Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Harvestor of Sorrows

The next time someone tells you that California is "tuff on crime," remember this guy. Curtis Martin killed his girlfriend Zolena Williams and then threw her two year old son into the Bay to drown. I don't want to shock anyone with the obvious, but this was not the first time Martin was in trouble for beating up women and killing kids: Murder Suspect Dodged Prosecution twice in '08

The parolee suspected of killing an Oakland woman and possibly her young child was arrested twice in 2008 for allegedly violating a restraining order obtained by a previous girlfriend who said he had beaten her and threatened her 13-year-old son, court records show.

Alameda County prosecutors, however, never brought charges against Curtis Martin III, 38, who had already served five years in state prison for beating a child to death, the records show.
It's an article of faith among the progressive and enlightened ones that CA is an especially cruel state because of its Three Sttikes law and crowded prisons. So what put Curtis Martin out on the streets after just 5 (!!) years for beating a child to death? The family is outraged as they should be: that a man like this was out on the streets was a complete betrayal, and not just by the state. The community activists and progressive legal eagles who claim to act on behalf of families like the Williams insist that men like Martin be freed from prison on every possible pretext. Supposedly, this is done to promote a more just society, but the practical result is an injustice to the innocents in the neighborhoods where criminals end up hanging their hats. This is one of those areas in life where the conservative way of doing things - long prison sentences, support for the police, an end to procedural rules that absolutely favor defendants - would lead to better results: safer streets.

No doubt the conservative position is insufficiently nuanced, and would not protect everyone at all times. But the spectacle of a man killing a child after he had already been convicted of killing another is something that we, and the Williams family, don't really need to endure.

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