in shame, as he and his peers would prefer?  Note that he describes vicious murderers in neutral terms while lashing out at their victims.  And what, precisely, is “experienced-based advocacy for right-to-carry laws”?  Does Fox know how people become lobbyists?  It’s not by getting a Ph.D. in lobbying.

Here is Suzanna Gratia Hupp’s story.  It is sickening that James Alan Fox would skip these facts in order to enhance his contemptuous dismissal of her:

On Wednesday, October 16, 1991, Hupp and her parents were having lunch at the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen. She had left her gun in her car to comply with Texas state law at the time, which forbade carrying a concealed weapon. When George Hennard drove his truck into the cafeteria and opened fire on the patrons, Hupp instinctively reached into her purse for her weapon, but it was in her vehicle. Her father, Al Gratia, tried to rush Hennard and was shot in the chest. As the gunman reloaded, Hupp escaped through a broken window and believed that her mother, Ursula Gratia, was behind her. Hennard put a gun to her mother’s head as she cradled her mortally wounded husband. Hupp’s mother and father were killed along with twenty-one other persons. Hennard also wounded some twenty others. As a survivor of the Luby’s massacre, Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws. She said that had there been a second chance to prevent the slaughter, she would have violated the Texas law and carried the handgun inside her purse into the restaurant.

Suzanna Gratia Hupp, with a picture of her murdered parents

It sounds as if the professor doesn’t wish to merely ban non-professors from speaking to the media: he wants to prevent the proles from doing things like running for office in state legislatures.  How dare these women . . . represent people.  What he says about John Walsh is even more shocking:

John Walsh made a career on the shoulders of having been the father of a 6-year-old abduction/murder victim.

Fox is too much of a coward to say “on the shoulders of Walsh’s six-year old abducted and murdered son,” though that’s obviously what he means.  Otherwise, he’d be talking about Walsh standing on his own shoulders, which makes no sense.  What a dishonest little quisling.  Also, what an odd way of arguing that you’re more professional than someone.  Yet, despite all the ill advised things Fox has already said, the professor has even more to say:

Although [Walsh's] efforts in hostingAmerica’s Most Wanted may have contributed to bringing certain criminals to justice, was he really the best person for the job? What is it about having his son grabbed and killed that qualified him as an expert on law enforcement investigation?

Hmmm.  This begs an academic question, or maybe just a question about academics: did Dr. Fox do a scientific study to back up this assertion that crime victims don’t make the “best” hosts for popular television shows about fugitives from the law?

What’s that?  He didn’t?

OK, is he at least a credentialed expert on casting for television shows?  No?  Then why is he writing authoritatively about a subject firmly outside his area of expertise in an essay arguing that people who lack academic credentials should not voice their opinions on subjects outside their area of expertise?

I guess he’s not an expert in logic, either.

In fact, the most laughable part of Fox’s argument is his insistence that he and his academically credentialled ilk act like professionals when they’re the ones out trolling for headlines.  Here’s my evidence:

Professionalism Exhibit 1:

This is Fox’s own website, from the very classy WOLFMAN PRODUCTIONS, which also represents porn star Ron Jeremy and Daryl Davis, the “Black Klansman.”  In the super-professional world of WOLFMAN PRODUCTIONS, Dr. Fox proudly boasts that he is called THE DEAN OF DEATH. This is itself an exaggeration: Northeastern University confirms that Fox is not actually the Dean of Death but only a regular professor in their criminology department.

Dr. James Alan Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice and former dean at
Northeastern University in Boston, presents six incredible lectures on criminology, serial killers, and violence…

  • Killing for Pleasure: Serial Killers Among Us
    A chilling examination of the minds, motives and capture of infamous serial killers of
    our time.
  • Overkill: Shooting Rampages in America
    Workplace avengers, family annihilators, and schoolyard snipers–more methodical
    than imagined.
  • Lessons from the Schoolyard: Youth and School Violence
    A look at the causes of youth and school violence, including an assessment of the
    easy solutions that don’t work and the difficult ones that do.
  • Dial M for Media: Violence and Popular Culture
    A critical discussion of violent themes in television, film, and video games and the
    commercialization of killing.
  • Angry and Dangerous: The Do’s and Don’ts of Disgruntlement
    A guide to understanding vengeance in many work settings and how best to identify
    and respond to problem people and places.
  • American Terror: From the Columbine Killers to the DC Snipers
    An analysis of common themes to various home-grown forms of terror. Including serial
    murder, school violence, child abductions, and workplace violence.

James Alan Fox is The Lipman Family Professor of Criminal Justice and former dean at Northeastern University in Boston. He has published fifteen books, including his two newest, The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, and Dead Lines: Essays in Murder and Mayhem. As an authority on homicide, he appears regularly on national television and radio programs, including the Today Show, Dateline20/2048 Hours andOprah, and is frequently interviewed by the press. He was also profiled in a two-part cover story in USA Today, which dubbed him “The Dean of Death,” in a Scientific American feature story as well as in other media outlets. He served as a consulting contributor for Fox News following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and as an NBC News Analyst during the D.C. Sniper investigation. Fox often gives lectures and expert testimony, including over one hundred keynote or campus-wide addresses around the country, twelve appearances before the United States Congress, White House meetings with President and Mrs. Clinton and Vice President Gore on youth violence, private briefings to Attorney General Reno on trends in violence, and a presentation for Princess Anne of Great Britain. Finally, Fox is a visiting fellow with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.


For a fee, you can purchase,”Six Incredible Lectures on Criminology, Serial Killers, and Violence” by The Dean of Death.  And he has had private meetings with both Janet Reno and Princess Anne of Great Britain.  Princess Anne!  Princess Anne?

Princess Anne and Janet Reno, both holding invisible balls

Here are some of the reviews this knowledgeable and credentialed intellectual uses to promote his knowledgeable intellectual lectures on crime:

…incredibly astounding… marvelous…”
- Southwest State University

…a huge success. His thought provoking speech on serial killers was extremely entertaining and captured the audience’s attention. Mr. Fox did a wonderful job; I am still hearing great comments about his presentation.”
- Adams State College

Yeah, there’s just nothing more entertaining than listening to some self-important academic prattle on about people who rape and murder women and little boys. Fox’s choice of promotional  materials begs another academic question: if James Alan Fox considers his serial killer research “entertaining” and “amazing,” and if he sells it as a gruesome sideshow through a company that represent porn actors and other assorted lowlife, then where does he get off scolding Elizabeth Smart and John Walsh for talking publicly about crime after they experienced it as victims?

Ron Jeremy, Porn Star.  Stay classy, Northeastern University

Here’s a mental exercise: picture James Alan Fox hanging at the Wolfman Productions Christmas party, regaling Ron Jeremy with his cool stories about meeting Jeffrey Dahmer.  Now keep that image in your mind as you contemplate the presumption Fox displays in these crude, published musings about Elizabeth Smart’s state of mind:

I will resist the temptation to judge whether such a role is healthy for someone who endured nine months of sexual assault and servitude, with the psychological effects lasting well beyond her rescue.

Servitude!  The Dean of Death is also a word master.  Fox pretends he is not “judging” Elizabeth Smart’s mental state but actually resisting the “temptation” to judge it by yammering on about it in print.

I wonder how he justifies even mentioning her mental state?  Is Dr. Fox a mental health professional?  Is he a psychiatrist?  A psychologist?

Uh, he’s just a sociologist.   He has no relevant degrees, no authority, no certification.  Maybe it’s a hobby.  Or maybe, to paraphrase Fox: he may be a professor, but he’s also the guy being represented by Ron Jeremy’s agent.

{Updated} Aesthetic Tragedy, New York Times Style: Mime Panic Buttons Defunded in California

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It’s hard to find anything to say about this story that the New York Times has not trumped simply by writing it:

A Safety Valve for Inmates, the Arts, Fades in California

NORCO, Calif. — Fifteen men darted across the room, their faces slathered in greasepaint, reciting lines from “Tartuffe.” The stage, such as it was, was a low-ceilinged recreation room, and the cast was a troupe of felons who had just stepped in from the dusty yard of the California Rehabilitation Center . . . Two years ago, arts in corrections programs were a mainstay of prisons across the country, embraced by administrators as a way to channel aggression, break down racial barriers, teach social skills and prepare inmates for the outside world.

