The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Judith Coburn Archive
America’s Criminal Injustice System
The Annals of a Private Eye
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Once upon a time, I was a journalist, covering war in Indochina, Central America, and the Middle East. I made it my job to write about the victims of war, the “civilian casualties.” To me, they were hardly “collateral damage,” that bloodless term the military persuaded journalists to adopt. To me, they were the center of war.

Now, I work at home and I’m a private eye — or P.I. to you. I work mostly on homicide cases for defense lawyers on the mean streets of Oakland, California, one of America’s murder capitals.

Some days, Oakland feels like Saigon, Tegucigalpa, or Gaza. There’s the deception of daily life and the silent routine of dread punctured by out-of-the blue mayhem. Oakland’s poor neighborhoods are a war zone whose violence can even explode onto streets made rich overnight by the tech boom. Any quiet day, you can drive down San Pablo Avenue past St. Columba Catholic Church, where a thicket of white crosses, one for every Oaklander killed by gun violence, year by year, fills its front yard.

Whenever I tell people I’m a private eye, they ask: Do you get innocent people off death row? Or: Can you follow my ex around? Or: What kind of gun do you carry?

I always disappoint them. Yes, I do defend people against the death penalty, but so far all my defendants have probably been guilty — of something. (Often, I can only guess what.) While keeping them off death row may absolve me of being an accessory after the fact to murder, it also regularly condemns my defendants to life in prison until they die there.

And I find spying on people their ex-spouses fantasize about killing much sleazier than actual murder. Finally, I’m a good shot, but I don’t carry a gun because that’s the best way to get shot.

I work on the low-profile cases: poor people charged with murder, burglary, or robbery, who don’t have the money for a lawyer or their own P.I. (I’m paid, if you can call it that, by the state.)

Then people invariably want to know: How can you help defend a murderer? The law school answer is: the constitution guarantees everyone a fair trial.

For me, however, if it’s a death penalty case, it’s simple: I’m against the death penalty no matter what the accused did (or didn’t do). But in this age of stop and frisk, racial profiling, mandatory sentencing, the death penalty, and life without parole, not to mention execution-by-cop, the real answer is: I can’t. Defend anybody, that is. Not really.

I’m just a tiny cog in America’s vast Criminal Injustice System. One of the lawyers I work for sometimes calls himself “just a potted plant.” My defendants may be guilty — but seldom of what they are charged with. They are rarely convicted of what they actually did and are never sentenced fairly.

“He Snapped”

One day recently, I was getting ready to hit the Oakland streets in search of a witness to a murder when I found in my email Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in the Supreme Court Case of Utah v. Strieff. It had been forwarded to me by a psychologist with whom I once worked on a death penalty case.

Anyone lulled into thinking the new coalition of liberals and conservatives who hope to reform the criminal justice system will actually get somewhere should read Strieff. The facts are the following: a Salt Lake City cop was watching a home rumored to house methamphetamine dealers. When Edward Joseph Strieff left the house, the cop stopped him, questioned him, and checked his record. When the cop found a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket, he searched Strieff, found meth in his pockets, and arrested him for possession of drugs. In Strieff and other cases leading up to it, the Supreme Court has now decreed that evidence gathered in an illegal search isn’t “the fruit of the poisoned tree” as Justice Felix Frankfurter put it in 1939, and so no longer must be suppressed. Even though gathered illegally, evidence can be used at trial against a defendant.

In short, stop-and-frisk policing and racial profiling, key targets of the new civil rights movement, just got a stamp of approval from the highest court in the land.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan also dissented. But it was Sotomayor who sounded the alarm in an opinion evoking nothing less than James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and adding quotations from W.E.B. Du Bois, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Michelle Alexander for good measure.

She wrote:

“The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: this case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic war­rants — even if you are doing nothing wrong. If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arrest­ing you on the warrant. Because the Fourth Amendment should prohibit, not permit, such misconduct, I dissent.”

And she concluded:

“This case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be catalogued.

“We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are ‘isolated.’ They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere.”

