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Robert Chatigny: By Nominating Him, Obama Shows Extreme Contempt For Victims

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Barack Obama is arguably the most offender-friendly, victim-loathing president the country has ever seen.  His judicial and political philosophies are reflexively anti-incarceration.  His political career suggests a particularly disturbing pattern of disrespect for victims of sex crime.

In the Illinois state senate, Obama was the only senator who refused to support a bill allowing victims of sexual assault to have certain court records sealed.  The bill was intended to protect victims from having their sex lives and other extremely personal information (medical and gynecological records) splayed out in the public record for all to see after a trial had ended.  The legislation was written to protect the dignity of women who had been victimized by rapists, and then re-victimized in the courtroom at the hands of sleazy defense attorneys.

The vote for the bill was 58 – 0.  Obama alone abstained from voting, though he was present.

So, while Obama was far from the only liberal in the Illinois state senate, he was the only liberal in the Illinois state senate who believed that a victim of rape has no right to conceal from the public, for example, the fact that she contracted a venereal disease or was impregnated by her attacker.

And, as he had done so many times before, Obama didn’t even display the courage of his convictions by openly voting against the bill.  He voted, merely, “present,” so his opposition to the law would be easier to conceal in subsequent elections.

It would have been far less contemptuous to simply vote “no.”  Then, at least, victims would know precisely what the young senator and constitutional law professor thought of their dignity.  Abstaining from voting sent a stone-cold message — that Obama considered any consideration of the privacy rights of raped women to be quite a few rungs lower than his future political ambition.

It is important to understand that this vote against victims’ rights was no isolated case in the president’s history, as we are reminded today, when news broke that Obama was nominating U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny for the Court of Appeals.

Chatigny is far from the only liberal judge sitting on the bench, but he is the only liberal sitting judge who became so enamored of a sexual serial killer that he denounced the state for deigning to prosecute, let alone convict, the killer.

Michael Ross started raping at an early age, and he had raped and murdered at least eight young women by the time he was caught.  Although there was no question of his guilt, from the moment Ross entered the legal system, he attracted vocal, activist supporters.  This is, sadly, not unusual: raping and slaughtering eight innocent women is, in some circles, quite a draw.  Records from Ross’ trial and appeal barely focus on the young women: they are the usual intricate inquiry into Ross’ feelings, Ross’ rights, Ross’ mood on death row, Ross’ childhood, Ross’ dating disappointments, ad infinitum.

Oh, and the hurt feelings of one hired defense psychologist, who believed he was being dissed by a trial judge.

The system disappears the victims, then the courtroom disappears the victims, then the appeals process disappears the victims, so by the time activists like Robert Chatigny set out to rehabilitate vicious torturers like Michael Ross, there’s no need to haul out metaphysical barrels of lye to dissolve what’s left of his crimes.  That had already been done, with an efficiency that would make an Argentinian death squad spill tears of shame all over the helicopter tarmac.

Judge Chatigny looked at Michael Ross and saw, not a killer, but someone who was suffering from “sexual sadism” and thus should not be held responsible for his actions.  The judge presented a sort of a twinkie defense on Ross’ behalf, the twinkie being Ross’ compulsive inability to stop torturing women.  Ross had been posturing the same defense from death row for two decades: in the killer’s mind, and the judge’s mind, he was the victim of a cruel mother, world, impulse disorder, judiciary, counsel, jury, and insufficiently plumped procedural protections.  But especially, he was a victim of this faux sadism syndrome, the existence of which, in Chatigny’s mind, supercedes the fatal outcome of Ross’ crimes and delegitimates the state’s prosecution of him.

Fox News reports:

[Chatigny] repeatedly stuck up for Ross, saying he suffered from “this affliction, this terrible disease” and suggesting Ross “may be the least culpable, the least, of the people on death row.”  “Looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted,” Chatigny said [emphasis added].  “Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because his sexual sadism, which was found by every single person who looked at him, is clearly a mitigating factor.”

He never should have been convicted?  Really, really enjoying torturing and killing women is a mitigating factor?  This is the mindset Obama chooses to elevate?

Michael Ross: Not a Victim

The legal strategy crafted by Michael Ross and his supporters was to present Ross as a helpless victim deserving of empathy, instead of a vicious killer meriting punishment.  This is not merely a favored strategy of anti-incarceration activism: it is perhaps the most cherished “ethical practice” of the Left.

It is also only effective if the victims’ lives and suffering are simultaneously erased — buried, and forgotten.  Killers can only be elevated if the memory of their victims is systematically denied.  That is what Judge Robert Chatigny did to Ross’ victims in 2005 and what Obama is doing to them now.

I don’t believe for a moment that Obama nominated Chatigny to the higher bench despite the judge’s horrific transgressions in the Michael Ross case: I believe he nominated Chatigny because of those transgressions.  That would be entirely in keeping with the legal and political worldview Obama has endorsed throughout his career.  And, yes, this is extremely disturbing.

Chatigny’s other claim to fame is opposing sex offender registries.  If this administration gets its way, will sex offender registries become a thing of the past?

