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Michigan Criminal Justice Reform: Too Much, Too Soon?

Recidivism Is Worse Than We Have Been Told

Michigan has been at the forefront of ‘criminal justice reform’, which is newspeak for prison population reduction. In just a few years, Michigan has driven the MDoC prison population down 18%.  Democrats love criminal justice reform because it gets one of their major constituencies back on the streets, and voting. Republicans love criminal justice reform because it cuts prison spending, which has become a bottomless pit with all the various mandates. Both of these views are decidedly near term.
The question for non criminal Michigan residents is longer term: will crime rates rise as more prisoners spend less time incarcerated and more time in your neighborhood?

A study just released by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics undermines the case for criminal justice reforms intended to reduce prison populations. This study contradicts previous studies which showed much lower rates of recidivism, probably because it better tracks released prisoners who have moved to other states and also looks at a longer time frame.

This BJS study followed 67,966 state prisoners released in 2005, in 30 states, over the 9 year period following their release. This was a statistically representative sample (16.8%) of the 404,638 prisoners released that year in those 30 states. The BJS study included 2,603 Michigan individuals; sampled from the 12,177 releases from MDoC custody during 2005.

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(0)

Quis Solvet? MSU Settles With Nassar Victims For $ 500 Million

Michigan has the least elite elites in the nation

Who exactly is going to pay the $ 500 million that MSU just agreed to pay to 332 victims of Dr. Lawrence G. Nasser?

MSU says they can’t tap their $ 3 billion endowment, which was the focus of former President Lou Anna K. Simon (and why she wasn’t paying any attention to Nassar and Strampel).

This bleed will probably eclipse that of the Flint water fiasco. From the Detroit Free Press:

The settlement, which covers all 332 current claimants, will cost Michigan State $500 million. The school will pay $425 million now and hold $75 million in reserve in case other Nassar victims come forward.

MSU will now work on how it will pay the settlement, MSU spokeswoman Emily Guerrant told the Free Press.

Survivor attorney James White said this is a chance for the survivors to begin to move forward.

“I don’t think they can ever be made whole, but this is a step in the right direction,” he said.

The settlement was announced Wednesday, after the Detroit Free Press published news of the settlement, following two days of closed-door mediation sessions between lawyers for the university and the survivors.

Terms of the settlement are as follows:

• $425 million dollars will be paid to all current claimants

• $75 million dollars will be set aside in a trust fund to protect any future claimants alleging sexual abuse by Nassar

The settlement was approved by the MSU board in a conference call Tuesday night.

I underestimated the costs here by $ 25 million, when adjusted for the additional claimants who have come forward.

Strampel’s cases are not part of this settlement, so there is more bleeding to come.

This disaster is on the Democrats, exclusively.

Michigan has the least elite elites in the nation.

You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(1)

Dingell and Upton Will Introduce Federal Gun Confiscation Legislation

Soviet Justice Comes To America

RINO Rick is playing coy with his impending school safety proposal, refusing to say whether Extreme Risk Protection Orders – now rebranded as ‘red flag laws’ – will be part of it. U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell has no such qualms. The Wicked Witch of West Bloomfield announced yesterday that she intends to introduce federal Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation based upon Indiana Code Title 35, Article 47, Chapter 14 (IC 35-47-14). She claimed on Fox News Live that West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton, a Republican, will be a co sponsor.

Indiana Code 35-47-14 establishes procedures for law enforcement to seize privately held firearms from individuals deemed ‘dangerous’. An Indiana law enforcement officer can petition a circuit or superior court for a warrant to “search for and seize a firearm in the possession of an individual who is dangerous”. Or the Indiana law enforcement officer can just go ahead and both search for and seize firearms in the possession of any individual; then at his leisure submit a written statement to the circuit or superior court with jurisdiction, declaring the individual to be dangerous ex post facto.

An Indiana law enforcement officer can declare the individual to be dangerous on his own accord, or rely on the declaration of a third party informer. The law enforcement officers and informants are not required to prove any qualifications in court. The law enforcement officer and the informants are unchallenged. Their assertions alone transform an otherwise legal activity – private firearms possession – into a crime.