Or, maybe not.  Though such activities are supposed to reduce recidivism, Times writer Adam Nagourney acknowledges “there is no conclusive research on that.”

No conclusive research.  No conclusive research, not anywhere in the vast offender-validating, crime-denying rabbit warren of California higher education?  Not one, single, believable, peer-reviewed study subsidized by all the drooling millionaires of PEN?

In other words, despite the best efforts by armies of superlatively funded academic researchers, nobody could cook up a justification for spending money on those “arts coordinator[s] in each of the 33 California state prisons, overseeing a rich variety of theater, painting and dance.”

“[The] programs have become a fading memory,” the Times laments.

Once, in the golden age of not long ago, there were mimes teaching Moliere on your dime to child molesters; felons riffing Tartuffe with tax dollars.  Now, no more.

Mime tear.

Tartuffe, incidentally, is a play that happens to be about distrusting expressions of virtue, and authority in general.  So maybe the problem isn’t “the arts.” Maybe the problem is the art being taught, and who is doing the teaching.  The Times story inadvertently serves as Exhibit A for this theme:

Only two prison arts programs are left in California, and both rely on volunteers and private contributions. The one here is run by the Actors’ Gang, whose artistic director is the actor Tim Robbins [who] has become nearly as familiar a figure at the prison as the warden himself.

Of course, that “familiarity” comes with a price tag for the rest of us, though you can bet your last button they’re not including our names on the embossed fundraiser invites.  It costs money for Tim Robbins to prance around maximum security reliving old movie roles.  ”The real actors are issued panic buttons to attach to their belts, in case they are cornered,” notes the Times.  Why the “real actors” don’t rely on the curative power of aesthetic accomplishment is not explained. But, enough of that; back to Tim Robbins:

Mr. Robbins instructed the inmates to feel fear . . . “What is Tartuffe afraid of?” he said, wearing a wool skullcap and dressed in black. “Being discovered. Because that would mean jail for him.”

“Something is coming after you!” he said urgently to the inmates as they scampered around. “What is it?”

“Cops!” one inmate yelled.

“Cops!” Mr. Robbins responded, clapping his hands in delight. “Then run!”

How wry, shouting at prisoners to run away from the police.  How, Attica-ey.

Admittedly, Mr. Robbins does have experience successfully encouraging the dreams of aspiring young actors.

Oh, wait, scratch that: Mr. Robbins has experience encouraging the murderers of aspiring young actors who dream of success.

Richard Adan, Murdered by Jack Abbott at 22

Ask the family of Richard Adan.  Adan was a 22-year old aspiring actor and playwright who was brutally stabbed to death in 1981 in his own family’s restaurant by Jack Abbott, a sociopathic killer who was supposed to be in prison but had been freed early because Robbins‘ future wife, Susan Sarandon, and others used their star power to obtain his release {Sarandon, in cahoots with Norman Mailer, helped get Abbott released before she met Robbins; Robbins and Sarandon chose to name their son after Abbott a few years later — the original version of this post was incorrect about Robbins’ attendance at Abbott’s 1982 trial — thanks to Cinesnatch for noting the error}.

Robbins‘s future wife Sarandon said she saw artistic talent in Jack Abbott, so obviously he should go free.  Bolstered by intense lobbying by the New York Times, New York’s literary elite, and PEN, some pathetic, star-struck losers on the New York State parole board agreed to let Abbott go, even though he told his artistic sponsors that he would kill again, which he did, a mere did six weeks after his release.

Jack Abbott, Toast of New York’s Intelligentsia

So, to summarize: in 1981 Tim Robbins‘ future wife Susan Sarandon was among those who helped get murderer Jack Abbott out of prison on the grounds of Abbott’s perceived artistic “talent.”  Abbott immediately satisfied the edgy aesthetics of Susan Sarandon by performing the ultimate act of “outsider” art, stabbing an innocent young man to death outside the man’s family’s restaurant.  The day after the murder, the New York Times ran a glowing review of Jack Abbott’s art (I can’t provide a link: the Times has Stalinistically mopped away this reprehensible little bit of its own history).  Now, in 2011, the Times runs a story about Robbins teaching theater to violent offenders in order to help them gain early release — because participating in programs like this one is all about gaining points towards release, never mind the claptrap about race harmony and self-actualization.

Yet, somehow, the Times doesn’t feel the need to mention Tim Robbins’ previous record with prisoners and arts programs in this story.  Curious choice.

In 1982, Abbott went on trial again. A few of his other supporters, like Norman Mailer, mustered enough big-boy shame this time to cower in the shadows.  But not Susan Sarandon: she continued lobbying for Jack Abbott’s release on the grounds that he was a talented artist.  Robbins’ especially shameless wife showed up daily for the trial in support of her talented murderer.  Later, after she met Tim Robbins, they named their firstborn son after the killer: Jack Henry Robbins.

It is difficult to imagine the degree of callousness it takes to sit in full view of a family mourning for the death of their son while fawning over his killer.  Then, to name your child after the killer?  That should have been the end of those sickos’ careers.  But in Hollywood, Sarandon and Robbins are considered voices of moral authority, not in spite of this heinous inhumanity, but because of it.  Sarandon and Robbins weren’t done torturing and degrading crime victims after the Abbott case, however: they and Sister Helen Prejean made the lives of several other victims hell in the process of making their film, Dead Man Walking.  They grotesquely rewrote and toned down the crimes, wrote the existence of inconvenient survivors out of the story, and invented the killer’s on-screen remorse wholecloth, all under Tim Robbins’ direction.

Robbins chose to disappear victims and crimes.  Why does the corrections system of California permit him to continue using taxpayer resources to perpetuate similar whitewashing today?  The Times‘ story about Tim Robbins’ touching drama academy behind bars carefully avoids mentioning the crimes these sensitive thespians committed.  Reporter Adam Nagourney did not bother to contact the victims of these men, some of them rapists.  He didn’t bother to ask the victims for their point of view on the program.  Isn’t that what reporters are supposed to do?  Instead, we get giggly effervescence (from the slideshow):

The workshops and rehearsals are antic and oddly entertaining: guards can be spotted peering through a window. The inmates, like Matthew O’Day, are animated, campy, energized, liberated and fearlessly engaged, comfortable even playing women in a sea of gang tattoos and muscles.

“Campy, energized, liberated and fearlessly engaged.” “Cops!” cries Tim Robbins, “clapping his hands in delight.”  ”[R]un,” he shouts.  What are these inmates supposed to be learning?  What do they learn in other programs, like Changing Lives Through Literature (see here and here), which is taught by anti-incarceration activists who pen long, weepy paeans thanking their offender-students for enriching their pale, law abiding lives?  Check out this particularly troubling story.

I first became interested in prisoner education programs when my own rapist got cut loose early (to commit more heinous rapes of his favorite prey, elderly women) because he allegedly completed “college psychology” courses in prison, a fascinating accomplishment for someone who also got time off the front of his sentence for allegedly being mentally slow.  Too many prison higher educations programs and arts programs are run like this, and by people like Tim Robbins, who see rapists and murderers only as heroes and rebels striking out righteously against America’s “stultifying, capitalist, fascist state.”

And so, unsurprisingly, the material taught is most frequently about crooked justice and wrongful incarceration.  How, again, is this supposed to rehabilitate anyone?  It doesn’t, as respected criminologists have observed.  Vocational training, GED preparation, 12-step programs — those things often help, and contrary to the fabulists at the Times and elsewhere who claim that prisoners today have no access to enrichment or education, they are available to higher numbers of inmates — and also higher percentages of inmates — than ever.

In contrast, all these fantasy workshops on poetry, Restoration drama performances, and college classes about injustice in America do nothing but stroke offenders’ — and their teachers’ — egos.  Reading news stories about such programs, it is impossible not to notice how the teachers pose as acolytes, blaming society for their students’ crimes and praising offenders for their extraordinarily special talents and insights.  In this program funded by crime victims and other Virginia taxpayers, Andrew Kaufman brings his young U.Va. students into prison to read books like The Death of Ivan Illyich with offenders.  Ivan Illyich, remember, is a story about an unethical judge.  The U.Va. students — girls — coo on command over the offenders’ good manners, while judging their own non-felonious classmates harshly.  How early they learn what is wanted from them.  ”All four women said the residents were far less superficial and more respectful to them than many male U.Va. students,” the reporter writes.  Really?  Did the girls see the offenders’ records?  Does Kaufman also take them on field trips to visit their victims?