Here are the names of Ross’ known victims (their photos are here). Little girls, some of them.  All dead, now.  Too bad Eric Holder doesn’t call them victims of hate crime.  If he did, the president would not have nominated the man who set out to liberate, and valorize, their killer:

Dzung Ngoc Tu, 25, a Cornell University student, killed May 12, 1981. Paula Perrera, 16, of Wallkill, N.Y., killed in March, 1982. Tammy Williams, 17, of Brooklyn, killed Jan. 5, 1982. Debra Smith Taylor, 23, of Griswold, killed June 15, 1982. Robin Stavinksy, 19, of Norwich, killed November, 1983. April Brunias, 14, of Griswold, killed April 22, 1984. Leslie Shelley, 14, of Griswold, killed April 22, 1984. Wendy Baribeault, 17, of Griswold, killed June 13, 1984.

Barack Obama should reach out to every one of these families and apologize.

~~~

Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman are supporting Judge Chatigny’s appointment.  Call the Senators’ offices and urge them to withdraw their support.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy suspended hearings on Chatigny’s appointment when prosecutors from Connecticut sent him a letter outlining the Ross scandal.  Call and encourage Leahy to take the prosecutor’s concerns seriously.

Senator Jeff Sessions is vocally opposing the nomination.  Thank the Senator for taking a stand.

So Were the Fort Hood Killings Hate Crimes? How About That Public Lynching in Richmond, California? Killing Eleven Women in Cleveland?

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What happens if you sign a hate crimes bill, and then all the wrong types of people commit “hate crimes?”

Well, you keep your mouth shut about it.

Last week, as Barack Obama signed the Defense Appropriations Bill that was being used as a vehicle for his Hate Crimes legislation, he declared:

“After more than a decade, we’ve passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are.”

Who they are.  Except, of course, if they are women being tortured by a cheering mob in Richmond, California; or women being lured off the streets and strangled while their killer spews hate-filled invective about women deserving to die in Cleveland; or random women gunned down while attending a workout class in Pittsburgh.

Or soldiers in Fort Hood, gunned down by a killer attacking what the soldiers stand for — that is, Americans.

Or the 3,000 people killed for being American on 9/11.

Before going on his killing spree yesterday, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan apparently felt strongly enough about vigorously responding to even the most minor identity-based offenses to report himself as a victim of a hate crime after someone (perhaps Hasan himself) keyed his car recently.  So will the feds return the favor?  Will the F.B.I., newly anointed by the President with expanded powers to prosecute hate, declare the murder of 12 and wounding of 31 acts of violence “based on who the victims are”?

Will Obama stand in front of a microphone and declare that Hasan will be prosecuted as a hate criminal, to send a message that in America we will not tolerate violence committed by those who strike out at people because of their identity?

Of course he won’t.

Kill 12 Americans for being Americans and wound 31, and the president and the F.B.I. will refuse to call your actions anti-American hate crimes.

The same thing happened in the wake of 9/11: those 3,000 anti-American murders were not counted.

And the 12 murders and 31 woundings in Fort Hood will not be counted, either.  We couldn’t possibly have the most prevalent form of hatred in our country (by a power of thousands) being nationality-based hatred against Americans, now could we?

Journalistic Ethics Week, Part 2: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — Why the California Gang Rape Wasn’t Called Hate.

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In the wake of the Fort Hood shootings, more people are noticing the ways the media takes its marching orders from political activists, abetted by criminologists who use their position to promote political causes through a thin veneer of “academic” observation.  This activism-disguised-as-expertise has played a central role in enforcing the orthodoxy of hate crimes activism for more than a decade.

So when ordinary people ask, “why is this crime not a hate crime?” the media answers by turning to activist-criminologists like Jack Levin and James Allen Fox, who spool out definitions that are utterly irrational on their face but go utterly unchallenged: it is an intricate dance designed to shut down discussion, not actually explain anything.

For they cannot explain, speaking honestly, why writing an anti-female screed, then going out and gunning down a bunch of women in a gym is not a hate crime, but merely the selective targeting of random women motivated by hatred of women, which would be a bias crime if the killer selected blacks, or gays, or Muslims, but is not hate because he selected women.

In that case, the hate crime “experts” took the long road around the words, “hate crime,” and talked about the killer’s feelings of alienation, instead of his expressions of hatred.

Sound familiar?

The Fort Hood case is troublesome because hate crime activists simultaneously wish to depict the murderer as a victim of hate crime, but not perpetrator of it.  Could these troubles be overcome without the media’s complicity?  Nobody will know, for the media has stuck to the activists’ script, reporting on non-existent “backlash” hate crimes against Muslims as if they were real events while studiously playing down the killer’s own expressions of hate.  But this time, for many watching, the veneer is beginning to crack.

A few weeks ago, the movement had a different problem on their hands: they needed the media to deflect attention from the fact that the gang who raped a young women to the cheers of photo-snapping, cheering onlookers actually looked one heck of a lot like . . . a lynch mob.  Journalists did this the usual way: by chattering about other things that became the “meme” of the story.  Avoiding the subject of hate crimes was particularly important in that case because the crime was a rare instance of the type of mass, bystander-witnessed violence activists talked about when they passed hate crimes laws a decade ago — far more so than Matthew Shepard’s killing.

Tragic as it was, Shepard’s murder involved partying and a bar pick-up, exactly like many crimes committed against women that nobody calls hate, just something done to a woman.

If not for the media’s obedience, it also might have been a bit discomfiting for President Obama to sign the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Hate Crimes Act right on the heels of this victim throwing a giant wrench in the works by getting attacked by a hate mob while just being a female and not one of the groups the President and Attorney General Eric Holder want to highlight.

Obama couldn’t acknowledge out loud that the law he just signed is not really intended to apply to hatred directed at certain types of people (such as women) who get targeted every day because of “what” they are.  To admit the truth would look bad and raise uncomfortable questions.  But he also couldn’t call the gang-rape-with-onlookers a hate crime because the activists who dictate which crimes will count as hate did not want this type of crime against women counted.  Silence was Obama’s only cover.  And so, silence is what he chose.  Luckily, no one questioned him.