Sotomayor’s dissent describes daily existence for my defendants. Too poor to buy car insurance, fix broken tail lights, pay parking tickets, or get green cards, they are always on high alert for the police. (Alice Goffman’s brilliant study, On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, describes just how it works in one of Philadelphia’s poorest neighborhoods). My defendants have been sentenced to life in a war zone even before they find themselves charged in court. They have been sentenced to a life without parole or sometimes to death, caught as they are in a crossfire between cops and warring neighborhood gangstas.

A warrant for, say, unpaid parking tickets discovered in a Strieff-approved stop gets you a search of yourself and your car by police and maybe a bust for weed, the intoxicant of choice for many of the poor. If you object or run or the arresting officer is having a bad day, it may get you dead. (Refusing to pay protection money to your neighborhood punks or standing on the wrong corner at the wrong time may do the same.)

Once you’re arrested, if you say you want a lawyer, you get a public defender with so many cases she or he may not even be able to meet you or read the complaint against you before you appear in court. You may serve weeks or months in jail, even if you’re innocent, before your case is heard, and years before you are tried.

A district attorney (DA) has a whole police department to use to investigate a crime (although the Oakland Police Department, which I’m often up against, solves only 27% of its murder cases, and so is not exactly the most formidable of foes). A recent investigation by the East Bay Express reveals that many Oakland cops are too busy hooking up with underage prostitutes on Facebook and screwing them in police cars to solve murders. But if a DA needs to find a witness, the OPD’s army of street cops can often locate him through their CIs (confidential informants), or they can pull him in on a warrant for those unpaid parking tickets, threaten a drug bust or revocation of his parole or probation, or hold him as a material witness if he resists cooperating.

At best, a defendant gets just me — and most of the accused don’t get an investigator at all. The landmark 1963 Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright may have given poor defendants the right to an attorney, but there is no legal right to an investigator (except in death penalty cases). And unlike a DA, no one has to talk to me or face trouble with the law. I have no muscle. But I have been known to find a witness who doesn’t want to be found and nag him or her into submission.

In the last 10 years, in cases mostly in Northern California, among scores of people I’ve helped defend, only three have been white — and they were as destitute as the poor blacks and Latinos who jam American jails and prisons.

Defense teams I’ve been on start off by guessing if and why the accused might have done what he’s charged with. It’s human nature to do so. But if the accused is pleading not guilty, it’s better not to know.

“I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t there,” one death penalty lawyer I work with regularly says to shut off such speculation. As for the why, the shrinks often can’t help, even if you call on them to testify. Decades of research into the criminal mind often comes down to: “he snapped.” That’s not a good line for a jury, but it’s the kicker to many a defense meeting.

“It Ain’t Just, But That’s How They Do”

In a real trial, the truth of what actually happened doesn’t matter anyway. Only the truth of the evidence counts.

Are poverty, racism, and a desperate childhood a defense? Prosecutors love to face this argument. They get on their high horses and trot out the American dream and all the poor people who suck up their rage and despair and don’t murder someone.

All the folks who don’t snap.

But in California, what might have caused someone to snap isn’t admissible at trial anyway, except in death penalty cases. A “diminished capacity” defense was abolished in 1981 after ex-San Francisco Supervisor Dan White used one to beat a murder rap for killing Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The jury bought his lawyer’s argument — which came to be known as the “Twinkie defense” — that White was addled by junk food when he killed the two of them. It ignored evidence that White intended and planned the murder, taking his gun to City Hall, climbing through a window to avoid metal detectors, and reloading it after first shooting Moscone.

These days, only in the penalty phase of a death penalty case — when the jury decides whether the defendant they’ve just found guilty will face capital punishment or life in prison without parole — can defense lawyers present evidence of the tragic facts of the defendant’s life. The jury may then hear of his years in foster care, his Mom the crack addict, his Dad absent in prison, and the older brother who initiated him into street life. Only then will the jury be asked to see the accused as a person with a life beyond the crime with which he is charged. The defense will finally replace a prosecutor’s blown-up mug shot of the defendant and Facebook screen shots of him showing off a gun with family photos of him at his sixth birthday party decked out in a silly hat and others of his toddler and baby mama.

Most jurors don’t much like this defense. They assume it’s just an excuse. But it’s not. It’s an explanation.

