COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | LARRY STIRLING

They’re baaaack

The bad guys are back.

This is true thanks to an addlepated ruling articulated by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote with a straight face, that the California would be safer by the release of 33,000 convicted felons since they just learn to be worse criminals while in prison.

To meet the fatuous and wholly unconstitutional mandate, Gov. Brown proposed an inmate “realignment,” a euphemism for dumping state prisoners on already overcrowded county jails.

Instead of locking the state inmates up, local probation officers and sheriff’s used their management authority to simply release thousands of inmates on an unsuspecting public.

And predictably, those actions have had tragic results.

In Northwood, four people were murdered by a suspect who was just released from prison under Kennedy’s mandate.

In San Diego, recently released inmate Joseph Todd Hall murdered his younger brother.

His own mother tried to warn authorities but they apparently said: “Hey the Supreme Court said we could dump this work load so who are we to question them?”

Ten other releasees are charged with a raft of serious crimes including attempted murder and the program has just begun.

Here are a few recent headlines in the U-T San Diego: “Man killed by police,” “Three men slain in unrelated shootings, gangs involved,” “S.D. suspect arrested for murder,” “Parolee crashes into home,” “Man driving stolen car arrested,” “Police arrest man who wrestled with officers,” ‘Imperial Beach scene of two armed robberies in an hour,” “Six men sought in armed robbery at San Diego State,” “Police seek help in Lincoln Park slaying,” “Suspect in apartment break ins arrested,” “Man wounded in Clairemont shooting,” “Bicyclist stabbed three times,” “Girls groped by man,” “Armed men rob pot shops in City Heights,” "Robbers take restaurant cash register,” “Award offered for robberies at ATM’s,” "Shooting victim found on Clairemont sidewalk,” “Police arrest robbers at Cash Plus Store,” “Mission Valley homicide investigated,” “Encanto homicide being investigated,” “Ipads worth 15K stolen from school,” and “Chula Vista woman wanted for kidnap.”

As a prior SDPD operations analyst, I can tell you these “blotter stories” are just the surface of the river of misery that is phoned into 9-1-1 each day.

After two decades of falling crime rates, the trend has now reversed.

The San Diego County 2011/2012 year-over-year data are these: total violent crime: 2,482/2,719, murders: 25/27, rapes: 130/172, robbery: 688/726, battery: 1,639/1,794, property crimes 14,160/15,286, burglary: 2,785/2,782, theft: 8,585/9,371, car theft: 2,790/3,133.

Mark my words, things will get worse next year but the rationalizations have already begun.

The police, who just a few years ago were touting their outstanding work will now say that don’t have enough staff.

People who think “Les Miserables’” is sociology, and not fantasy entertainment, will blame the economy by fatuously claiming that criminals have no choice but to steal.

The truth is, as the data repeatedly shows, crime is committed by criminals. Criminals constitute a small percentage of our population.

The share a common psychological variable, they lack self control. If they see a dollar, car, woman, or anything of value not tied down, they will take it. They just don’t want to work or wait.

Look at California for the last three decades. Throughout the 1960s, an out-of-sight crime rate kept us prisoners behind window bars in our own homes.

Tens of thousands of fellow Californians were murdered, maimed and mauled.

When the legislature finally got some sense and built and adequate number of prisons and got tough on sentencing, the crime rate fell through the floor.

Now those same inmates are being released in great numbers so the crime rate is jumping up and will continue to do so for the next decade until a bunch of new legislators learned what our class did back in the 1980s.

The indisputable statistical fact is: the reciprocal of the crime rate is the incarceration rate. Since crime is committed by criminals, when they are locked up, the crime rate goes down. When they are released, the crime rate goes up.

In the past, I took strong exception to the fuzzy intellectual nonsense put forth by radical San Diego State University and University of San Diego professors claiming inmates are victims giving voice to the soft on crime crowd.

In all their rantings, they never once mention the horrible price that crime victims pay for the savagery of those coddled by criminal gadfly Lawrence Hinman, of USD, and fellow traveler SDSU Professor Paul Sutton and his buddies on campus.

Add death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean, who apparently failed a chapter or two in Bible school, into the mix and perhaps all three could explain to Carol Tesch, mother of the slain half-brother of released inmate Joseph Todd Hall, why it is alright that her murdered son is dead.

Shame on all three of them for the pain their activities have and will needlessly bring to Californians.

Kindness to criminals is cruelty to victims.

Stirling, a former U.S. Army officer, has been elected to the San Diego City Council, state Assembly and state Senate. He also served as a municipal and superior court judge in San Diego. Send comments to larry.stirling@sddt.com. Comments may be published as Letters to the Editor.

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