~~~

For, imagine what Obama would have said as he signed the Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Act, had a white mob attacked a black man five days earlier, instead of just attacking a female.  Imagine if a white gang had just raped a black girl, or if a gang of straight men (preferably white) had sexually abused a transvestite.

Then Obama and Holder would have stood side by side in the East Room and denounced the crime as a blight on America’s soul.  But this victim wasn’t the right type of victim, and the offenders weren’t the right type of offenders, even though crime itself was a textbook “hate crime” according to the textbook Eric Holder wrote back in the Clinton years.

Let us be very clear about what Obama did: he denied the actions of a hate-filled mob as he signed a law that purportedly opposes the actions of hate-filled mobs.

Nobody should ever forget that.

Consider all the ways the California gang rape was clearly a “hate crime”: a crowd gathered to cheer on the girl’s attack; the victim’s genitals were targeted; hate speech was used; photographs were taken (a classic sign of mob violence is taking souvenir pictures), and fear spread among other females in the vicinity (one told the media she was transferring schools immediately).

It takes a real expert to deny that this attack was, in fact, hate.

Luckily, reporters had experts handy, particularly Jack Levin.  Levin is the academic who recently walked the quivering press through the “hey, isn’t blogging about hating women and then going to a health club and shooting a bunch of women a hate crime?” danger zone.  He’s the go-to guy for tamping down such inconvenient questions, the academic reporters turn to when they get that phone call reminding them “not to call this one a hate crime on the news, because, you know, it was just a woman.  Talk a bunch of nonsense about something else, would you?”

Levin and the others swung into action, talked about “snitching” and “group dynamics” and Kitty Genovese; they carefully talked about anything except whether the crime should be prosecuted as a hate crime, though others were certainly asking that question.

Levin discussed “snitching culture” but not hate.  Drew Carberry took an empathetic little stroll in the mob’s shoes:

“If you are in a crowd and you look and see that everyone is doing nothing, then doing nothing becomes the norm.” explains Drew Carberry, a director at the National Council on Crime Prevention.

To say the least, this is not the way spokespeople from the National Council on Crime Prevention talk when they’re talking about hate crimes.  Here is how they talk about crimes that are deemed to be hate:

[H]ate crimes are acts of terrorism.  So let’s think about what we need to do in order to drive these latest statistics back down.  After all, we are at war with terror abroad.  Let’s not forget the war at home.

See, the behavior of the men in the gang-rape was a “cultural norm.”  Hate crimes, on the other hand, are acts of “war” that must be fought with weapons, not “understanding.”

Does anybody actually believe that CNN would be consulting psychologists to talk about the mob’s feelings if the perpetrators were white males and the victim was a minority or a homosexual?  Of course not.  The mere thought is laughable.

As new victim-groups (the homeless, illegal immigrants) clamor to be included in hate crime laws, and established victim-groups accuse others of failing to prioritize their victimization, and the problem of counting or not counting women festers, the hate crimes movement increasingly relies on the media to keep quiet about the enforcement of these laws when the wrong type of victim gets targeted.  Recent random attacks on women, in particular, have been met with a sort of hysterical denial from hate crime activists and reporters, so hysterical that no less a liberal than Bob Herbert grumbled about it in the pages of the New York Times.  Here is Herbert commenting on the failure of the media (which had turned to Levin for deflection) to talk about hate in recent cases of gunmen targeting females:

[T]here would have been thunderous outrage if someone had separated potential victims by race or religion and then shot, say, only the blacks, or only the whites, or only the Jews. But if you shoot only the girls or only the women — not so much of an uproar.

Of course, the activists are absolutely correct when they say that actually counting gender-based violence directed at women would “overwhelm” hate crime statistics.  So would enforcing hate crime laws whenever minority offenders express anti-white bias while committing crimes.  So would counting anti-female and anti-white slurs as “verbal intimidation hate incidents,” as other slurs are frequently reported and counted.

In other words, enforcing these laws with an even hand would spell the end of their political usefulness.

But it never comes to that, thanks to the media and their criminologists.  The Justice Department readily acknowledges the invaluable role the media plays, as this extraordinary quote from a Justice Department bulletin explains:

The influence of print and broadcast media is critical in shaping public attitudes about the hate crime, its perpetrators, and the law enforcement response.