Take Larry. He’s an OG (original gangsta, or old guy), a 50-year-old African-American man who grew up in dire poverty in Deep East, Oakland’s most murderous neighborhood. Larry has symptoms of schizophrenia but has never been able to get real mental health care. He’s been living, on and off, with his mother who is also schizophrenic in Acorn (“The ‘Corn”), one of the toughest housing projects in West Oakland. His mother is too afraid of its gangbangers to leave her apartment. Larry recently told a counselor at a walk-in clinic for the poor that he thought he had PTSD from all the shooting and killing he’s witnessed.

Like many poor Oaklanders, he makes his meager living in the underground economy, dealing small amounts of weed to regular customers who phone him on his cell. While cell phones have made it possible to sell drugs without the turf battles of the past, The ‘Corn is ruled by a gang of young punks called The Acorn Mob and their rivals, The Gashouse Team. The Mob doesn’t just support itself moving guns or drugs. It also makes money ripping off small-time dealers like Larry, demanding protection money from neighborhood people, and robbing the elderly when they cash their social security checks.

Like many poor people living on such mean streets, Larry is always looking over his shoulder. A simple walk down the block might mean being rolled by The Mob, accosted by police, or caught in the crossfire of someone else’s feud.

In early 2012, Larry’s life dropped off a cliff. His brother died of cancer; his daughter died in a freak case of emergency room malpractice; he witnessed a friend gunned down in a gang battle; and he was robbed at gunpoint on a street near The ‘Corn. Meanwhile, the Acorn Mob was stepping up pressure on OGs like Larry to pay them protection money.

As Larry tells it, one morning that August, two of the most vicious Mob gangbangers dogged him on the streets around The ‘Corn, demanding to know when he’d take up a collection from his OG buddies to pay them off. He took shelter along with his crew in a friend’s apartment in one of the project’s towers. When he told his friends about the latest threats, the group debated what to do, damping their fears by smoking weed and drinking mai tais.

Later, near dark, Larry and his friend Arthur wandered over to the local liquor store to buy the cigarillos they filled with weed to make blunts. On the way, the same two Acorn Mob punks who had accosted them earlier that day threatened to kill Larry if he didn’t come up with some money fast. Larry and Arthur sought refuge in the store, but one of the young thugs followed them inside. The other waited outside the door.

Larry had had enough. He snapped. He grabbed an old handgun Arthur carried for protection and ran out of the store. He says he fired once, hoping to scare off the two of them. That started a volley of wild shots. When Arthur’s gun jammed, Larry ran back inside the liquor store. As soon as the shooting stopped, Larry and Arthur split the neighborhood. Somehow in the melee, one of the Acorn mobsters was shot and later died at the county hospital.

Larry and Arthur were arrested some months later. Larry was charged with murder and Arthur with being a felon with a gun and an accessory with knowledge of a crime. Word on the street was that the victim had been killed accidently by his own cousin, the gangsta who had followed Larry into the liquor store. Even the victim’s stepfather told me he believed that. But no witness — and there were many standing outside the liquor store during the melee, including several of Larry’s buddies — would come forward. They all had records, were doing drugs, and were afraid of the police.

Six cartridges from one gun and a single cartridge from another were found in the street near the body. Neither gun was ever found. The victim had suffered a “through and through” wound, which meant there were no bullet fragments to match to a particular gun anyway.

California’s self-defense and provocation laws — unlike Florida’s “stand your ground law,” which figured in George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin — are very strict. Larry’s lawyer worried that a judge would rule self-defense couldn’t be justified because Larry had fired the first shot (even if it was, as he claimed, in the air). His possible PTSD, the recent dire tragedies in his personal life, the pressures of Oakland’s mean streets, the fact that his mind was addled by weed and mai tais — all would be irrelevant in a California trial.

So Larry didn’t have the luxury of a Twinkie defense. He feared a jury. No poor person gets a jury of his or her peers. Few poor people are called for jury duty because the lists of potential jurors are made up from voter and drivers’ license records; few poor people living the fugitive life vote and many don’t have a driver’s license. Coming to court might mean being stopped and frisked by the police. (I’ve had a defense witness arrested on a warrant while waiting to testify outside court and others who have been followed home by the police after they showed up to support a family member on trial.) No prosecutor would permit anyone on a jury who’s led the kind of life Larry has — someone with a drug record (even if 20 years old), or who understood life and death in Oakland’s war zones firsthand.