No.  Of course not.  In the moral universe occupied by people like this, the only victims are the men behind bars.  ”Cops,” cries Tim Robbins, “run!”  Inmates can still pursue the arts and read books in all of these prisons, of course.  It’s just that taxpayers and crime victims are no longer subsidizing anti-American, anti-incarceration, anti-bourgeoise arts camps for inmates, as they were once forced to do.  ”We enjoyed this real lush period when there was this boom in prison growth,” brags Laurie Brooks, speaking of the time in the early 1980′s when then-governor Jerry Brown forced taxpayers to shell out for “lush” prisoner arts programs.

Remember how well that turned out? Crime rates continued their steady climb until sentencing reform took hold, removing prolific offenders from the streets for longer than a semester  or two.  So why is it that Tim Robbins, one of the most troubling figures of the pro-offender cultism that resulted in unmeasurable bloodshed and suffering, even permitted to go into California state prisons to hobnob with violent felons?  Why do taxpayers  and voters allow him to enter correctional institutions and foment his own special brand of resentment towards authority figures and police?  Why aren’t victims’ groups up in arms?

Tim Robbins

Isn’t one Jack Abbott one too many?


Disappearing Adria Sauceda: The Nun, The SNAP, The Law Professor, The President, His Newspaper and the U.N. Defend Torture-Killer Humberto Leal

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The Nun:

This is rapist and murderer Humberto Leal, mugging for the camera beside one of his many supporters, Sister Germaine Corbin.  Not included in the picture?  Sixteen-year old Adria Sauceda.

Adria can’t mug for cameras with nuns because she’s dead.  Not just dead — gang-raped, then kidnapped, tortured, raped, and beaten to death in the desert, her skull crushed with repeated blows from a 40 pound slab of asphalt, her body violated by a fifteen inch broken stick.

But he looks like such a nice boy.  Look at the nun’s smile.

Nuns minister to murderers and Catholics oppose the death penalty.  And so it should be.

But photos like this have nothing to do with ministering to a soul: this is public relations calculatedly erasing the memory of another soul — Adria Sauceda — disappearing her and placing Leal in her place.  Humberto Leal’s supporters — who include the President — want to turn Leal into a mere victim of America’s “vicious and unfair” justice system.  The only way to do this is to lie about the legal record and erase the evidence of his crime, namely an innocent sixteen-year old girl named Adria.  A shopworn way of scrubbing such human evidence is to plaster airwaves with photos of the killers looking shy and boyish in the presence of beaming nuns.

I have a modest suggestion for avoiding such deceptions in the future: the next time Sister Corbin wants to play Helen Prejean by clasping hands for the cameras with someone like this, she should use her other hand to hold up a picture of the victim.  Then things like facts and what is really at stake will not be buried behind the smiles.

A picture of murder victim Adria Sauceda, held in her parents’ hands

The SNAP:

Shamefully, SNAP, the Survivor Network of Those Abused by Priests, has also come out in Humberto Leal’s defense, because, they claim, he was molested by a priest.  But they don’t stop there: in their eagerness to climb into bed with Leal’s Bernadine Dohrn-connected defense team (see below), SNAP is actually promoting the defense’s risible claims of Leal’s innocence.  Their statement of support completely whitewashes Garcia’s crimes, a stunningly cynical act by a group that claims to exist in order to . . . oh, oppose the official whitewashing of sexual crimes:

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, National Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [contact info deleted].  We wholeheartedly support efforts to postpone the execution of Humberto Leal, and to try and protect kids from Fr. Federico Fernandez, through both secular and church channels.  We believe it is possible, even likely, that Fernandez could be criminally prosecuted, but only if Catholic and Texas authorities aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered the priest’s crimes. Delaying Mr. Leal’s execution is just and fair and would help this outreach process.

The whitewashing doesn’t end there.  SNAP uses their website to promote a discredited version of Leal’s “innocence.”  This version has been rejected repeatedly by the courts.  Worse, it intentionally minimizes the circumstances of the murdered girl’s suffering.  Here is SNAP’s version, quoting a wildly inaccurate article by someone named Brandi Grissom, who happens to be an anti-death penalty activist writing as a journalist for an online paper.  I’m quoting extensively here to offer some background, but the last paragraph’s the kicker:

One of [a priest's] alleged victims is Humberto Leal, a death row inmate who in 1995 was convicted of raping and bludgeoning to death a 16-year-old girl. His attorneys this week filed a clemency petition on his behalf. They asked Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to stay his execution and allow him to testify both as a victim and a witness of abuses allegedly perpetrated decades ago by Father Federico Fernandez, who served at St. Clare’s from 1983 to 1988.

Now, others who attended St. Clare’s have been spurred by Mr. Leal’s recent revelations to come forward and report similar abuse. They hope that by telling their stories they can stop the July 7 execution of Mr. Leal, and spur law enforcement to investigate and prosecute Father Fernandez.

The priest, who currently works in a church in Bogotá, Colombia, denies ever abusing anyone.

Church authorities in San Antonio removed him from the parish and sent him to New Mexico for treatment in 1988 after a grand jury indicted him for sexually abusing two other boys. In statements to police, the boys described multiple occasions when Father Fernandez schemed to get them alone and groped them. After the indictment, the boys’ family reached a settlement with the church, and the young men decided not to testify. Charges against Father Fernandez were dropped, and terms of the settlement were sealed.

Even before Father Fernandez arrived at St. Clare’s, he had been accused of sexual misconduct. In 1983, San Antonio police charged him with exposing himself in public, though the charges were eventually dropped. And since Mr. Leal’s revelation, others who attended St. Clare’s have reported similar abuse. . .

As is usually the case in a criminal matter, the facts of what led to Mr. Leal facing execution next month are in dispute — all, that is, except that Adria Sauceda was raped and murdered. Mr. Leal maintains he did not rape the girl and witnesses testified at his trial that she had been gang raped at a party. Witnesses told the authorities that Mr. Leal arrived at the scene and, outraged at what had happened to her, took her away from the party. He admitted that he and Ms. Sauceda physically fought after they left, and that she could have died after he pushed her and she hit her head on a rock. The police found her body about 100 yards from the location of the party.

Hit her head on a rock  . . . as he was rescuing her!  Gee, this Leal guy sounds like he might be innocent, doesn’t he?  And this is SNAP, after all, and they stand beside victims who have had their sexual assaults pushed under rocks, as it were.

Let’s be very, very clear about what SNAP is doing.  They are attempting to deny that Adria Sauceda was raped — again — by Leal as he bludgeoned her to death.  They are using their credibility as a rape victims’ rights organization to say that Leal’s kidnapping and rape of Sauceda may not have occurred.

And this is a rape victims’ rights organization.  Jesus wept, though not just this one time: I’ve seen similar ugliness in other victims’ rights groups hijacked by advocates for offenders.

Regarding the rape, SNAP forgot something.  They forgot the stick.  After the child was taken from the party by Leal, she was raped with a stick.  A jagged stick with screws sticking out of it, to be precise, which, to be even more precise — let’s say discerning — was used on Adria Sauceda while she was still alive.  That’s rape, and SNAP, of all bloody organizations, should know that, rather than quibbling over the number of times a dead girl was violated.  What, are they the only victims who ever matter?  Where is their membership regarding this obscenity?

With this decision to publicly support Leal, and to support him in the way they have chosen, SNAP’s leadership has made itself vulnerable to a common accusation — that they are just left-wing activists using the molestation crisis to attack the growing sexual conservatism of the Catholic Church.  I discount these accusations when they come from people who are themselves busy downplaying the reach of the molestation issue (particularly the cover-ups).  The absurd John Jay “hippies made us do it” “study” is one example of cover-up that discredits its advocates, for example.

But with this swift move by SNAP, such exploitation of victims is full circle now.  As usual, the people left out in the cold are the ones unfortunate enough to have been raped or murdered by one politically protected group or another.