Indiana Code 35-47-14 claims that this is legally sufficient probable cause, but is it?

You Betcha! (18)Nuh Uh.(0)

Is Congressman Mike Bishop Abandoning The Second Amendment?

And the rest of the conservative agenda?

Michigan 8th District U.S. Congressman Mike Bishop’s campaign website has been scrubbed updated to remove any mention of the Second Amendment from its Issues page. Or anything else remotely controversial in the conservative agenda. His new campaign website Issues page has a bunch of anodyne pablum, but no mention of firearms:

His new, Second Amendment free, Issues page

His previous, 25 September 2017, Issues page:

2nd Amendment
Supporting our 2nd amendment right to bear arms, Mike Bishop championed right-to-carry legislation, received A/A+ rating from NRA and is personally a gun owner with a CPL.

The Rochester Republican has not made any public statements indicating changes in his position on the Second Amendment, but the update of his campaign website speaks volumes.

Bishop faces no opposition in the August 7th Republican Primary, but tough Democratic opposition in the November 6th General Election. Chris Smith, a labor-backed professor at MSU’s School of Criminal Justice, and Elissa Slotkin, an Obama Administration DoD appointee, are both running. The winner of this Democratic primary match up is expected to be well funded in the Fall.

You Betcha! (19)Nuh Uh.(0)

Michigan Gun Control Update

Extreme Risk Protection Orders and Very Expensive Virtue Signaling

Above the fold headlines in both Gongwer and MIRS today suggest that RINO Rick is launching an intense effort to secure passage of Representative Robert Wittenberg’s HB 4706 and HB 4707. These bills create a new category of judicial proclamation – ‘Extreme Risk Protection Orders’ – which direct police to confiscate the firearms of anyone who is denounced to a Michigan court “without written or oral notice” to the victim. These ERPO bills have been rebranded as ‘red flag laws’ after the Parkland, Florida high school shooting. Both of Wittenberg’s bills received their first reading (of three) last year and were languishing in the House Judiciary Committee. No longer.

Here are the headlines:

Gongwer

Snyder Preparing Gun Control Proposal

MIRS

Snyder Considers Waving The Red Flag; Sheriffs Want Cops Back In Schools

These stories are behind a paywall, but RINO Rick’s spokesperson Tanya Baker floated a trial balloon on AP three days ago. The Democrats have been all in for a while, so whether ERPOs come to Michigan will be determined by the Republicans in the Legislature soon.

Here is the problem: Some clown you hardly know can petition a judge to issue an ERPO which orders the police to seize your firearms, CPL, knives, baseball bats, golf clubs, etc. You only find out that an ERPO has been issued when the police break down your door to effect the seizure. You have no opportunity to contest the initial issuance of an ERPO in front of the judge. It is a bolt out of the blue. The police get to throw your valuable collector firearms into a dump trailer willy-nilly without any responsibility for the condition or safekeeping of your property. You, the restrained individual, then have 14 days to file a counter action. Good luck with that.

Stalinism meets civil forfeiture.

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(1)

Why Wasn’t Nassar Stopped In 2014? Or In 2016?

Quid Pro Quo, Again

Dr. Lawrence Gerard Nassar’s molestation of young girls dates back to the 1990’s and at least 14 of his victims reported him to various figures of authority at MSU over the intervening years. In 2014, one of those authority figures finally took a Nassar victim seriously enough to report him to MSU’s Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. OIII was the MSU bureaucracy then responsible for investigating Title IX discrimination complaints. That accuser also reported the incident to MSU’s police department two months later.

The MSU Title IX investigation was a whitewash. The author of the report, Kristine M. Moore (currently MSU’s Assistant General Counsel) went so far as to issue two reports – a more truthful one to Nassar and another, abbreviated version to the victim. At some point in 2014, recently departed MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon was informed of the circumstances and did little or nothing. Nassar continued to molest his female patients; at least 12 more before he was finally arrested.