Larry feared mandatory sentencing, which severely restricts a judge’s ability to vary a sentence by taking into consideration mitigating facts in a particular person’s life like Larry’s clean record for the last 20 years, his possible PTSD, or the daily grind of violence in The ‘Corn. That meant he was facing 25 years to life if convicted of murder. For defending himself. For firing one shot when it wasn’t even clear who had killed the victim.

Larry took a plea to a killing he may not have done. Voluntary manslaughter with a mandatory sentence of 12 years in prison.

The Acorn Mob youngster who threatened Larry in the liquor store that August night and probably fired the fatal round was soon arrested for many armed robberies and sent to prison for 15 years.

I saw Larry right before he left the county jail for prison. I apologized for not being able to defend him. He thanked me for trying and added, “It ain’t just, but that’s how they do.”

Judith Coburn, after decades as a journalist writing for the Village Voice ,Mother Jones , the Los Angeles Times , the New York Times , andTomDispatch, among other media outlets, became a private eye 10 years ago, specializing in death penalty cases.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Crime 
Of Related Interest
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...
Hide 18 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Oh, FO. The entire country is afraid to go out at night because of black crime, it costs the economy hundreds of billions if not trillions annually, in security measures, long commutes, and housing people can’t really afford but buy just to get away from your clients, to list a few examples. And we’re supposed to feel sorry for them? Seriously, just FO.

    unlike Florida’s “stand your ground law,” which figured in George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin

    As Zimmerman was getting his head bashed in at the time of the shooting it was basically irrelevant. You almost have to laugh at the racist hypocrisy of a liberal who condemns Zimmerman’s supposed vigilantism but tries to sell the one-shot-in-the-air defense here. Almost.

    • Replies: @Captain Willard
    , @Marty
  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    If you (the author) are getting paid by the State, then I, as a taxpayer, want a refund.




    Sorry for the caps, but this lying has gone from ridiculous to criminal.

  3. @anon

    If one fires at the intended target and misses, technically it was just a “shot in the air”. Sadly, I have fired many similar shots “in the air” at sporting clays competitions.

    Other than that, I agree entirely with your post.

  4. Outwest says:

    I grew up in a town much like Oakland –lots of poverty, Mafia, corrupt cops and government. But it was a good place to grow up. Other than chop shops the gangsters didn’t bother the civilians –they just killed each other. The ordinaries were good people who worked hard and raised their kids for better things. The difference from Oakland were the people.

  5. “This case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time.”

    I’m all for it.

  6. “The entire country is afraid to go out at night because of black crime . . .”

    I’m not and I don’t personally know anyone who is.

    “. . . it costs the economy hundreds of billions if not trillions annually, in security measures, long commutes, and housing people can’t really afford but buy just to get away from your clients, to list a few examples.”

    How much does it cost you to live and work away from Oakland, CA? Or any such city?

    “And we’re supposed to feel sorry for them? Seriously, just FO.”

    So if, by your argument, the cost to steer clear of the criminal elements to which you AND THE AUTHOR refer, how difficult do you think it would be to try to steer clear of those elements when you’re penniless and schizophrenic and living there? Is it not possible that among that sea of criminal riff raff that there are not people who genuinely wish they could get away? Like this 50 year old man’s mother who won’t even leave her apartment because of all the thugs?

    “As Zimmerman was getting his head bashed in at the time of the shooting it was basically irrelevant. You almost have to laugh at the racist hypocrisy of a liberal who condemns Zimmerman’s supposed vigilantism but tries to sell the one-shot-in-the-air defense here. Almost.”

    Zimmerman and Martin were likely from the same cloth, as Zimmerman’s repetitive exposures of thuggery demonstrate. I have no desire — or need — to associate myself with either of them. But in the case of the author here, she’s exposing how easily it is for ALL OF US to fall foul of the law now that the law is in violation of the fourth amendment. It’s amazing how so many people such as yourself are willing to allow low-life criminals destroy YOUR constitutional rights, as well as the rights of your kids.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  7. woodNfish says:
    @Cletus Rothschild

    Zimmerman’s repetitive exposures of thuggery demonstrate.