What we’re actually witnessing here is the mundane drumbeat of insinuation, as yet another victims-rights group centrifuges its values and joins its opponents in picking and choosing among victims to support.  In a broader sense, I blame this sort of ethical slippage on the many political satisfactions of “hate crimes” laws, which codify and reward the act of valuing some victims over others.  Once identity politics is larded into sentencing, and activism, it’s easy to throw less politically useful crime victims out with the trash.

Here is the real record of the evidence, from Pro-Death Penalty a serious website that deserves serious attention, especially from those who hold that the death penalty itself is universally insupportable on religious or ethical grounds.  It is especially important for these types of death penalty opponents (I count myself one) to witness the whole truth, to not push away facts, or fall for outrageous claims of innocence, or pose for color glossies with sick sadists, or violate one’s mission statement to defend certain victims by helping bury others.

I encourage you to read the entire story at Pro-Death Penalty, because it catalogs the disturbing censorship by virtually every news agency — and activists at SNAP, among others.  Pro-Death Penalty quotes Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbot.  This passage is long, and painful to read: please remember it as you see the whitewashing of this crime in every media source over the next week:

[A] witness testified that an unidentified male invited him to have intercourse with Adria. The same witness testified that he later observed another man carrying a disoriented Adria to a truck, where he “had his way with her.” Twenty-three-year-old Humberto Leal was also at the party. At some point the intoxicated but conscious victim was placed in Leal’s car. Leal and Adria left together in Leal’s car. About thirty minutes later, Leal’s brother arrived at the party in a car which came to a screeching halt. Leal’s brother was very excited or hysterical. Leal’s brother started yelling to the people left at the party, “What the hell happened!” Leal’s brother was yelling that Leal came home with blood on him saying he had killed a girl. Two of the trial witnesses were present when Leal’s brother made these statements. Shortly thereafter Leal’s brother left in a rush. Several of the party members went looking for Adria in the same area where the party was. They found her nude body lying face-up on a dirt road. They noticed Adria’s head had been bashed in and it was bleeding. Her head was flinching or jerking. These party members called the police. When the police arrived, they saw the nude victim lying on her back. There was a 30 to 40 pound asphalt rock roughly twice the size of Adria’s skull lying partially on Adria’s left arm. Blood was underneath this rock. A smaller rock with blood on it was located near Adria’s right thigh. There was a gaping hole from the corner of Adria’s right eye extending to the center of her head from which blood was oozing. Adria’s head was splattered with blood. There was a bloody and broken stick approximately 14 to 16 inches long with a screw at the end of it protruding from [her body]. Another 4 to 5 inch piece of the stick was lying to the left side of Adria’s skull. The police made a videotape of the crime scene portions of which were admitted into evidence. Later that day, the police questioned Leal. Leal gave two voluntary statements.

Remember this part: it is important, in the context of President Obama’s defense of Leal.  Yes, that President Obama.

In Leal’s first statement he said he was with Adria in his car when she began hitting him and the steering wheel causing him to hit a curb. Leal attempted to calm her down but Adria leaped from Leal’s car and ran away. Leal claimed he sat in his car and waited about ten or fifteen minutes to see if Adria would return and when she did not he went home. After giving this statement, Leal was informed that his brother had also given a statement. Leal then gave another statement. In this statement, Leal claimed he followed Adria when she got out of his car and ran away. Leal claimed Adria attacked him. Leal pushed her and she fell to the ground. When she did not get up Leal attempted to wake her but could not. He then looked at her nose and saw bubbles. Leal stated he got scared, went home, prayed on the side of his mom’s bed and told family members what had happened, claiming it was just an accident. After giving this statement an officer gave Leal a ride home. The police searched Leal’s house. The police seized a blouse which contained several blood stains, hair and fibers. This blouse was later identified as belonging to Adria. The police also seized Leal’s clothing from the night before. Leal was arrested later that afternoon at his home. Leal’s car was also impounded. The police conducted Luminol tests of the passenger door to determine whether any blood was evident. Blood stains were discovered on the passenger door and seat. Detectives testified that the blood stains were streaked in a downward motion, indicating that the blood had been wiped off.  There was insufficient residue to conduct a blood typing of the stains on the vehicle. Other DNA evidence was found on the underwear Leal was wearing that night. That evidence consisted of blood as well as bodily fluid. The DNA test did not preclude Adria’s blood type from the evidence tested. Dr. DiMaio, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, testified about Adria’s injuries and cause of death. DiMaio testified that even though Adria was intoxicated when she received her injuries, she would have been aware of what was happening to her. In addition to Adria’s massive head injuries, DiMaio testified about injuries Adria received to her chest and shoulder which were consistent with having been inflicted by the stick found in Adria’s vagina. DiMaio also testified about the defensive wounds Adria received to her hands trying to protect herself from some object. DiMaio also testified Adria was alive when the stick was placed in her vagina. Adria’s neck also contained injuries consistent with manual strangulation. DiMaio testified Adria received some of her injuries while standing up. Adria received her head injuries while lying flat. The injuries to Adria’s head were due to blows from the front. These injuries were inconsistent with a fall. Adria’s head injuries were consistent with Adria lying on the ground with somebody standing over her striking her. DiMaio testified the large rock could have delivered the injuries to Adria’s head. Based on the injuries to Adria’s head, DiMaio testified Adria would had to have been struck with the rock two or three times. DiMaio testified Adria died from blunt force trauma injuries to the head. DiMaio could not say for certain that the rock caused the injuries. He testified Adria was beaten about the face with a blunt object or more than one object which could have been the rock or something else. On cross-examination, DiMaio testified that one blow from the rock could have caused Adria’s death. DiMaio also testified about bite marks he found on Adria’s left cheek, the right side of her neck and the left side of her chest. Another witness compared the bite marks on Adria’s chest and neck with dental impressions of Leal’s teeth. They matched. The State’s indictment charged that Leal killed Sauceda while in the course of and attempting either to kidnap her or to commit aggravated sexual assault. Leal was convicted and, after a separate punishment phase, sentenced to death.

Nice work, SNAP.

The Law Professor:

Meanwhile, in the courts, the whitewashing of Adria Sauceda’s murder continues, cradled in the hands of experts trained in such ugly arts.

Humberto Leal’s defense attorney, Sandra L. Babcock, of the terrorist-sheltering law school at Northwestern University, has an interesting vitae.  Ms. Babcock’s research interest is imposing international law on the American justice system, a hobby she practices with her colleague, terrorist-cum-law-professor Bernadine Dohrn.  In 2008, Babcock and Dohrn worked “tirelessly” together to get Chicago’s city council to pass a resolution signing on to the U.N. Convention for the Rights of the Child.  Of course, such things always sound nice.

In 2003, along with the A.C.L.U., The Jimmy Carter Center, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Open Society Institute, Sandra Babcock, Bernadine Dorhn, and Van Jones (he’s listed as “invited”) participated in an A.C.L.U. sponsored conference called Human Rights at Home: International Law in U.S. Courts (program here). The purpose of the conference was to find ways to insinuate international (read: United Nations) laws and resolutions in American legal arenas, as Sandra Babcock is attempting to do to free her client, Humberto Leal.  From the conference program:

The conference will familiarize lawyers and advocates with international human rights treaties, laws and organizing strategies that can strengthen domestic social justice work by:
* Ensuring U.S. accountability for violating international human rights principles in additional to domestic constitutional ones
* Providing new, affirmative protections for workers, poor people, immigrants, and victims of discrimination
* Linking multiple issues to address problems that intersect race, gender, and poverty
* Connecting local advocacy to global struggles

As per her academic research and this movement, Babcock is now claiming that the police failed to inform Leal of his right to Mexican consular support when he was arrested.  Allegedly, this failure violated the rules of the International Court of Justice at the Hague: Leal, as a “Mexican national,” should have simply been able to call “his” embassy and the entire mess — the body, the rock, the stick, the bloody clothes, et. al. could be whisked away like some New Guinean ambassador’s parking tickets.