The media is critical in shaping public attitudes. Yes, they actually put that in writing.

~~~

Eventually, however, Americans are going to get tired of being lectured that most murders are not hate-based but that a tiny handful are hate-based and thus far more significant.  They are going to get sick of being told they simply must believe, as Eric Holder lectured Congress, that the crimes he calls hate crimes are “different from” and “spread more fear than” and “are worse than” other crimes.

None of this actually makes any sense, which is why Holder and others keep repeating these words instead of making real arguments.

I suspect the entire hate crimes industry is going to collapse some day under the weight of legal irrationality and their biases, just as the hate-speech courts in Canada lost their credibility and collapsed after a few brave journalists stood up to the mind-bogglingly subjective application of those laws (In America, hate crime activists focus on street crimes because speech is protected).

And when this happens, I predict that the Fort Hood shootings, and Barack Obama’s silence on the California sex lynching (there is no better term for it) as he signed the Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Act — will be remembered as a turning point.


Jack Levin, Apologists for (Certain) Brutal Murders: Hacking a Woman to Death is Just a Cry for Help (Updated 11/1/09)

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It’s criminal apologist week, and no criminal apologist week would be complete without a deep bow to Jack Levin, the Northwestern* criminologist who has made an art form of claiming that some brutal, senseless murders are serious ethical and social problems motivated by “hate” — while others are just acting-out caused by “ouchiness,” teenage angst, and our cruel lack of interest in understanding where brutal killers are “coming from.”

You can see where this is going: when someone uses certain slur words (not all of them — not the ones about women) while victimizing somebody, it’s suddenly a much more important crime, which means other crimes are less important, in every sense.  Convincing the public that they must accept this inequality is a job for experts, and Levin is the go-to expert for insidiously psychologizing away certain offenders’ actions while demanding allegiance to the urgency of crimes he deems hate.

The professor’s colorful swings between eternal vigilance and cuddly justification would almost be funny, were he not empowered by the hate crimes establishment, the media, and the feds (in that order) to superimpose his world-view separating “moody-teenager crimes” from “hate crimes” onto our allegedly objective system of justice.

After carefully explaining to everyone how the Pittsburgh Gym Killer didn’t actually hate women but was just feeling so rejected by them that he had to strife their bodies with gunfire, Levin surfaces this week calling the four teens who hacked a woman to death in her bed and slit her 11-year old daughter’s throat “outsiders” who were seeking to “bond” with each other and exhibited signs of “unhappiness” but were not hate criminals because, you know, Jack Levin says so.

This is a sign of unhappiness:

This is a hate-driven, sadistic murderer who hacked a woman to death and slit her 11-year old’s throat, and seemed to think the entire thing was pretty funny:

Gribble updated his Facebook page just hours after the attack, writing on Sunday: “had an awesome time with steve and autumn [sic]! dexter is such a funny show!” “Dexter” is a drama on Showtime about a psychopathic serial killer who murders other criminals.

Nice.  Good think they just picked women, or else this all might get much darker.  Here is Levin, and a peer of his, on the young man pictured above:

“A strong sense of community is wonderful if you happen to be accepted,’’ Levin said.

“But if you are regarded as an outsider, you may feel profoundly rejected . . . Their peer group is the only game in town. If they are rejected, they have nowhere else to go.’’

William Pollack, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said a teen in a small community also might fear confiding his troubles because word spreads fast in a small town.

“These are boys that have a hard time connecting, and so it is that much harder to go and connect,’’ Pollack said.

I’m going to pose a question now that ought to be part of more tenure reviews:

How damn crazy do you have to be to talk like this?

The killers had “a hard time connecting”?  They “might fear confiding troubles”?  Who published this?  That would be The Boston Globe, but don’t they feel a little ashamed?

Peer groups.  Crying out for acceptance.

They hacked a woman to death with a machete.  They slit her 11-year old daughter’s throat.

This is not the way Jack Levin talks about crimes he calls hate crimes, of course.  He calls such crimes a “reign of evil.”

Now imagine what Levin would be saying if the Pittsburgh gym killer or the teen pictured above attacked minorities or illegal immigrants or the latest group to seek hate crimes status, the homeless.  Looking at the totality of Levin’s public statements is good way to get a sense of how the existence of separate “hate crime” laws for select offenses alters the entire justice system.  It undermines two important things we are supposed to believe in: the equality of offenders before the law and the equal importance of all crime victims.

Why is it “hatred” and “evil” for one minority gang member to use an ethnic slur while carjacking a gang member from another ethnic minority gang on the streets of Los Angeles, but it isn’t a hate crime to hack an innocent, randomly selected mother to death in New Hampshire while forcing her to observe the slitting of her pre-adolescent daughter’s throat?

Because Jack Levin says so.  And the Boston Globe prints what he says and carefully avoids asking questions.

*correction: Levin is a professor at Northeastern University, not Northwestern University.

More on the Negative Consequences of Hate Crime Laws: Britain’s Version

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Theodore Dalrymple, writing in City Journal: the logical outcome of these laws is that some victims matter less than others.

DNA Could Have Stopped Delmer Smith Before He Killed, But Nobody Cared Enough To Update the Federal Database

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This is Delmer Smith, who is responsible for a recent reign of terror on Florida’s Gulf Coast that left women from Venice to Bradenton terrified of violent home invasions, murder and rape:

Delmer Smith gave a DNA sample to the Feds 15 years ago, when he was incarcerated in Michigan on federal bank robbery charges.  And then what did the Feds do?  Well, in fairness, they were super busy not watching Phillip Garrido as he repeatedly raped and impregnated the child he was holding captive in his backyard.

So the feds apparently did nothing with Delmer Smith’s DNA.  Now a slew of women have been raped, and at least one murdered, crimes that could have been easily prevented if the feds had done what they were supposed to do and entered Smith’s DNA into the appropriate database.

But they couldn’t be bothered, just like the states so often can’t be bothered, just like Florida couldn’t be bothered fifteen years ago when they let my rapist walk out of prison to commit more rapes of frail, elderly women because they didn’t bother to link him to other crimes using DNA from kits they were supposed to test, but didn’t.

In precisely the same neighborhoods Delmer just tore through: Sarasota, Venice, North Port.

This time, to be clear, it wasn’t the Florida courts that screwed up: it was federal authorities.  Funny how they all screw up in precisely the same way, though: serial neglect of serial criminals who rape and kill again.  How much do they screw up?  Well, I’m understandably tuned in to this little piece of Florida’s West Coast, but it takes about fifteen minutes on Lexis-Nexus to find similar “mistakes” in every state.  We are letting extremely violent criminals slip through the cracks, and nobody seems outraged about it: nobody seems to be trying to plug the many holes in the system, or even to try to figure out what those holes are.

