Redding Trial Update; Expose on Georgia’s Judicial Qualifications Commission

From reader Chris Murphy, who attended the Jonathan Redding hearing to determine if Redding will be required to provide information to a Grand Jury about his partners in the murder of John Henderson:  

I was at that last hearing. The judge, Kimberly Esmond Adams, was looking for any excuse to allow his attorney into the grand jury, which goes against the rules. She delayed the decision, and it never was publicized what she ruled. That’s the kind of s**t that passes for justice: make a ruling, but do it when no one is around, if possible. ... 

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Questions About the Municipal Judges’ Races in Atlanta, Georgia

A friend just contacted me with a question about the municipal judges’ races in Atlanta:

There are several Municipal Court Judges listed on the ballot with the question (yes/no) on whether the judge should be retained. I don’t know anything about judges, so I hoped you guys could advise me on any of these you may know. ... 

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Jonathan Redding, 30 Deep, the Blue Jeans Burglaries, the Standard Bar Murder, and Disorder in Atlanta’s Courts

Jonathan Redding, suspect in the murder of Grant Park bartender John Henderson, suspected of firing a gun in an earlier armed robbery outside the Standard (Why isn’t it attempted murder when you fire a gun during a robbery?  Are we rewarding lack of aim?), suspect in a “home invasion gun battle” in which Redding shot at people, and was shot himself (Two more attempted murders, at least, if sanity existed in the prosecutor’s office), suspected member of the “30-Deep Gang,” one of those pathetic, illiterate, quasi-street gangs composed of children imitating their older relatives, middle-schoolers waving wads of cash and firearms on YouTube: Jonathan Redding is 17.

How many chances did the justice system have to stop Johnathan Redding before he murdered an innocent man?  How many chances did they squander? ... 

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Ash Joshi: “But Being a Quisling Apologist for Murderers is my Job”

Another great in-depth story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about chaos in the courts.  Note that Metro Atlanta courts other than Fulton County aren’t catch-and-releasing murder defendants like muddy-tasting catfish, like Fulton does.

Volume is no excuse: volume of cases means that judges and prosecutors should be appealing to the public for support and banging down doors at the Georgia General Assembly for more resources, not lowering standards. ... 

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Judge Arrington Responds to Sunday Paper: I respond to Judge Arrington, The Beat Goes On

Read it in Sunday Paper (the page is slow to load).

Here is a link to my article about him.  In fairness (boy, I’ve been using that phrase a lot lately), I don’t think Arrington was responding to my article so much as he was responding to this feature story by Stephanie Ramage.  And here is Stephanie’s response to Arrington’s response. ... 

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More on the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “Homeless Sex Offenders” Hysteria

How easy is it to predict the many ways the media has substituted thinly-disguised advocacy and sheer make-believe for reporting on the alleged “homeless sex offender” crisis?  Painfully easy. 

Before I even read the latest installment of the homeless sex offender soap opera, the one that appeared in the AJC last week, I made up a list of rules for such stories: ... 

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Homeless Sex Offenders are Not Gentle Woodland Creatures, Nor Innocent Sprites, Nor Toy-Making Elves

Now the Atlanta Journal Constitution has joined other news outlets spinning fairy tales about the plight of homeless sex offenders forced to live in the woods/under bridges/by the wee blarney rock, where the moss grows.

The stories go like this: completely harmless, harshly punished sex offenders are being forced to live in tents for no other reason but that we invented “draconian” laws that limit where they can obtain housing.  If only we didn’t insist on these cruel living restrictions, why, they’d all be happily ensconced in little cottages with gingham curtains.  But instead, they have to live in the big, bad woods. ... 

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Not So Funny: Project Turn Around

So Al Sharpton, Andrew Young, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, and Fulton Superior Judge Marvin Arrington walk into a courtroom. . .

