Chris Roberts, American Renaissance, December 8, 2020
It is fashionable to complain that far too many Americans are in prison. Leftists, liberals, libertarians, and even some conservatives allege that our country’s high incarceration rate is unjust, and probably racist. Writing for the progressive website AlterNet, Les Leopold asks, “Why Does America Have More Prisoners Than Any Police State?” The number one reason he lists is “overt racism.” In Time magazine, two writers claim, “With 2.2 million people in prison, mass incarceration is the greatest moral and racial injustice of our time.” Leon Neyfakh, at Slate, writes, “[T]here’s one point on which pretty much everyone agrees: America’s prison population is way too high.”
There are several reasons to think that we don’t have enough people in prison. One is the surprisingly short sentences many criminals get. Last week in Idaho, Chrisnaider Greyson Allen was in court for raping a 13-year-old — a crime he admitted. The prosecution gave him a “plea bargain” and the court convicted him only of felony lewd conduct.
Mr. Allen’s lawyer asked for leniency, claiming that his client had undiagnosed ADHD and autism. The judge listened, and sentenced Mr. Allen to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a minimum of 18 months.
Last month, a jury convicted Dijuan Sanders of terroristic threats, simple assault, and unlawful dissemination of an intimate image. In May, Mr. Sanders’ wife:
. . . called police to report that she had been struck multiple times and bitten by Sanders while she was holding their 9-month old baby. She was at home when the police came to the door, but he would not let her answer, threatening to kill her if she did. Later, when police escorted the victim back to the house to get diapers and formula, Sanders refused to let her in and yelled obscenities to the victim and police.
Most violent criminals are young; Mr. Sanders is 40-years-old, and it takes something like a psychopath to bite and beat his wife while she held his young child. He faces a maximum of 9 years.
In 2019, Saleem Abdul Muhammad robbed a bank in Maryland, telling a clerk, “Give me the money, this is a robbery, I will shoot everyone out here.” His sentence? Four years in prison.
Our legal system “under-punishes” criminal aliens as well. In 2004, Mexican illegal Oscar Melgoza-Barajas went to prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13. He served 6.5 years. Two weeks ago, Border Patrol arrested him in Texas.
Over the course of 2015 and 2017, Salvadorian illegal Francisco Edgardo Palacios-Arias committed half a dozen crimes: sexual battery, extortion of a school employee, two counts of larceny, false identification of self to law enforcement, and possession of marijuana. In March of 2018, ICE deported him. Last Wednesday, he pled guilty to reentering the US — and now faces a maximum of two years in prison.
During this summer’s BLMania, New York City Attorney General Cy Vance announced that his office wouldn’t prosecute “low-level” offenses committed by rioters, letting hundreds of looters out of jail. In Dallas, police arrested 647 people for obstructing a highway during a “demonstration,” but the police chief dropped charges against all of them. When the George Floyd riots reached St. Louis, police arrested 36 people — and the city government promptly let them go. Much the same happened in Washington DC and Philadelphia.
Thanks to over $100,000,000 from George Soros and his network, progressive government prosecutors who favor “catch and release” hold office all over the nation. The most powerful are: St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, Illinois State Attorney Kim Foxx, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, Multnomah County (Portland, Oregon) District Attorney Mike Schmidt, and District Attorney of Los Angeles County George Gascón. Now, six months after the peak of the rioting, many cities have their highest murder rates in decades.
America should imprison violent criminals for more years, not fewer.