~~~

What to do?  Although police are usually the ones singled out when a serial offender is on the loose, their actions are rarely the reason recidivists are free.  Blame the courts — from lax prosecutors to lenient judges, to the hash the defense bar has made of our criminal justice system.  Also blame parole boards, and legislators and governors who refuse to fund prosecutions and prisons at realistic levels.

Finally, blame the activists who will do anything to get certain offenders out from behind bars, all the while banging the drum that “America is a prison state: we incarcerate too many people for too long. . .” Any cursory review of crime reports, arrests and convictions shows that precisely the opposite is true: we incarcerate too few people, and we let them go too soon.

People still routinely get a few months in jail for molesting a child, or probation for shooting someone.  But how do we make this visible, when prosecutors and judges want to hide their actions, and reporters won’t report on it?

It’s Time for a “Guilty Project”

Failure to Update DNA Database

Delmer Smith: suspected in a dozen home invasions, several rapes, one  or more murders, all thanks to the failure of federal authorities to enter his DNA profile in the CODIS database.  Too bad the F.B.I. sent a profiler down to Florida tell the cops that the killer was probably a male with anger issues, instead of making sure CODIS (which is the FBI’s responsibility) was up to date.  How many other violent offenders have slipped through the cracks in CODIS?  Does anybody know?

Serial Judicial Leniency, Failures to Prosecute, Failures to Enforce Parole, Failure to Correct DNA Deception, Failure to Update DNA Database

Walter E. Ellis, arrested at least a dozen times, including two (or three) attempted murders; convicted of several serious crimes, including attempted murder; repeatedly released early, despite multiple parole violations; received merely three years for nearly killing a woman with a hammer; charges apparently dropped for attacking another women with a screwdriver . . . and Wisconsin authorities didn’t bother to get a DNA sample from Ellis at the time they discovered that the sample supposed to be his had been “donated” by another inmate, a child rapist.  12,000 other convict samples are currently missing from Wisconsin’s list.

Serial Judicial Leniency, Failure to Update DNA Database, Reliance on Inaccurate Profiling(?)

John Floyd Thomas, first convicted of rape in 1957, arrested multiple times, convicted of rape again, released early again, now suspected of killing as many as 30 elderly women, avoided giving a DNA sample when he was required to do so, apparently without any consequences.  True Crime Report is attributing his ability to elude capture to inaccurate profiling indicating a white killer, but I’m not sure about that because there were surviving victims thought to be linked to the serial murders.

~~~

Where is the Outrage?

Prior to these belated DNA matches, the only one of these three men who served any substantial time in prison was Smith, and that was for robbing a bank, not assaulting a woman.  Authorities in Milwaukee can’t even figure out what happened to one of Walter Ellis’ previous attempted murder charges for an attack on a woman.

Just trying to kill women still doesn’t count for much, it appears.

The flagrant acts of these men, and of thousands of others — the lack of consequences they experience that enables them to attack multiple female victims — all beg the question: why aren’t serial crimes targeting women counted as hate crimes against women?

Why aren’t the resources of the hate crimes movement — the public outrage, the state and federal money, the well-funded private opposition research, the media attention, the academic and activist imperatives — brought to bear on cases where the people being targeted are women?

The answer is shameful.  Hate crimes leaders and opposition researchers don’t want their movement “distracted” by the the fact that women are far and away the most common category of victims targeted because of their identities.  These activists want to keep the focus on the picture they are painting of America, on race and ethnicity and sexual orientation, so they don’t want their statistics “overwhelmed” by a whole bunch of woman victims.

Consequently, activists who otherwise fight to get certain crimes counted as hate crimes fight even harder to keep any serial crime against women from being counted as hate — as the media laps at their heels, quiescent as a warm gulf tide.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been a central player in this ugly little deception for more than a decade now, so don’t expect changes anytime soon, especially with journalists’ self-enforced code of silence.

However, to give Holder credit where credit is due, he does advocate expanding the federal DNA database, an unpopular position to take in the current administration.

~~~

There is a personal silver lining in the Delmer Smith case. The man who had the temerity and insight to finally put my rapist away for life is the same man who had the temerity and insight to catch Smith before he killed more women.  It was a cognitive leap and real police work, apparently done by linking Smith to the sexual assaults after he got caught in an unrelated crime, a violent bar brawl.  And then locking him up on federal parole violations until a DNA sample could be tracked down.

Thank you, Venice Police Captain Tom McNulty, for taking yet another bastard off the streets.  That’s policing.

How Many Women do You Need to Slaughter Before it Becomes a Hate Crime?

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Let’s see. According the the silence of the “experts” in the face of Walter E. Ellis’ crimes, apparently it’s some number higher than seven.  And counting.

