Patterico's Pontifications

2/9/2004

CALIFORNIA: NOT AS TOUGH AS YOU THINK

Filed under: Crime — Patterico @ 6:33 pm

I recently saw a suggestion (in comments to this post) that Joseph Smith (the evil guy who killed the little girl in Florida) would have been locked up if he had lived in California, where we have a three strikes law.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s true. The details of Smith’s criminal history are listed here. It does not look to me as though Smith had even a single conviction that would qualify as a strike prior under California law. At best, he had only one, not qualifying him for the 25-to-life sentence.

Weapons and narcotics possession charges do not qualify as prior strike convictions for purposes of the three strikes law. Aggravated battery charges could, depending on the elements of the crime under Florida law — but Smith’s battery charges apparently did not result in a conviction, but rather some form of deferred adjudication. This presents a closer question, but my guess is it would not be treated as a strike.

The other arrests did not result in convictions.

Bottom line: even in California, Smith probably would not have been in prison based on his record, as I read it. Sorry. We’re not as tough as you think.

AL QAEDA HAS NUKES?

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:33 am

Via the Shark Blog comes word that Al Qaeda supposedly possesses briefcase nukes — and has had them for 6 years.

My question: if this is true, why wait to detonate them in the U.S.? It’s not like the people behind 9/11 were trying to pull any punches, is it?


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