Some time in 2015, MSU’s campus police department finally made a criminal referral to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office. Stuart Dunning III’s office did nothing, perhaps because he was just too preoccupied with his much beloved prostitutes. And his subordinates were perhaps too busy covering for his wretched behavior. In March 2016, the Ingham County Sheriff arrested Dunning and his lawyer brother for pandering. Dunning plead out and resigned from office.

Ingham County Circuit Court judges selected Gretchen Whitmer, a current Democratic candidate for Michigan Governor, to serve out the remainder of Dunning’s term. Whitmer averred that Dunning’s distractions did not affect any ICPO case and immediately signaled her virtue by establishing a new domestic violence unit within the ICPO. You are allowed to be skeptical.

MSU Campus Police Chief Jim Dunlap returned to the new, interim Ingham County Prosecutor – Ms. Whitmer – with his department’s referral of the Nassar molestation incidents. He got blown off by Whitmer and her chief assistant, Lisa McCormick. Dunlap was convinced that Whitmer’s office was not interested in pursuing the molestation charges because they were “much more difficult to take to trial” than the kiddie porn charges then being developed by the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.

Whitmer and McCormick were entirely content to allow Nassar to be prosecuted for kiddie porn by the Feds, but both now claim they did not file molestation charges against Nassar because of ‘jurisdictional issues’.

Dunlap stalked off and contacted Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office that same evening. He wanted Nassar fully charged for all his offenses. AG Schuette had no qualms about going after Nassar. At the time, there were only 5 or 6 molestation complaints against Nassar, all of which arose from MSU. The Eaton County Twistar cases were developed after Schuette took over the prosecution. There were no ‘jurisdictional issues’ when Whitmer blew off Dunlap.

The rest is history. But is it the entire history?

You Betcha! (19)Nuh Uh.(0)

What Is Going On Here?

Governor Snyder is attempting to resuscitate his reputation by benevolently raising your taxes.

Our ace Governor is not going quietly into the night as his governorship slides into the twilight zone. He launched two tax proposals last week which he touted as environmental initiatives. Neither raises enough funds to even remotely achieve his stated environmental objectives, unless the taxes he proposed skyrocket in the future. Both proposals are actually designed to expand our hopelessly inept (and periodically corrupt) bureaucracy. The environmental angle is just eyewash to sell higher taxes to the gullible. And those tax rates he proposes will skyrocket – bet on it.

First up is an increase in the current landfill tipping tax from $ 0.36 per ton to $ 4.75 per ton. Snyder claims this tax increase will raise $ 79 million for recycling programs. It won’t. The incremental revenue will be something less than $ 70.7 million, because 769,000 tons of solid waste from other states with lower tipping taxes will no longer be land filled in Michigan (pdf). Michigan landfills will suffer a 4.5% volume drop, which will be consequential. They will either curtail operations (read: lay off workers), cut workers’ wages or raises, and/or adjust tipping fees. Local units of government, which also collect revenue from their landfills, will suffer revenue losses as well. Environmentalists will applaud, but the trash is just being diverted to different land fills. There is no environmental benefit to playing musical chairs with garbage.

Governor Snyder implies in his press release that his proposed tipping tax increase will diminish Michigan’s solid waste imports from his Canadian buddies; the ones who are building his bridge. It won’t. Ontario landfill tipping fees start at $ 75 CAD per metric ton ($ 55 USD per short ton). Comparable Michigan landfill tipping fees are in the low $ 30 USD range. Snyder would have to raise the Michigan tipping tax by $ 25 USD, not the $ 4.39 he proposes, to materially reduce Canadian solid waste exports to Michigan. Keep in mind that the Canadians will ignore their transportation costs; they need to feed tolls to that fancy new bridge as cross border truck traffic otherwise declines.  Our Canadian neighbors didn’t pay for the Gordie Howe Bridge out of the goodness of their hearts.  It was cheaper politically than opening land fills.

A tipping tax which would actually impact Canadian trash exports would wipe out Michigan land fills and their workers. And all of our solid waste would be exported to other states, making Michigan many new friends across the Midwest. Yet tipping tax proponents will imply that the tipping tax increase will curtail Canadian trash exports to Michigan.

It won’t.