There is no punchline.  They walked into a courtroom to hold yet another courthouse special event for yet another group of criminal defendants who were having their crimes excused, who then failed to avail themselves of all the special tutoring and counseling and mentoring provided to them in lieu of sentencing, all paid for by us, the taxpayers.  What is going on in the courts?  Here is the press release from Paul Howard’s office: ... 

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The Real Perception Problem is the Perception of the Courts

The comments thread in response to this article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution contain a lot more insight than the article itself, which morphed from the purported subject of policing into another attack on the public for caring about crime.*  No surprise there.  While the criminologists try to minimize crime using formulas measuring relative cultural pathology and other number dances, the public hones in on the courts:

It is time that we stop protecting the young criminals – Start publishing names, parents names and city – Might just be that some parents will be so embarrassed that they will take control of these young people – Start publishing names of judges that continually grant bail bonds or m notes for “REPEAT” offenders. — “D.L.” ... 

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A Truly Offensive Effort to Whitewash the Crime Problem

What’s the matter with the Atlanta Journal Constitution?

In the last year, the residents of Atlanta stood up and declared that they do not want their city to be a place known for crime, where murders and muggings are taken in stride.  They declared that one murder, one home invasion, is one too many.  They partnered with the police — ignoring the headline-grabbing anti-cop types who perennially try to sow divisiveness. ... 

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DeKalb Officers Site Raises Issue of Burglars Let Loose, Homicide Cops Playing Daycare Daddies?

The terrific website DeKalb Officers raises questions about DeKalb D.A. Gwen Keyes:

It appears the District Attorney has taken a page from terminated police chief Terrell Bolton. Ms. Keyes now has a driver permanently assigned to her. Some of the driver’s duties include getting her children to and from daycare. ... 

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From the Comments: Matt Podowitz Offers Atlanta Resources for Safety

http://www.safe-atlanta.org/www.novictims-atlanta…

Tina, thank you for this post and encouraging people to consider how to react to something BEFORE it happens. I wanted to share with you two free, non-commercial resources located in the very neighborhood where those incidents take place that can help people take constructive steps to secure their homes, protect their families and live their lives: ... 

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The Good Kids in the Crossfire

A street memorial for Samuel Leonard, a 22-year-old black man. Leonard was shot while getting into his car at the intersection of West Century Boulevard and Hobart Boulevard in Gramercy Park. Credit: Anthony Pesce / Los Angeles Times

I was going to write about good kids getting killed in the crossfire when I got up this morning.  Then I read the Atlanta Journal Constitution and realized there was nothing to add:

One person was in custody Thursday in connection with the early morning shooting death of a Spelman College student hit by a stray bullet on the campus of nearby Clark Atlanta University. . . The victim, Jasmine Lynn, of Kansas City, Mo., was “walking southbound on James P. Brawley when she was struck in the chest by a stray round from a group of individuals involved in a physical altercation on Mitchell Street,” Atlanta police Lt. Keith Meadows said. . . ... 

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Gang Outreach or Just Enforcing the Law: Chicago, LA, Atlanta

Will Atlanta be the next Chicago or L.A.? Those cities have been shelling out big bucks to “ex-gang members” and holding summits and negotiating with gangsters rather than prosecuting them.

Imagine the impact this must have in communities where these thugs live, where they now draw paychecks because they are/were thugs, and walk the streets empowered by their special relationships to certain politicians.  How does that not teach children the value of going bad? ... 

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Middle-Class Gangsters: Is Poverty a Good Excuse for Being a Gangster?

The subject of middle-class youths joining gangs was raised in both the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the New York Times last weekend, but in very different ways.

The Times, predictably, describes such youths as “swept up” by forces beyond their control, like their poor counterparts, as if they have no responsibility for choosing to commit armed robbery: ... 