So what constitutes a hate crime against women?  Nothing, in practice.  Not selecting and slaughtering woman after woman after woman.  Not scrawling hate words across a murdered woman’s body.  Not ritualistically destroying a woman’s breasts or sex organs.  Not spreading fear among other women through your attacks.  Not inflicting “excessive” violence, “overkill,” whatever that means.

All those things are indicators of hate when they’re done to other types of victims, the experts tell us.  But they’re not indicators of hate when they’re just directed at women.

Here is the Anti-Defamation League weighing in on Walter Ellis’ systematic targeting, stalking, and murder of women . . . silence.

Here is the Southern Poverty Law Center . . . silence.

Here are esteemed “hate crime experts” James Allen Fox and Jack Levin, who shamefully worked overtime to insinuate that the crimes of the Pennsylvania gym murderer, George Sodini, were something other than hate crimes — after Sodini posted hate-filled screeds against women on-line, then opened fire on a random group of women, killing three and wounding others . . . silence.

Here is the National Organization for Women weighing in on Ellis’ stalking and killing of women.  Whoops, sorry, they haven’t uttered a peep about Ellis, even though investigators are sifting through evidence of the murders of 20 more female victims in addition to the 9 already tied to Ellis.

The N.O.W. is too busy for such things.  For example, they are currently busy making the case that teen vitamins are sexist:

According to the One-A-Day website, among the the “top health concerns of moms and teens” are the fact that teenage girls need to have healthy (read: aesthetically pleasing) skin, while teenage boys should have healthy muscle function. In case potential consumers aren’t picking up the difference, the vitamins come in color-coordinated boxes, the pills themselves have been dyed pink or blue, and “for Her” and “for Him” appear on the boxes in fonts that were clearly chosen to convey feminine or masculine vibes.

In reality, most of the actual ingredients of the two products are the same, working toward the same ends: supporting a healthy immune system, bone strength and energy. The issue here is not the contents of the pills, but rather the way in which these differences are marketed. The message sent to girls is that looks are paramount, and by contrast, their own strength is unnecessary or irrelevant. Likewise, boys are encouraged to be active and adventurous — there’s even a Major League Baseball logo on the boys’ box, while the girls’ box features a breast cancer awareness ribbon. But, why shouldn’t girls be concerend [sic] with having healthy muscles? And surely boys would like healthy skin, too, right?

While having sex-based differences in nutrition is understandable — women typically need more iron, for example — the method of packaging and advertising that Bayer employs is insulting. Not to mention, promoting these sex stereotypes to girls and boys during their teenage years lays a foundation for a lifetime of buying into rigid gender roles.

Pay no attention to the 29+ murdered women in Milwaukee, ladies.  Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

Outrage: Lisa Davenport, R.I.P. “Always Full of Happiness.” And Others.

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What do you say to the judge in Athens, Georgia to justify kidnapping somebody, stabbing them repeatedly with a screwdriver, and leaving them for dead?

Well, your honor, she’s mine, and she deserved it:

Police first arrested [Phillip] Scruggs in 2001, after family members say he abducted [Lisa]  Davenport, stabbed her with a screwdriver and left her for dead.

A Clarke County grand jury indicted him on charges of kidnapping, kidnapping with bodily injury, aggravated assault and violating the state Family Violence Act, and as part of a plea agreement Scruggs pleaded guilty to kidnapping, false imprisonment and battery.

He received a three-year sentence, but with credit for time served in county jail, Scruggs was back out in September 2004.

In 2001, the jury indicted him and the judge (and possibly the prosecutor) let him walk.  At the time, why wasn’t Scruggs charged with attempted murder instead of aggravated assault, which can be excused with one year — a one year suspended sentence, even, if the judge’s hair happens to be blowing that way?

And then why did the prosecutor agree to drop even the aggravated assault charge and let him plead to battery?

Who was this Lisa Davenport, whose life was so unimportant that someone who kidnapped her and left her for dead in 2001 got a slap on the wrist, enabling him to come back later and finish the job?

“Lisa was the kind of person who was always full of happiness and had a glow around her,” [her brother, Eric] said.  Lisa Davenport is survived by her mother, father, two brothers, a sister, daughter and two grandchildren.

I do not give a whit that this was a “domestic violence” case: aren’t the legal experts always nattering on about how the victim is only a witness to a crime, that the prosecutor represents society, not the victim, because the crime is committed against society?  Aren’t victims supposed to be these untrustworthy, dangerous creatures who must be repressed into symbolic non-personhood in the courts lest they feel “vengeful” or something, a thing far worse than the crime itself, according to the experts?

Isn’t that one of the noble ideals under-girding our entire legal system?

Well, here is (I should say was, for she is dead now) one victim whose perspective truly should have been consigned to the status of “state witness” because she was tragically brainwashed by some sick monster into believing her own non-personhood: she went back to Scruggs after he got out of prison.  Then she tried to escape him again, and he killed her.

Here is the truly chilling thing, the thing that ought to give voters in Clark County pause the next time they must stand with their consciences at a ballot box: in 2001, the judge agreed with Phillip Scrugg’s interpretation of Lisa Davenport’s non-personhood.  The judge sided with the man wielding the screwdriver, not the woman being stabbed with the screwdriver.  How, otherwise, do you explain a three-year sentence (actually less) for trying to murder her?

The prosecutor and the judge were supposed to prosecute, and sentence, Phillip Scruggs for the crime he committed, no matter who it was he tried to kill.  But they didn’t.  They failed, and we failed by letting them, and now Lisa Davenport, whose life was deemed so cheap by the courts in 2001, has been murdered by the man we didn’t keep in prison:

A 42-year-old woman who was doused with kerosene and set on fire has died from her injuries.