You Betcha! (11)Nuh Uh.(0)

The Wages of Sin

Pucker Up Michigan Taxpayers, Larry Nassar Will Cost You More Than $ 180 Million

Some 144 155 victims of MSU Sports Medicine doctor Lawrence Gerard Nassar are making victim impact statements at his sentencing hearing in the Ingham County Circuit Court. From the tenor of their coverage, our depraved media are – for once – siding with the victims of crime rather than the criminals. Kiddie diddling is probably the last moral taboo acknowledged across our entire society.

What our media has not mentioned is the cost of Dr. Nassar’s crimes and who is going to pay for them. MSU is now facing over 140 civil lawsuits, along with the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, and Dr. Nassar. Just one such suit has been settled, by USA Gymnastics, reportedly for upwards of $ 1.25 million. Its particulars are concealed from the public by a Non Disclosure Agreement, a legal device made famous by Harvey Weinstein’s defense lawyers. The plaintiff in the settled suit, McKayla Maroney, still has a lawsuit pending against the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and Dr. Nassar. Dr. Nassar is the only defendant who will not pay much. His few remaining assets after paying off his lawyers will almost certainly be shielded when his wife divorces him.

MSU has set aside $ 10 million to counsel women and girls who say Larry Nassar abused them. This ‘Healing Assistance Fund’ will be available to “MSU health clinic patients and student-athletes whom Nassar abused, as well as the parents of these victims” according to MSU. The sanctimonious leftists who run MSU have the utter gall to still be billing some of Dr. Nassar’s victims for their ‘treatment’, but that is not what this fund is for.  This fund is actually intended as a legal settlement fund

This fund is ridiculously inadequate. MSU management must think that USOC and USAG will bear the brunt of the Nassar settlements, or their hot shot lawyer Patrick Fitzgerald’s sovereign immunity defense will work.  MSU has not one, but two, high dollar white shoe law firms lined up to attack Dr. Nassar’s victims.  They won’t succeed. Dr. Nassar was an MSU employee. USOC and USAG made referrals to Dr. Nassar, but MSU was his employer and should have been providing proper supervision.  They didn’t.

Each of those lawsuits against MSU will settle out for $ 1 million or more. McKayla Maroney’s first settlement sets the standard. And the antics of MSU’s Board members should provide the plaintiffs with healthy increments in their final settlements.  Those white shoe lawyers need to have a talk with their idiot clients.

Who is going to pay?

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(1)

Left Coast Incompetence Will Slow Your Computer Tuesday

Another major triumph of Silicon Valley engineering incompetence.

Microsoft is going to slow down most all Intel 64 bit CPU computers on Tuesday, January 9th, in their regular monthly Windows updates.  This after the corrupt finks at Apple got caught slowing down IPhones just before each new model was released.

Microsoft have to compensate for a fundamental design flaw in Intel’s processor chips which has gone unnoticed for 10 years. Expect a 5% – 30% slow down, depending on your tasks and your specific processor.

You Betcha! (7)Nuh Uh.(4)

Karma and Hypocrisy

Karma: Fate or destiny resulting from one’s previous action.

Hypocrisy: The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess.

The supremely unctuous Stephen Henderson, Managing Director of Opinion and Commentary at the Detroit Free Press, got canned Friday for sexual harassment. Free Press Editor and Vice President Peter Bhatia has elected to shield us from the lurid details, a courtesy not afforded by the Free Press to the many others accused of sexual harassment during the current national feeding frenzy.

The allegations originally surfaced in a press conference the Reverend W. J. Rideout III, pastor of Our God’s People Church in Detroit, held last week. Reverend Rideout got suspended from his radio show on WFDF 910 AM for his efforts. Steve Neavling, a former Free Press reporter who was fired for his contretemps with homosexual teen groomer Charles Pugh in 2012, pursued the story on his own WFDF radio show as well as his Motor City Muckraker web site. Neavling had to enjoy the predicament of the Free Press, and probably Henderson too. Henderson was already a big shot at the Detroit Free Press when Neavling got railroaded.

You Betcha! (18)Nuh Uh.(1)