But there’s one little problem: Humberto Leal has lived in the United States, apparently illegally, since he was two.  Talk about wanting it both ways: Leal was an American until the moment he murdered Adria Sauceda.  That changed in the brief space between bashing in a young girl’s head and wiping down the doors of his car.  Now he’s a “Mexican national,” a term everyone from the President to the New York Times to “human rights” organizations (Leal’s rights, not Sauceda’s) is using with no irony and no explanation, as they lobby to cloak a killer in layers of special privileges while simultaneously lobbying to prevent police from inquiring about immigration status.

Get it?  The police will have to determine if someone is a foreign citizen in order to offer them consular rights, but they’ll also be forbidden to ask if someone is a foreign citizen in the interest of not discriminating against illegal immigrants, a lovely Catch 22 dreamed up by academics.  This cliff we’re careening towards is permanent demotion of Americans’ legal rights on their own soil.  If President Obama, his friend Bernadine Dohrn, and Jimmy Carter get their way, the police are going to find their hands tied in ten different ways, and our criminal justice system will soon be utterly subservient to whatever the hell they dream up at the U.N.

Expect more Humberto Leals.

Why isn’t the president of Mexico (or, say, America) calling for justice for Adria Sauceda?  Is that so difficult to conceive?

In an excellent article in American Thinker, David Paulin writes:

In Mexico, ordinary citizens can expect little from their country’s criminal justice system; it’s not a place where they can count on receiving justice.  So it is surprising that Mexicans on death row in the U.S. can expect so much from their government.  Americans, moreover, have always fared badly when caught in Mexico’s criminal justice system; it’s one of the risks of going to Mexico, and international law does not seem to offer additional guarantees of safety to visitors going there.  Yet in this case and others, Mexico presents itself as a paragon of virtue, committed to the lofty ideals of international law that Texas and other U.S. states are ignoring.

In 2004, Mexico sent its top legal talent to the International Court of Justice in The Hague — and complained about 51 of its citizens being on death rows in various U.S. states; none, they complained, had been advised that their government was prepared to offer them top lawyers for their defense.

That Hague court ruled that the U.S. was indeed bound by the treaty — prompting President George W. Bush to ask the states to apply it and review cases involving Mexican citizens awaiting death sentences.  However, Gov. Perry was unimpressed.  He refused to grant a stay-of-execution for Jose Medellin, 33, an illegal immigrant from Mexico found guilty in the 1993 rape-strangulation of two teenage Houston girls, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña.  Instead, Medellin was executed, despite having never been informed that Mexico was ready to provide him with a great lawyer.

The President and His Newspaper

In order to really disappear Adria Sauceda, fully and truly, you need more than bunches of law professors and activists: you need the media.  The New York Times does not disappoint.  The Times gawkingly refers to Humberto Leal merely as a “Mexican citizen,” as if he wandered over the border one day and ended up smashing a girl’s head in with a rock, his decades of residency in the U.S. tacitly denied.  As they put it:

Mr. Leal, a Mexican citizen, was not immediately informed of his right, under an international treaty signed by the United States, to seek assistance “without delay” from Mexican consular officials in navigating a confusing foreign legal system.  Such help might have been crucial for someone like Mr. Leal who, his lawyers say, had few resources and a limited understanding of his plight.

Poor guy: maybe he didn’t speak English and got lost looking for directions back to the embassy.

Or, maybe people like Northwestern University Law Professor Sandra Babcock have just gotten so used to lying, of not being challenged by the paper of record that they simply don’t expect to be called on even the most astonishing deceptions.  Babcock’s statement is a cringing embarrassment for the Times and Northwestern Law School (which, as Bernadine Dohrn’s employer, admittedly short circuited their ability to blush decades ago).

But Babcock’s Times quote goes beyond lying.  It is direct, false accusation of everyone involved in the Leal conviction, from the police who arrived at the murderer’s house to the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit, which, David Paulin writes, strongly affirmed Leal’s guilt.

Luckily for Ms. Babcock, her accommodating and incurious pals at the Times do not cite the appeals record.  Nor do they interview anyone who might disagree with her fable of “foreigner” Leal’s Bread-and-Chocolate disorientation with the country where he has lived since he was in diapers.  The word of one academician who grotesquely fibbed her way through two previous paragraphs apparently trumps our entire appellate legal system:

“This was an eminently defendable case, and I don’t think it would have been a capital case if he’d had decent trial counsel” from the start, said Sandra L. Babcock, a Northwestern University law professor representing Mr. Leal on behalf of the Mexican government.

Contrast this with the brief summary of Leal’s appeals compiled by John G. Winder.  Brief, but too long to list here.  Would it be too much for the Times to acknowledge that Leal has had at least 45 different hearings and appeals?

Maybe the Times is just practicing for the time when decisions about American justice are being made in the Netherlands, or 760 United Nations Plaza. In any case, reporter Brian Knowlton blithely allows a passel of activists to insist, one after the other, that Leal’s defense was insufficient, without once mentioning those 45 hearings.

Reading Times articles like this one does have its advantages.  It is amazing, the things you can learn when observing activists in their own natural surroundings.  Mexico’s justice system may be incapable of staunching the flow of blood on their own streets, but they’re spending millions of dollars defending outsourced child rapists and murderers from the vagaries of American jurisprudence:

Early assistance in murder cases also matters, said Noah Feldman [continuing the 'poor Humberto' meme], a Harvard law professor: [sic] Prosecutors know that seeking the death penalty is a long, difficult, expensive process, and they carefully weigh their chances. Knowing that the accused will be well represented could tip the balance away from seeking death, he said.

With that sort of idea in mind, Mexico in 1999 created an ambitious legal assistance program to aid its citizens in capital cases. The program’s director, Gregory Kuykendall, now heads a team of 32 lawyers; in the year ending in May, Mexico spent $3.5 million on the program, according to the Sunlight Foundation, which focuses on government accountability.

Richard Dieter, executive director of the private Death Penalty Information Center, said Mexico’s active legal support had probably contributed to a decline in death penalty cases in Texas. “I think part of it is just better representation,” he said. “Mexico gives advice to other countries about how to do this.”

So if you want to come to America to rape and murder young women, either tomorrow or some time in 2028, it’s best to get Mexican citizenship first.

However, also according to the Times, the U.S. is not far behind Mexico in preparing the ground, as it were, for the future transition to governance by the United Federation of Planets:

The State Department has held hundreds of training sessions across the country to familiarize federal, state and local law-enforcement officials with the Vienna treaty and has issued a 144-page booklet outlining the requirements, with translations in 20 languages, including Creole and Cambodian.

Written, of course, by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the same “private” organization paid a pretty taxpayer dime to decide and then tell us stuff like why it is that some crimes are called hate crimes and some crimes are just bashing in a young girl’s head while raping her with a stick.  It’s not how laws are written and passed by elected legislative bodies, you see.  What really matters is the opinion of experts like law professors, Eric Holder, the IACP, the United Nations, and the Hague.

At the end of this dark, long road to dismantling the American Justice System, there lies — what?  The District Court of the United Nations Human Rights Council?  The fact that President Obama has joined forces with the United Nations to side with Humberto Leal and against our own courts is terrifying. In the wake of the Casey Anthony verdict, it has also gone unnoticed.  Justice for Adria Sauceda and Caylee Anthony?  Not in this America.

From Murder Bumps to Brain Scans: New Ways to Excuse Crime

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All this week, NPR is reporting on new genetic research to determine if some people have genes that make them kill people.

That is, if by “report” you mean shamelessly advocate and if by “genetic research” you mean paying expert witnesses to misrepresent academic findings in the courtroom.

Bradley Waldroup: Destined to Kill?

In the subtly-titled “Can Your Genes Make You Murder?” reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty answers: Why of course, yes, if it will get that poor man in the trailer park off from shooting his wife’s best friend eight times and then hacking up his wife with a machete, and to heck with him being drunk and just deciding to do it!

When the police arrived at Bradley Waldroup’s trailer home in the mountains of Tennessee, they found a war zone. There was blood on the walls, blood on the carpet, blood on the truck outside, even blood on the Bible that Waldroup had been reading before all hell broke loose.

Note the “all hell broke loose” sentence construction, as if it wasn’t Waldroup doing something, but that something beyond his control was acting on him.  Like genes.  Or hell-ghosts.

Or maybe he became a zombie.