Family members say Elisa Davenport died around 5 p.m. Saturday at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, due to complications of burns she suffered on more than 60 percent of her body from the Aug. 17 attack.

“The trauma that her body went through was just too much for her to hold on,” her brother, Eric Davenport, said.

Athens-Clarke police say they plan to take out warrants Monday charging 49-year-old Phillip Scruggs with murder.

Scruggs, who was her boyfriend, had originally faced charges of aggravated assault and first-degree arson for the incident, which caused a blaze that gutted her home and spread to other units in an Athens apartment complex.

Lisa Davenport took two weeks to die in a burn unit in Augusta.  Her brother said Scruggs set her on fire and then sat and watched her burn:

“He didn’t shoot or stab her, but he set her on fire, and set more fire in her house in a way that made it almost impossible for her to escape,” Eric Davenport said. “Then, he just sat across the street to watch what happened, until people pointed him out to the police.”

~~~

How do we minimize the killing of a woman? The criminologists weigh in with clinical terms like “spree killer” and “serial killer,” words designed to distract from the moral outrage of the crime, making it curious, not outrageous.  Or “domestic violence,” which sounds — well — it sounds so domestic.  Minimal.

Ironically, the very same criminologists who are consulted to label certain murders “spree” or “domestic” are also the leaders of the hate crimes movement.  Those crimes, they tell reporters, are the really serious ones, the ones that ought to provoke moral outrage.  Not like killing a woman.  Or twelve women.

Here are celebrated hate crime advisers and criminologists James Allen Fox and Jack Levin, weighing in on George Sodini, who walked into a gym in Pittsburgh and picked off 12 women, killing three of them, a crime that Fox and Levin ever so carefully avoid labeling “hate”:

There are so many features about this shooting spree that are tragically textbook. Like most mass killers, Mr. Sodini struggled through a long history of failure and rejection, from childhood, with a brother he regarded as a bully and a father he saw as distant and unconcerned . . . In his extreme loneliness, Mr. Sodini was without emotional support and comfort . . . Aside from the gunman, the real culprit in explaining mass murder can be found in society itself . . . Many Americans simply have no place to turn when they become desperate. Their misery has no company. Without options and without support, mass murder can sometimes seem like the only way out. . . we must still make an effort, perhaps by reaching out to the seemingly isolated stranger sitting alone at the next table in the restaurant or working out with an iPod at the next treadmill in the gym. We may, in the process of trying, enhance the well-being of others . . .

No outrage here, except at society, which made Mr. Sodini feel bad.  It was just killing a woman — a bunch of women, one woman, whatever, just women.  That’s not hate crime, according to these experts, not even if you set the woman on fire and then sit down to watch her burn because you think you own her, not if you pick off twelve strange women after telling the world you hate women in a blog: none of this is hate, according to these experts, so long as the people you’re hating are heterosexual females.

To say the least, this is not the way Professors Fox and Levin talk when they are labeling a crime — even a minor crime — a hate crime.  Then there’s no long, slow, minimizing rumination about the loneliness of the long distance runner, or other such prattle.  Then they declare zero tolerance and shout for moral outrage.

Imagine if the Athens community had spoken out in 2001 about an attempted murderer getting less than three years in prison for kidnapping and stabbing a woman and leaving her for dead?

Imagine if that crime, and that lack of punishment, had mobilized candlelight marches, and earnest speak-outs, and calls for the prosecutor and judge to step down, because they did not honor the woman’s humanity, her purported equality under the law.

Imagine if the activist politicians, the grand-standers and media-seekers, had stood up and declared that this crime was a crime of hate and would not be tolerated in Athens, that no attempted murder would be tolerated in Athens.  Would Davenport still be alive?  How many others, if other killers were called hate criminals, too, instead of the word “hate” being increasingly reserved for a select few?

And so, the grand-standers were in a jam two weeks ago when Lisa Davenport was set on fire by a man who sat down to watch her burn, because their need to defend a system that dictates that killing women is not hate crime is more important to them than actually speaking out on real cases of hatred, like that one (and so many others).

As Scruggs watched her burn, an American honor crime, like slaughtering your daughter if she tries to marry the wrong man, or setting a widow on fire and watching her burn, there was nothing but silence from the arbiters of moral outrage.

~~~

“There’s just too many of ‘em,” said President Clinton in 1999, referring to acts of violence against women and why they pose a peculiar problem for the leaders of the hate crimes movement.  The Anti-Defamation League fretted that prosecutors might be distracted if women were counted, and the statistics might be “overwhelmed,” so they and others quietly found ways to instruct police and prosecutors to not find hate when women were the target.  And, always, the criminologists chimed in with their expert opinions, shining on the movement’s ideological necessity: to say with a straight face that stealing a car can be a hate crime, but blowing away 12 women is . . . you know, just an understandable expression of loneliness.