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Judges Are Not Reclusive Woodland Creatures, Shy, Moss-Tripping Fauns

When are judges who let murderers out on bond and release other violent offenders going to stop hiding from the public and start answering some questions?  From today’s (on-line only?)  AJC:

District Attorney Paul Howard . . . wants to determine why indicted murder defendants in Fulton County are being released on bond and why non-elected magistrate judges have been the ones granting bond.  Howard said 43 indicted murder defendants are out on bond. . . Fulton County magistrate Judge Karen Woodson granted [Antoine] Wimes $250,000 bond in March, even though the District Attorney’s Office and Pretrial Services officers opposed it.  Wimes was charged with murder in the July 2008 shooting death of a convenience store clerk. ... 

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What a Difference Seven Months Makes?

Remember this?

Well, according to the data that we have, there are some neighborhoods where the data don’t go along with what has actually transpired in their community.  We’ve had reductions [in crime] in a lot of those neighborhoods.  And then, some of the neighborhoods that we’ve had an increase in burglary and property crimes, those neighborhoods haven’t had a large outcry. . . I think they just respond to what they hear.  And a lot of times, perception to them is reality. ... 

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Not One More: Judge Cut Killer Loose, Then He Used Infant “as a Bat”

Atlanta Fox 5’s Mark Teichner is reporting that it was Fulton Magistrate Judge Karen Smith Woodson who released Antoine Wimes on bond instead of holding him in the 2008 murder of Nigerian immigrant Etus Obi Onyemaechi.  Wimes shot a young mother and either beat or “used her infant as a bat” during a home invasion Monday night.

Atlanta reader Paul Kersey has this to say: ... 

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Leniency Lunacy: Atlanta’s CBS News Tackles Recidivism, Judicial “Discretion,” and Fulton County Prosecutors Going Easy on Repeat Offenders

Hat tip to Paul Kersey:

Atlanta CBS News Investigative Reporter Joanna Massey dissects the problems in the courts.  This is thoughtful reporting (here is part 2), and hopefully there will be follow-up on points raised by the story, such as: ... 

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Why Did Vernon Forrest Have to Die to Get Charman Sinkfield off the Streets?

Three men are now in custody for the murder of boxer Vernon Forrest.  Of course, two are recidivists with state records and histories of getting off easy for multiple crimes, and the third is probably just too young to have accumulated a non-juvenile record yet.  The man they killed was a world-champion athlete who founded a charity in Atlanta to help the mentally challenged.  How many times does the same sickening story have to play out?

Forrest’s mother told the Atlanta Journal Constitution she hopes the three men never leave prison again: ... 

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Everything’s OK in Here, Bob: The D.A., the Police Chief, and Atlanta Gang Story

I am still trying to puzzle out why District Attorney Paul Howard and Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington keep insisting that they do not need more resources to fight crime and prosecute criminals, while they also keep holding press conferences to warn the public that today’s criminals are more numerous, dangerous and better organized:

“We don’t have one person breaking into a store,” Howard said. “We now have eight people.” ... 

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Crime Rate Up or Down? Thoughts From Around Atlanta

Is the crime rate up or down in Atlanta?  The Atlanta Journal Constitution, echoing City Hall, continues to vote “down.”  Their editorial board is sticking to the argument that crime is a perception problem, though they have thankfully stopped mocking victims:

[S]tatistics alone don’t stir many souls toward either fear or a sense of security.  What does get people going are violent shocks to their everyday world. Things like finding your home’s been ransacked, or facing a gunman on the sidewalk. . . If people don’t feel safe, a computer’s worth of data and spreadsheets likely won’t persuade them otherwise. That’s where human contact and conversation comes in, starting at the top and spreading to cops on the beat.  Perception can trump reality if people’s emotions keep them from believing that crime really is on the run. ... 

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District Attorney Paul Howard Should Do His Job, Leave Self-Defense Training to that Judo Guy Down the Street

People in Atlanta deserve better.

Reeling from months (years, really) of life-altering crime in the streets, they finally drag the Mayor and Chief of Police kicking and screaming to some podium, where the two continue to deny that they are not doing the job of serving the people before storming off again. ... 

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