In other words, it took a mere one and a half sentences for Ms. Hagerty to start singing the defense attorney’s refrain of diminished capacity.

Assistant District Attorney Drew Robinson says that on Oct. 16, 2006, Waldroup was waiting for his estranged wife to arrive with their four kids for the weekend. He had been drinking, and when his wife said she was leaving with her friend, Leslie Bradshaw, they began to fight. Soon, Waldroup had shot Bradshaw eight times and sliced her head open with a sharp object. When Waldroup was finished with her, he chased after his wife, Penny, with a machete, chopping off her finger and cutting her over and over.

Ordinarily, this would be a slam-dunk murder conviction.  After all, it takes some time to pump eight bullets into an innocent woman and then tear around chopping up another one.  But then, enter the “experts”:

[Defense attorney Wylie] Richardson says he realized that the testimony at trial would be “very graphic.” The defense team, he says, did not try to dismantle the graphic evidence but rather sought to “give a broader and fuller picture of what that was.”  How to do that? The answer, it turned out, lay in Bradley Waldroup’s genes.

Wouldn’t that be “the defense said the answer lay in Bradley Waldroup’s genes”?  No?

Immediately, Richardson went to forensic psychiatrist William Bernet of Vanderbilt University and asked him to give Waldroup a psychiatric evaluation. Bernet also took a blood sample and brought it to Vanderbilt’s Molecular Genetics Laboratory. Since 2004, Bernet and laboratory director Cindy Vnencak-Jones have been analyzing the DNA of people like Waldroup.  They’ve tested some 30 criminal defendants, most of whom were charged with murder.

They’ve tested a whole 30 defendants since 2004.

They were looking for a particular variant of the MAO-A gene — also known as the warrior gene because it has been associated with violence. Bernet says they found that Waldroup has the high-risk version of the gene.

Oh no.  Not only does the killer have the Warrior Gene, he’s got the High Risk Warrior Gene!  And that’s not all.

“His genetic makeup, combined with his history of child abuse, together created a vulnerability that he would be a violent adult,” Bernet explains.

Remember when this used to be called phrenology?

You know, the discredited science of feeling people’s heads for things like “murder bumps” and promiscuity centers?

Boy, those Victorians sure were crazy.  And prejudiced, because, of course, phrenologists got busy fast dividing mankind into superior and inferior groupings by doing things like measuring people’s foreheads and noses, and you know where that ended up.

Phrenology also made policing easier, because you could simply categorize people by their physical characteristics and not wait for them to actually do anything wrong before sending them to the poorhouse.  Or Australia.

Thank goodness we’re far more advanced than those Victorians. Now we have experts convincing jurors that people can’t be held responsible for murders they actually did commit because their genes made them do it:

[Vanderbilt researcher William] Bernet cited scientific studies over the past decade that found that the combination of the high-risk gene and child abuse increases one’s chances of being convicted of a violent offense by more than 400 percent. He notes that other studies have not found a connection between the MAO-A gene and violence — but he told the jury that he felt the genes and childhood abuse were a dangerous cocktail.  “A person doesn’t choose to have this particular gene or this particular genetic makeup,” Bernet says. “A person doesn’t choose to be abused as a child. So I think that should be taken into consideration when we’re talking about criminal responsibility.”

So, essentially, Bernet “feels” a non-proven connection between violence and a gene that non-murderers also possess ought to mitigate culpability for violent acts.  Enough jurors bought this story:

[Juror] Debbie Beaty, says the science helped persuade her that Waldroup was not entirely in control of his actions.  “Evidently it’s just something that doesn’t tick right,” Beaty says. “Some people without this would react totally different than he would.”  And even though prosecutors tried to play down the genetic evidence, Beaty felt it was a major factor.  “A diagnosis is a diagnosis, it’s there,” she says. “A bad gene is a bad gene.”

Well, thank you, Dr. Beaty.

After 11 hours of deliberation, the jury convicted Waldroup of voluntary manslaughter — not murder — and attempted second-degree murder.  Prosecutor Drew Robinson was stunned.  “I was just flabbergasted. I did not know how to react to it,” Robinson says.  Nor did fellow prosecutor Cynthia Lecroy-Schemel. She worries that this sort of defense is the wave of the future.  “Anything that defense attorneys can have to latch onto to save their client’s life or to lessen their client’s culpability, they will do it,” Lecroy-Schemel says.  Waldroup’s attorney, Wylie Richardson, says she’s right.  “I would use it again” under the right circumstances, he says. “It seemed to work in this case.”

It seemed to work in this case. There’s a scientific standard we can all be proud of.

NPR’s Three-Part Series, Inside the Criminal Brain

Cop-Killers, Neil Boortz, and, Thank God for the Roberts Court

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I get a lot of angry mail from people who are shocked and offended that anybody would deign to advocate for locking criminals up.  You know, using words.

Most of this mail is weirdly personal and tendentiously riffs on a few themes:

  • I’m for enforcing the law, so I must want innocent people to rot in jail.
  • I’m for locking up predators and thugs, so I must be a vengeful person who daydreams of pulling the switch on fuzzy puppies and other living things.
  • I must hate men, or minorities, or human beings in general, or myself in particular.
  • Furthermore, since I was a crime victim once, I cannot be trusted to express any opinion about the justice system, so I should just shut up, or dedicate myself to apologizing for existing, or make amends for existing by pretending to teach pretend literacy at some pretend prisoner education program.

My favorite angry letter was a recent screed from one of the many registered sex offenders who contact me whenever I write about . . . sex offender registration.  They have an on-line club or something, and there’s a big sign nailed to the door with my name crudely painted beneath a skull and crossbones.

So this sex offender guy writes to tell me that he is “ashamed” of me.  He says that I am a symptom of “a broken education system” because I have PhD. but my ideas suck and I should try to think harder (he clearly doesn’t know much about graduate schools).

He gave me a lot of advice about improving myself.  It’s nice to know that people care.

My least favorite letter arrived from a Ron Paul supporter in Colorado who wrote that he loves to hear about police officers getting killed because they don’t deserve to live.  He was writing in response to a post about several officers killed recently in the line of duty, including two young men killed in front of, or near, their own fathers, who are themselves cops.  None of this moved the letter-writer:

Cops ARE assholes, no doubt about it.  And IT IS ALWAYS a good thing when they get blown away. . . I’m fairly certain most assaults are carried out by police officers.  They are scum of the earth not by coincidence . . . only assholes apply to be cops.

And so on.  There was a lot more of it, fringy, pot-addled, paranoid, extremist rantings to be sure.  But far too many non-extreme people also feel far too comfortable treating cops like they are expendable, or inhuman, these days.