The feminist establishment, smacked down for years by the hate crime activists whenever they whimpered that hating women is hate, has learned to remain silent on the George Sodinis of the world.  No activists called for the shooting of 12 women to be labeled a hate crime — some naive young feminist bloggers did (they’ll learn), and Ms. Magazine ran a crabbed little note, but the major organizations kept their lips tightly zipped.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who was pretending to advocate for the inclusion of “gender bias hate” in federal law (it will not really count women) at the very time Sodini started blowing women away, remained silent.  Odd, that he wouldn’t take advantage of such an opportunity.

~~~

“We must give the lie to the notion that there is no difference between an assault and an assault that is motivated by bias.  The differences are very, very real,” Eric Holder thundered in 1999.

What he meant is that murders like Lisa Davenport’s are less bad.  That is the unavoidable meaning of his words: killing Lisa is not as serious as a murder the experts decide to call a hate crime, even though her killer set her on fire and sat down to watch her burn.

You can’t make some murders more morally significant without making other murders less morally significant.  That’s just a fact.

~~~

In 2001, the judge in Athens, Georgia stuck his or her finger in the wind and decided that nobody really cared, and so the judge let Phillip Scruggs plead out after he nearly killed a women who had disobeyed him.  In Pennsylvania, a man wrote that he hated women; then he killed women; then the movement that purports to “expose hate” denied it instead, because the victims were women.  In Islamic states, women get beaten with clubs for showing their ankles on the street and murdered for disobeying their husbands.  We are supposed to be different from radical Islam on the grounds that our legal system is supposed to stand between such killers and their victims.  But that didn’t happen in Lisa Davenport’s case.

How many ways are there to minimize the killing of a woman?  More and more.

Selective Outrage: What the Paralyzed Cop Scandal Says About Atlanta’s Politicians

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As elected officials in Atlanta crowd the microphone to denounce Sgt. Scott Kreher for saying something importune about Mayor Shirley Franklin, the list grows . . . of elected officials in Atlanta grandstanding on Kreher while refusing to comment on the city’s grotesque treatment of wounded police officers, the real issue.

Here is a video Kreher helped create that details the systematic abuse of the officers by the city.  And here is a petition supporting Kreher, a decent guy who lost his temper over real injustice.  Not fake injustice.  I urge you to read the text of the petition, if you want to know what really happened.

In recent months, Mayor Franklin and Police Chief Pennington have pointedly refused to speak out against the high toll of violent crime, accusing residents, instead, of merely “perceiving” the crime wave that has left people dead on the streets, and at their jobs, and in their homes.  I don’t know anyone in Atlanta who doesn’t either own an alarm system or live behind locks and bars, or both.  That’s normal for Atlanta, a normal that is growing worse.  Yet the mayor feels that people are exaggerating the effect of crime on their lives, while she simultaneously feels that there should be a federal investigation over a passing remark made about her in anger, in the midst of a City Council meeting about her outrageous treatment of wounded officers.

So if your back door gets kicked in by armed thugs, or your car gets stolen, or somebody holds a gun to your son’s head, then you should just shut up, sit down, and not complain.  But if somebody says something in passing about the Mayor while talking about something else, then there should be a federal investigation, with all the resources of the government brought to bear, punitively, on any citizen who deigns to express anger at her Highness.

She gets — to demand that free speech be investigated if it displeases her.  You get — to hope that a cop is available to show up when your life in endangered by a violent criminal.  The cops get — to stand between you and the criminals, risking a fate like that of their fellow, paralyzed officers who are treated with raw contempt by elected officials.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is calling the controversy over Kreher’s remarks a “debate.” Well, not really.  Debate implies that both parties have the right to speak freely, and that is not the case here, where Franklin may whip up hatred and demand federal government action under the guise of being frightened by what she is codedly pretending to be a racial remark, while Kreher and his supporters, and anyone else who deigns to be upset over the crime situation, or the paralyzed cop situation, must grovel and apologize while expressing their point of view.

It’s an ugly tactic that should be outdated, but is not.

Senator Vincent Fort, the crown prince of such double-standards, has, of course, weighed in for the Mayor.  This is Fort’s stomping grounds: he has spent most of his time in office trying to codify such double standards into law, simultaneously lobbying for leniency for violent criminals and harsher sentencing for so-called hate crimes, the system of selectively enforced, selective outrage that dictates that some people’s victimization is more important than others’.  The hate crimes code is also what underlies Franklin’s demand for a federal investigation of Kreher, a chilling threat.  If Kreher had said such a thing in Canada or Britain or any one of several European countries these days, he would doubtlessly be facing hate speech charges.  Luckily, our unique bill of rights largely protects us from prosecution for hate speech, though that would change in a heartbeat if Fort and others had their way.

Fort also, predictably, had bad things to say about the police, playing the police brutality card for the press:

“If I had said that to a police officer on the street, where do you think I’d be?” said State Sen. Vincent Fort.

Fort’s comment here is worth contemplating: he brings up non-existent police brutality but refuses to address the actually brutal treatment of the paralyzed police officers at the hands of Franklin’s administration.  Talk about a double standard.

And what a perfect expression of the realities of the hate crimes movement: some people get to have police protection against words.  Other people have to beg for any protection against crime.  Now that he has inserted himself into this debate, Fort should be called on the carpet, both for what he said about the police, and what he did not say.

Despite the fact that he believes that some people matter more than others.

Here is Shirley Franklin’s latest statement on Kreher, who has already apologized, grovelled before her:

“His threat cannot be tolerated or explained away,” she said on the city’s official Web site. “I believe his threat to be serious and an attempt to intimidate me and other city officials and my family.”

Here is what she said about the wounded officers:

”           “

Here is what she said about real crime victims in the city, in an op-ed scolding the public for demanding more police officers:

“The city is safer now than it has been in decades.”

In Atlanta these days, you had better know your place.