Patterico's Pontifications

12/5/2008

O. J. Simpson Sentenced to 15 Years (Updated x2)

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 10:54 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

O. J. Simpson was sentenced today to 15 years in prison by Las Vegas Judge Jackie Glass. Before sentencing, Simpson apologized to the Judge, saying he was confused and “didn’t want to steal anything from anyone.” Judge Glass responded that his actions were “much more than stupidity.”

H/T NK, who notes Simpson would be “eligible for parole in 5 years with no credit for time served … for purposes of parole or good time” according to Fox News. [EDIT: Later in the comments, NK notes that Fox News has revised its story to a minimum of 9 years.]

UPDATE 1: The Las Vegas Review Journal has a record of this morning’s proceedings and notes that Simpson won’t be eligible for parole under Nevada law until he has served at least 9 years. Simpson’s co-defendant C.J. Stewart asked for mercy and sounded remorseful. O.J. — not so much.

UPDATE 2: The sentence was so complex that the Court Clerk issued a statement to clear up the confusion:

“Glass, a no-nonsense judge known for her tough sentences, imposed such a complex series of consecutive and concurrent sentences that even many attorneys watching the case were confused as to how much time Simpson got.

Simpson could serve up to 33 years but could be eligible for parole after nine years, according to Elana Roberto, the judge’s clerk.

The judge said several times that her sentence in the Las Vegas case had nothing to do with Simpson’s 1994 acquittal in the slaying of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. “

– DRJ

Responding to Mexican Drug-Related Terrorism

Filed under: International,Terrorism — DRJ @ 10:17 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Following up on Patterico’s post earlier today, I think finding long-term solutions to Mexico’s problems could make Iraq look easy but we have to find solutions because of Mexico’s proximity to the U.S.

In the meantime, I support continued efforts to increase border security (including use of enhanced technology like the Texas Border Watch, better communications, and building a fence) so we can slow down the flow of people between the two countries. Not only will this help protect us from Mexican violence but it will also put increased pressure on Mexico to solve its problems rather than use America as an escape valve for its people and fiscal policies.

In addition, improved border security could help prevent stories like this from El Paso last week:

“Shortcomings in the communications system between government agencies allowed a Juárez tuberculosis patient to continue traveling across the border against his doctor’s instructions, according to a General Accountability Office report released recently.

The report said Customs and Border Protection officials at the Bridge of Americas failed to notify Department of Homeland Security senior officials until 14 days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested the CBP’s assistance in the 2007 case.

The incomplete information allowed the Mexican citizen, who was under treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, to continue traveling from Juárez to El Paso for business purposes at least 20 times. He also had failed to surrender his travel visa as his doctor requested.”

Some people view border enforcement and a fence as counterproductive or extreme, but these are mild responses compared to those who believe the answer is to “solve” the U.S. demand for drugs. I doubt America will legalize all drug use any more than it will eliminate all drug consumers as former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates sarcastically suggested yesterday in a speech to graduating El Paso-area peace officers:

“Gates, who led the Los Angeles Police Department from 1978 to 1992, also predicted that the violence in Juárez would spill over into El Paso and that law enforcement agencies on the U.S. side should be prepared.

“I don’t think the people in the United States are grasping what a serious problem it is. Mexico has lost more people in a very short period of time than those lost in Iraq or Afghanistan,” he said.

“I think, you know, I have such a low opinion of the people in the United States who continue to use drugs. They are really responsible for what’s happening in Mexico — they really are. We go along every day. We don’t take that responsibility that we ought to assume. Somebody asked me one time about casual drug users, I said they ought to take them out and shoot them.”

The statement, he said, is an exaggeration, but it emphasizes the point.”

As I write this, soldiers at El Paso’s Fort Bliss are learning to respond to urban insurgencies in Iraq by incorporating economic and social outreach tactics into their military response. Someday these tactics may come in handy closer to home.

– DRJ

Terrorists Send Message of Chaos and Death, As Some Blame U.S. Policy

Filed under: General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:40 am

The Washington Post reports on the most recent spate of torture and beheadings by the terrorists, providing a sobering reminder of exactly what kind of people we’re dealing with:

Increasingly, bodies show unmistakable signs of torture. Videos of executions are posted on the Internet, as taunts, as warnings. Corpses are dumped on playgrounds, with neatly printed notes beside them. And very often, the heads have been removed.

The article states: “As the war drags on, the violence grows bolder and more grotesque.” The article goes on to describe someone rolling five heads onto the floor of a public building two years ago. But the violence has recently stepped up: “37 people were slain over the weekend, including four children.” An expert comments: “Each method is now more brutal, more extreme than the last. To cut off the heads? That is now what they like. They are going to the edge of what is possible for a human being to do.”

“November was the bloodiest month so far, with at least 700 killings,” and 4500 people have been killed since 2007.

Journalists in particular are targeted. One is quoted as saying: “They are making a joke about the authority of the government. All the killings and all so public. They are broadcasting that there is no government that can stop them. They are geniuses at marketing. They commit these spectacular murders. They decapitate people. They light people on fire. Who is not going to pay attention to that?”

As always, there are those who blame U.S. policy for these killings. But regardless of U.S. policy, the violence continues. The paper reports that just last week, “the corpses of seven men, each shot multiple times, strangled and tortured, were lined up against a garden hedge at a primary school. The killers left poster-size signs.”

And, of course, the terrorists love to broadcast songs proclaiming their violent successes. The paper reports that, soon after these most recent killings, “the local police frequency was commandeered” and a song praising the terrorist group was broadcast.

A U.S. official denounces the terrorist acts: “The hyperviolence, the grotesque acts, the decapitations, dumping bodies in schoolyards, going after families, this is the work of what I call terrorist mafias.”

Yet people regularly argue that U.S. policy is responsible for these killings. As if a change in government policy could cause monsters like this to suddenly become human beings again.

P.S. A recent L.A. Times article touts a report that places the blame for this violence squarely on the United States. According to the report, we shouldn’t be focusing primarily on going after these violent thugs, but rather on changing U.S. policies that are responsible for the violence. “[T]he report suggests an incoming Democratic government led by Barack Obama can open opportunities for better ties and communication” to stem the tide of killings and beheadings.

Do you agree?

Would it change your thinking about this if I told you that the recent beheadings all took place right across the U.S. border? And that the killers are sending their representatives into the country on a regular basis?

You do realize I’m talking about the Mexican drug cartels, right?


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