I don’t think the average person could endure very much of the crap that police must endure in their daily soak in the waters of whiny –and yet potentially deadly — criminality.  Imagine having to spend ten or twelve hours a day, every workday, stuck with that irritating, whacked out, stinky, unpredictable guy you avoided on the train this morning . . . and twenty more like him . . . all the while being brow-beaten by a bunch of self-important “criminal defenders” who fancy themselves Atticus Finch while playing a rigged system that flushes violent men back out onto the streets the moment you arrest them.

~~~

Which brings me to Neil Boortz’s unfortunate column in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today. I like Neil Boortz, not sycophantically, but I’ve listened to him on the radio for some twenty years, and he’s one libertarian who doesn’t irritate like most people who subscribe to the weird church of libertarianism (aka — Of course everyone should build their own personal highways to get to work because that’s far better than government taking your money to build highways for everyone).

He, and I, and my sex offender pen pal all feel the same way about the blighted state of education these days, for example.

But today, Boortz published one of those non-argument arguments in defense of the existence of defense attorneys, as if anyone really thinks they shouldn’t exist.  And, quite unfortunately, to illustrate his example of why society (allegedly) doesn’t appreciate defense attorneys enough as they valiantly defend us against the rampant false accusations imposed by the blue meanie police state, he jokingly mentioned the horrific case of Larry Davis (aka Adam Abdul-Hakeem), which ought to instead be remembered as a watershed injustice of the degree of the un-prosecuted murder of Emmett Till or the un-prosecuted murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

Only, it was cops who got shot.  Six cops and at least four other men who Davis likely assassinated.  The police were risking their lives trying to arrest Davis when he shot them.  And then, in just one of the innumerable injustices that made much of the late Sixties to early Nineties such a bloodbath, defense attorney William Kunstler not only got Larry Davis off on multiple murder charges and the shooting of six cops but degraded the victims by making Davis a cultural hero — not using superior wit and legal skills, as Boortz implies, but by exploiting a twisted system of government protection that no libertarian should espouse.

Here is Boortz, describing the trial:

Davis hires William Kunstler who, in his closing argument at trial, tells the jury that if they don’t acquit Davis of these murder charges they will one day wake up at 3 a.m. — screaming. Larry Davis kills [sic] six police officers; Kunstler gets him off. Davis goes on to become known as “Hood Hero,” and later as Adam Abdul-Hakeem. Quite a guy. Eventually, as you would expect, the Hood Hero murdered again, and this time was convicted. The prosecutors got it right the second time.

How does Boortz know the prosecutors “got it wrong” the first time?  He doesn’t even barely get the facts straight.  The police weren’t killed, for instance, though several were badly wounded.  The rest of the editorial is a similar flight of fancy: set up defense attorneys as misunderstood victims of society, then praise them for standing up to a government hell-bent on framing and convicting perfectly innocent people for some unknown reason:

The question is not whether or not you did it; it’s whether or not the government can prove you did it.  Trust me, you don’t want to live in a country where your life, liberty or property can be taken away because of political whim or the passions of the majority.

Never mind that six innocent public servants got shot trying to protect the life, liberty and property of people who went on to make a hero of the unrepentant shooter.

Never mind that Kunstler used both politics and passions — pure mob mentality — to win his cases in the highly politicized courts of his era.

Never mind that he valued some types of people over others.  That he unabashedly celebrated the murder of people who were cops.  That he defended leftist and Muslim terrorists while heaping contempt on the “life, liberty and property” of ordinary citizens.  That he refused to defend people whose politics clashed with his own, while pretending to stand for transcendent legal values.

That’s why people hated him, not because he was a defense attorney.

But here is the part of Boortz’ editorial that really makes no sense, coming from a libertarian: William Kunstler was actually for big government standing between jurors and the facts of any case.  He believed the people could not be trusted with the truth, and he shamelessly used an activist system of technicalities to get brutal killers off free — free to deprive other people of their rights.

Above all else, Kunstler represented a system of increasing bureaucratic intrusion into the justice system, not the defense of the boring little people from state power.

~~~

In any case, William Kunstler is dead and buried, and the little people have been winning real victories recently. In a little-noticed trend, the Roberts court has begun to chip away at excessive Kunstler-era exclusionary rules that keep evidence from being heard and considered.  Of course, news organs like the New York Times don’t like this provide jurors and judges with actual evidence and trust their judgment thing, but it is a sign of balance returning to a system in which defense attorneys — you know, those under-appreciated freedom fighters — have managed to tilt the playing field for far too long.

Clockwork Riots, L.A. Lakers Style: These Are Not Sports Fans

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Imagine the crappiest job in the world:

You put on your Men’s Warehouse suit and drive to the office, dreading the inevitable outcome of the day.  Settling into your cubicle, you arrange the day’s work on the chipped laminate desk: a billy club, mace, and a copy of the quarterly budget figures for your division, awaiting approval from above.  In the next cubicle, Joey H. is already rocking back and forth in his mesh swivel knockoff, working the screws on one of the padded armrests.

The word comes from headquarters right before lunch: the budget numbers are good.

Joey lets out a guttural shriek, rips the loosened arm off his chair and kicks the front wall off his cubicle, still howling.  You grab the mace and billyclub and follow him as he tears a path of destruction to the break room, carefully avoiding getting too close, shouting at him to step down.

Joey ignores you and smacks out a fluorescent light fixture with his arm-rest, sending bits of glass and toxic powder all over accounting.  Then he pulls a wad of gasoline-soaked newspaper out of his pocket, lights it with a lighter, and throws the flaming mass in the paper recycling bin by the door.

Mike D. wearily rises from his desk, shouldering his fire extinguisher, and heads for the blaze.

You follow Joey into the break room.  He’s already used a folding chair to demolish the front of the snack machine, filling his pockets with KitKats while chanting “We’re Number One.”  You notice he’s been working out.

“Put the Kit Kats down, Joey,” you say.

“F*** You, Pig-Man,” he screams, winging a full Red Bull can at your face.  Luckily, you thought to wear your plexi face shied to work today.  Now that you’ve cornered him, Joey head-buts your belly.  That hurts.  You smack him a few times with the billy-club, always aware that the altercation is being recorded on security cameras for later review.  Finally, you manage to subdue him with the help of Kathy P., the new associate from sales.  She’s brought her handcuffs, and Joey’s taken off to the bathroom to wash up and get ready for Personnel to review the security tapes.

Later that day, the verdict comes back from Human Resources.  While you should have tried to stop Joey before he broke the front of the snack machine, you’re not going to get docked pay for using excessive force subduing him, like last quarter.  Kathy P. however, is going to have to go before the panel and explain why she bruised Joey H.’s wrist while snapping the handcuffs on.

Cop Injured By Lakers Enthusiasm

Joey H. gets assigned five hours of community service, which immediately gets suspended, as HR is testing a new program which will use positive messaging and self-esteem training to encourage him to stop setting the office on fire.  (Nancy W., still recovering from those lycra burns from the spring quarter numbers, stifles a bitter laugh).  Joey takes the rest of the afternoon off to meet his new esteem coach at the Starbucks.  The rest of the staff gets down to sweeping up broken glass and trying to scrub the scorch marks off the walls while running the numbers on the cost of replacing the carpet.

All except Kathy P., who is hiding in the bathroom to avoid those a-holes from PR who want to snap her picture and use it to illustrate a story they’re writing about the proper way to subdue a co-worker.  You settle into your smoke-fill cubicle and tug your rumpled necktie, wishing you could take it off as you start in on the stack of paperwork explaining your actions.

It’s going to be a long night.  There’s no way you’re going to catch that Lakers game.

~~~

That job would really suck.

It’s called “policing.”

I think most police would be grateful if the media and political leaders would just drop the fiction that such premeditated and utterly predictable riots (oh, I’m sorry, University of Santa Cruz: “uprisings”) really have anything to do with uncontrollable fan excitement over sporting events.

For every honest person knows that certain sporting events are just used by criminals and criminal wannabes to justify — to schedule — their own main events: destroying property, setting fires, looting stores, and throwing heavy things at policemen who are damned if they do respond and damned if they don’t respond.  The Los Angeles Times described the mayhem this time as a “a sour note as Los Angeles Police Department officers clashed with rowdy fans.”  Clashed with?

Imagine what a strictly factual report would say:

Police were forced to prepare for weeks in advance, planning and deploying tactical forces at great personal risk, including risk of lawsuits, and all at taxpayer expense, to try to minimize the anticipated violent lawbreaking scheduled for the conclusion of the Lakers game.

Rowdy fans? Do these look like rowdy fans, or do they look like people who showed up knowing they’d have some consequence-free fun breaking things and attacking bystanders and cops?

Alas, there’s always an apologist in academia ready to argue against personal responsibility:

Psychologist and author Robert Cialdini, who has studied the behavior of sports fans, said the seemingly inevitable reaction by fans on the winning side is rooted not only in the emotional connection they build to their teams but in a chemical one as well.  Fans are so heavily invested in their teams that studies have shown that their testosterone levels spike significantly after they watch a major victory, Cialdini said. Elevated levels of the hormone are known to cause increased aggression, especially in young men.

See, they’re not responsible.  They’re just hormonal.

“When the team wins, we win and we feel it in a very personal way,” Cialdini said. “We’re likely to experience a great sense of arousal and joy even though we haven’t done anything.”

OK, why do people riot when their team loses, too?  Shouldn’t they be taking up needlepoint and thinking about changing their hairstyles instead?  And does this really look like joy over a championship season?

~~~

How about holding the rioters accountable, instead of the police? L.A.T. columnist Sandy Banks did acknowledge that the police presence was necessary, but even she couldn’t resist minimizing the actions of the criminals and reserving too much irritation for the cops putting their lives on the line . . . to protect people like her.  It’s certainly a step in the right direction, but why is it so difficult to look at images like this and just blame the guilty parties . . . full stop?

