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Monday, August 18, 2008

Abell Report Calls Someone Racist, But Who?

Do you ever get tired of being treated like a child? Remember when you were school and the teacher said that if one more child talked, the whole class faced going in the chokie? Unfortunately that type of treatment doesn't end in grade school. The Abell Foundations says there is a huge difference in the number of convictions in Baltimore City and 3 of the surrounding counties. Abell must be some kind of blue ribbon panel that analyzes things. They say it is difficult to convict people in the city. But why you may ask? Good question, but what are they accusing?

The report says that the top charge in the city is only proven 2% of the time, while defendants are found guilty 63% of the time in the counties on the top count. Wow, that's a big difference. Are they saying the city prosecutor isn't doing a good job? Are the police doing a better job investigating in the counties? What are they saying? Abell evidently hired a second company, Choice Research Associate, to do the study. So did the city hire Abell to do the study, or is this just a group that likes looking into things for other people?

A regional Jury pool is what's needed to fix this problem. Oh, so in a left handed way, this report is calling the jurors racists, but they tiptoe around it, never quite saying so. They say the city jurors don't trust the criminal justice system, or they are a lower economic group, or less advantaged. Let me get this right. They aren't proposing any ideas to make those things better, they are calling for a pool to dilute the problem. You piss on my shoes and I know it, but if you take a leak in my pool I won't have to acknowledge it.

Let's talk turkey. Blacks in the city aren't convicting at the same rate as whites in the counties. Maybe if Abell hires a third company they will be able to say what they mean. Did we pay for this study? Did we need this study? Couldn't one of those smart 5th graders have done this study in a day if you gave them the numbers? Are they saying I'm to blame because I've done something to keep the city down. Are the city convictions a higher number of whites and the counties a higher number of blacks? Don't jury pools from a region of people you have nothing in common with go against that thingy about a jury of ones peers? What do you say we pretend everyone is adult enough to get rid of the political correctness and say what we mean.


Slammermike said...

It was an interesting article. It sounds like Jessamy is trying to protect her job in what appears to be a backward way. The article reported that,

"Flower also angered Jessamy by theorizing that city prosecutors charge "more aggressively than other jurisdictions, choosing to pursue the highest charge possible and allowing either the jury or the plea-bargaining process to find the balancing point that would equalize the punishment of the defendant to fit the crime."

Jessamy called this "preposterous" and requested that it be removed from the final report."

Wouldn't a prosecutor be proud to aggressively charge criminals???

As to the regional jury...

"Using her research, Flower proposed ways to bring parity to the decisions of juries and recommended that the jurisdictions make data more descriptive, comprehensive and accessible.

She wrote that the disparity in jury outcomes might be explained by "population characteristics and socioeconomic factors" and said the state should explore the concept of a regional jury pool to "neutralize city residents' negative perceptions of the criminal justice system."

"Generally speaking, citizens in the three comparison jurisdictions tend to be more advantaged in all respects than those in Baltimore City - they are better educated, are wealthier and are more likely to own their own homes," she wrote. Prospective jurors in the counties "are also less likely to suffer from the structural disadvantage and social disorganization which often results in the higher incidence of crime and victimization from crime."

In her letter to Embry, Jessamy condemned Flower's theories about Baltimore jurors and her suggestion of a regional jury pool - a concept she called "extreme and I believe unconstitutional."

"I am simply appalled that in the name of science and research, you reach a conclusion that because a large number of city residents [live in poverty and among crime], they are incapable of performing their civic duty," she wrote."

... Each jurisdiction is separate. If you go with a regional jury pool then why not just have the trial in what ever jurisdiction has the lightest load?

Then the convicted people could serve time in which ever jurisdiction has the least crowded jails.

Then the police departments could become a regional police force.

Then the cost of the justice system could be shared evenly by all the tax payers.

That is just what County residents want to do is pay for the city's crime rate.

awb said...

Why stop there? We have a standing army, get rid of the police departments. We have federal prisons, don't we? I say we start using them. Why should Baltimore County use theirs? Let's waive posse comitatus and play on a level field.