Criminal Justice News, and a Horse Race

Have I mentioned I’m not exactly dealing with this moving to New York thing with stoic Zen equanimity? I’m barely functioning, in fact. I’ve also realized there’s not enough time to move Mahablog to a less expensive host before the next billing cycle.  And I don’t want to be offline when the jury delivers a verdict in the E. Jean Carroll trial. So I’m going to do a fundraiser instead. This is a PayPal link, and soon I’ll have a GoFundMe link up also.

I wanted to say something about Jordan Neely, the homeless man choked to death on a subway on May 1. One of my Facebook friends wrote that when he lived in the Village he used to see Neely on the A Train. He could sometimes be unpredictable but didn’t seem threatening.

This is life in NYC; sometimes you see people arguing with lampposts. On one train I used to ride a lot there would be an older guy who spoke long, nonsensical soliloquies about a teddy bear. In a better world there’d be some services for such people, so that they didn’t have to spend their days using subway cars for shelter. Errol Louis wrote at New York

To be Black, destitute, homeless, and mentally ill in our city is to be one of those outsiders, existing in a kind of internal exile from society’s circle of care and concern.

“I don’t have food, I don’t have a drink, I’m fed up,” Neely screamed in the final minutes of his life, according to Juan Alberto Vázquez, a freelance journalist on the train who recorded the incident. “I don’t mind going to jail and getting life in prison. I’m ready to die.” It seemed to be a complaint shouted to the heavens, aimed at nobody in particular. Neely “didn’t seem like he wanted to hurt anyone,” Vázquez later said. But the doomed man’s words were sadly accurate about the choices he believed New York offered: prison or death.

Yes, that’s how it is, and everybody knows it.

There’s a video of a Marine veteran named Daniel Perry choking Neely to death. There were several other people on the subway car who saw him do it. “Prosecutors had yet to make a decision on criminal charges in the case, although the city Medical Examiner ruled the death was a homicide,” says Larry McShane at the Daily News. I understand there have been protests. I take it Neely had been arrested in violent episodes in the past, but there is no evidence he was a danger to anyone when he was killed. The hesitation to bring charges is unjustified, from what I see. Somebody needs to step up.

In St. Louis, the circuit attorney (city prosecuting attorney) Kim Gardner resigned effective June 1. I have no personal experience with the St. Louis criminal justice system (thank you), but I have long suspected she was being stonewalled by the St. Louis PD. The state Attorney General who has been trying to get her out is a MAGAt, and I fear he and the governor (aka the Über-Goober) are fixin’ to appoint some other white goober who primarily just wants to cater to gun owners. And I give Gardner credit for getting Lamar Johnson’s conviction overturned.

But it has also been obvious that the St. Louis prosecutor office has been a huge mess. Lately there have been several trials called off because no prosecutor showed up to try them. The attorneys in the office have been resigning wholesale. People who have been victims of terrible crimes can’t get their phone calls returned. Then it turns out that while all this has been going on Gardner has been taking classes at the St. Louis University school of nursing. She says she’s been doing this on her “own time,” and maybe so, but with the crisis her office has been in I can’t imagine she has any “own time.” So it’s a bit hard to defend her.

In other news: Eight false Trump electors have accepted immunity deals, lawyer says, in the Fulton County, Georgia, election interference investigation.

It’s Derby Day. And it’s been 50 years since Secretariat began his Triple Crown run. He still owns the record in all three races.

9 thoughts on “Criminal Justice News, and a Horse Race

  1. Another mass shooting this timeTexas, wow that never happens? Blame the gun nuts, every last one of them is responsible for these deaths. Day after after day, week after week, year after year. The bodies stack up like cord wood. Anyone you know who goes on about the second amendment and how they need to own assault rifles and open carry, this is their fault. Everyone who blames this on mental illness and poverty this is their fault. Every last one of them. Including the asshole Freddy that is allowed to lie on this site. I do not understand why we need to consider those viewpoints, they are wrong they are deadly and they bear responsibility for every single mass shooting.

  2. "Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called it an “unspeakable tragedy,” saying in a statement that “our hearts are with the people of Allen, Texas.”

    Gee depending on how many bodies he might do a press conference, seems like more than 5-6 then he makes himself available. I wonder do they allow open carry to the press event like they allow average Joe's in shopping malls, bars, churches? I wonder?

    • The state senator representing Allen Texas has said the mass murder in his district is God's will.  Wonder if the families of the dead and wounded agree with him?

      PS – kicked in a hundred dollars to answer your call – do you have a fund-raising goal?

      • God's will?  Seems more Wayne La Pierre's will, although he may be considered somewhat god-like.

  3. OT, belongs in previous post: Chris Hayes has an amazing video (search for 'Captured Court') about how the Clarence Thomas' ethics breaches are part of a much bigger plan, hatched by none other than Leonard Leo.

    As you know, Leo's Federalist Society was instrumental in populating the Supreme Court with its current bench of reactionaries. That's was just Part 1 of his plan, Part 2 was to get rich donors to keep Leo's justices in line.

    Leo realized that historically, many of the Court's liberal opinions had come from justices who nonetheless were put there by Republicans. Justice John Paul Stevens, for example, who dissented in Bush v Gore, was originally backed by Republicans. Leo realized that something needed to be done to keep these guys in line, and that's where rich backers like Harlan Crow come in.

    The point is, it's not about Thomas, as odious as he and his sneering wife are. It's about an explicit plan to corrupt the Court and keep it that way. What's amazing in Chris' presentation are Leo's own words spelling it all out. Leo even says he wants to push this model into other aspects of society because he's had so much success with the Court.

    PS I am planning to kick in some coin to help keep the bits flow while you make haste to the Big Apple.

  4. Long time fan here, I'm a web developer if you ever need pro bono work on the site or just recommendations on hosting services.

    • I'm happy to take recommendations on hosting services. And if I run into snags getting the URL re-pointed I may give you a holler. Last time I moved Mahablog it took me nearly three days to figure out what Cloudflare wanted me to tell it to make my site visible again. 

    • Also, I'm thinking I should do an independent backup before I move anything. The host I'm using now backs everything up every other day, and I have access to my backups, but I'm not sure I can do anything with that once the files have migrated. What app or whatever is good for that? 

  5. Sorry for the delayed response, I forgot to check back here periodically. Feel free to email me directly for a better response time at [email protected].

    If you're backing up a database or a WordPress site (code + database) with the hosting provider's tool (like in cPanel) you shouldn't need a specific app to backup or import later. Any SQL database will accept any .sql file, for instance. I believe the same is true for WordPress backups, but I'd need to learn more about your specific setup to be sure.

    I have some experience with WordPress + cPanel + GoDaddy, but not any with CloudFlare but I can bother my work's IT guys if I have questions.


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