The antics of a bunch of losers shouldn’t obscure the patience, goodwill and high spirits of the thousands of fans who ventured downtown for a communal party and wound up being treated like pariahs. . .  The basketball game had barely begun when LAPD officers were summoned to dispatch growing crowds in the area.  “Keep moving, keep moving.” The command came over the loudspeaker as a phalanx of officers advanced, moving us off the paseo and onto crowded Figueroa Street. They pulled metal gates across the entrance to the complex to keep us out. . . . [The police] deserve a lot of credit for controlling the chaos. Everywhere you looked there were cops: on horseback, scooters, motorcycles and bikes, in buzzing helicopters and siren-blaring black-and-whites. If that set some nerves on edge, it also made clear who was in charge.  But it was hard not to feel unwanted. “If you don’t have a ticket, go home” was the officers’ message — explicitly delivered and universally ignored.

Throwing chunks of concrete at cops’ heads and trying to pull people out of their vehicles aren’t “antics.”  And what Banks labels a police message here is actually a message from the criminals, to people like her: they own the streets, and law abiding people don’t.  The police were merely stuck in the middle, trying to prevent innocent people from being injured by violent, lawless criminals.

I’d like to see Ms. Banks follow up by following the cases of fifty-or-so rioters arrested for violent “antics,” as they get serially dismissed by the courts.

Maybe then she’ll gain a better understanding of why it really is that L.A. — and other cities, like Atlanta — can’t host public events for decent people like her.  And the answer has nothing to do with whether your team wins, or how the police react to it.

Gerardo Regalado — Thank God It Wasn’t A Hate Crime: He Was Just Shooting Women

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. . . walking past the men to shoot them.

Gerardo Regalado

You wouldn’t know it from the non-existent, non-headlines, but the town of Hialeah, Florida suffered its worst mass murder and hate crime on Sunday when Gerardo Regalado shot seven women, killing four.  All the victims were or are mothers.

Regalado now joins the ranks of other woman-killers who curiously avoid the “hate crime” label, such as George Sodini, the Pittsburgh gym killer who wrote rambling anti-female diatribes before murdering three women, and Charles C. Roberts, who sent all the male pupils away from an Amish schoolhouse before binding and shooting 11 little girls, killing five.  Apparently, shooting every single woman in a restaurant while leaving the men unharmed is simply no proof that you harbor some murderous grudge against the female sex, at least according to the hate crime experts, who dread the day when somebody peers up from the statute book and says: “Hey, wait a minute, doesn’t gender mean female sometimes?”

You know, like killing 3,000 Americans on September 11 counts as anti-American nationality bias crime?

Oops, scratch that.

No, you won’t hear a peep from the experts, unless, that is, they feel the need to do damage control by going on record to deny that targeting females is anything like targeting gays, or ethnic minorities, or Hispanics, or the homeless, or any of the other extremely rare victimizations that contribute to their portrait of America as an immigrant-bashing, racist, homophobic place.  Counting women wouldn’t just crowd the picture frame: it would utterly overshadow all other crimes designated “hate,” and you can’t have that when the picture’s the point.

And so, for instance, in the wake of George Sodini’s carefully premeditated, females-only bloodbath, hate crime experts James Allen Fox and Jack Levin trilled shamelessly in the media that “a friendless society,” not the killer’s own clearly stated anti-female motives, was to blame for the women’s deaths.  That was a close one, owing to Sodini’s voluminous scribbling on the subject of hating women, that is, hatred of people who happen to be female and not male, which looks an awful lot like anti-female bias to anyone except the highly trained.  Fox and Levin had to do a real song-and-dance to avoid the subject of anti-female bias crime in that case.  And so they did, frantically pointing fingers at the economy, the internet, distracted parenting, telecommuting, and (quite horrifyingly when you consider how much this sounds like Sodini himself) people who don’t smile at strangers at the gym.

Yes, the nation’s foremost hate crimes experts looked at the mass slaughter of random women in an exercise club, and rather than acknowledge that the killer left behind a giant, pulsating neon arrow pointing at his own irrational loathing of women, they blamed the victims, musing that if only the dead women had previously been nicer to a future killer they never actually met, he might not have needed to mow them down at a later date.

That’s why the experts get the big bucks.  And the media follows in silent lockstep.

Fox and Levin haven’t weighed in on the Gerardo Regalado killings yet (maybe they haven’t heard about them, given the weird dearth of coverage).  Neither have Mark Potok, Brian Levin, the current or past leadership of the N.O.W., Eric Holder, or any other official or unofficial hate crimes activists, but if they do, it will doubtlessly be to deny that singling out female victims and shooting them in the head has anything to do with bias or hate, especially this year, when the official theme of hate crimes activism is the purported “rising tide” of anti-immigrant hate.

It certainly wouldn’t fit the activists’ message to have a Hispanic immigrant accused of committing the worst hate crime since Maj. Hasan shot dozens of innocent Americans, killing 13, and the “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried, but failed, to slaughter hundreds of American citizens by crashing a plane over Detroit.

Oops.  Scratch that.  Those aren’t being counted as hate crimes either.

Actually, if Gerardo Regalado’s murders were recorded as hate crimes, he wouldn’t even officially be counted as “Hispanic” because he’s the offender, not the victim. When Hispanics are the victims of hate crime, they’re designated “Hispanic.”  When they’re the perpetrators, the government counts them only as “white” or “black” (you can guess which one is useful to the activists).  That this is happening is not some paranoid persecution fantasy lurking in the minds of racists, but a mere fact of the hate crime statistics-gathering protocols implemented under Eric Holder’s leadership when Holder was point person on hate crimes in the Clinton Department of Justice.

It only sounds like some paranoid persecution fantasy.

Sort of like, “Singling out females to kill has nothing to do with hating women, even when you leave a note in your gym bag explaining that you are killing women because you hate women.”

George Sodini

Or, “Raping and beating a woman nearly to death because she wouldn’t dance with you does not indicate gender bias.”

Mbarek Lafrem

Or, “killing Americans whilst screaming anti-American slogans is not an anti-American-nationality hate crime.”

Nidal Hasan

You can see why we need experts to explain all this to us.

Here is the Miami Herald’s description of the murdered and wounded women. Remember, according to Attorney General Eric Holder, hate crimes are “far worse” than these crimes:

• Maysel Figueroa, 32, of Hialeah, who lived with her husband and their small son. She started work at Yoyito only a few days ago, after leaving a job at a discount store.  Late Sunday, Figueroa called her husband and said she would be home soon, the neighbor said. She didn’t arrive, so he went to look for her at the restaurant.

• Lavina M. Fonseca, 47, lived with her daughter across the street from Figueroa. She previously lived in Cuba’s Guantánamo province and studied Spanish and Russian literature at the University of Havana. She came to South Florida less than a year ago.  Fonseca’s daughter, Lexania Matos, 18, is a Hialeah High student.

• Zaida Castillo, 56, of Hialeah, followed her only daughter, son-in-law and grandson from the rural Cuban town of Quivicán to the United States about six years ago. In Cuba, Castillo was a vet, treating chickens on a farm. She cooked in Yoyito’s kitchen and tried to support her elderly mother back in Cuba. Castillo planned to visit her mother in November.

Three other victims who remained hospitalized Monday night include:

• Yasmin Dominguez, 38, believed to be Molina’s cousin, who was there to pick her up, or protect her from Regalado. She was the first to encounter Regalado outside. He shot her, then walked into Yoyito. She remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

• Ivet Coronado Fernandez, who came from Havana about four months ago, lived with her mother in Hialeah. She was shot twice. Coronado called her brother Felix Fuentes from the restaurant and told him she had been shot. Fuentes said Coronado underwent two operations but may lose her arm.

• Mayra de la Caridad Lopez, 55, of Hialeah Gardens told her husband from her hospital bed Monday night she might have survived the massacre by diving under a metal table. She was washing pots and pans when she heard gunshots and screaming.  As Regalado entered and began shooting, De la Caridad Lopez dove for cover but was shot in the back.  It was supposed to be a happy day for her. After being unemployed for months, Sunday was her first day on the job at Yoyito’s.