    Yeah, you must mean this kind of thuggery:

  8. woodNfish says:

    The truth about blacks and cops is that black culture is degenerate and destructive. Blacks are their own worse enemies and have only themselves to blame for it. And cops are trigger happy thugs and probably 70% of them are actual criminals and psychopaths, 20% are incompetent and maybe 10% are okay, but only a fool ever fully trusts a cop.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  9. On the one hand, I’m not a fan of stop and frisk without probable cause. Permitted to go on indefinitely, it will eventually be used against everybody. If I claim the right not to be harassed by cops without cause, I’m willing to grant it to others.

    On the other hand coming out of a suspected crack house might have been considered reason for an ID check even a generation ago, in average guy thinking if not also in law. Where a stop of a pedestrian walking by would not be so considered.

    The warrant check is justified, or not, on the same basis.

    My concern is cops going beyond these norms. If they stay in them, I’d be fine.

    Once the warrant is found, there’s your cause for search, even if its something trivial like unpaid traffic fines. Law-abiding citizens pay fines and don’t have outstanding warrants for anything. If you can’t afford fines, obey traffic laws. Law abiding citizens also minimize their traffic violations, often to zero. If you can’t drive within the law, can’t afford fines, and can’t afford to keep the car in road condition, you should not drive and should sell the car. Take the bus. Plenty do.

    Or course, all of that is just the simple stuff one can do to not get searched by cops. Assuming the inability to do all those things and the increased exposure to search he then faced, Strieff could have considered not having an illegal substance in his pocket.

    On the matter of mental illness, there is a case to be made. Western societies and seemingly America in particular treat the mentally ill like crap.

  10. Also, this: ” Too poor to buy car insurance, fix broken tail lights, pay parking tickets, or get green cards, they are always on high alert for the police.”

    What does that green card reference mean? You mean there are illegals who can bribe their way to a green card once in the US? Or that only the better off can afford to immigrate to the US under US laws?

    Also, if you don’t have a green card and aren’t a citizen, why are you in Oakland or anywhere else in the US? Under those circumstances, you should be on high alert for the police. If only they were actively looking.

  11. I may have read Larry’s case incorrectly, but it sounds as though he only killed (or was firing when killed) some banger. Couldn’t that have been pleaded down to careless use of a firearm, illegal possession, and similar charges?

    Killing some banger on the street should be characterized as self-defence under some circumstances or as manslaughter or equivalent charge at worst insofar as the deceased is a player and a threat to the defendant, not a civilian. It’s not as though a regular person got killed.

    • Replies: @random observer
  12. @random observer

    Also, does California retain the felony murder rule? That would pretty much guarantee anyone involved and firing could be charged with the highest available related charge.

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Blacks were never culled by the cultural selection inherent in an agriculture society. In Africa, they were hunter/gatherers when suddenly their lives were interrupted and they were transported into an advanced agricultural society in the American South and the West Indies.

    Whereas Europeans had had centuries of cultural selection to shape their genome, blacks had only decades. The process of shaping their genome to be compatible with agricultural life was never completed. The Civil War interrupted the beneficial effects that life on the plantation had for the black man. Had the South have been left alone, the black man today, would be incomparably better adapted to modern life.

    What’s worse, while this sculpting of his genes was going on, the world was evolving beyond agriculture to a technological, manufacturing society which drew its strength from theoretical and practical science. So even if blacks had succeeded in adapting to agricultural life, they would have still been centuries behind whites, but at least they would have been in the game.

    Now, today, with blacks supported indiscriminately by social welfare programs and beyond the reach of careful eugenic breeding practices, their genome is reverting to that of their native state in Africa. They are regressing to savage hunters viz. knockout game, mass hunting parties raiding convenience stores, wild demonstrations in the street that resemble tribal frenzies etc. The worse part of their genome, which careful selection by Southern Planters had begun to breed out, is, because of random mating, proliferating.

    In other words, blacks today are worse off, if by that we mean having a genome that is selected for surviving in contemporary America, than they were 75 years ago. And, with the trajectory of current liberal social policy, they will in the future, become only more savage and even less assimilable.

  14. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    I never read such caca in my life.

    For one thing, this Judith Coalburn says she’s anti-death penalty. I never understood why death penalty is a bad thing. They say the state has no right to kill. Really? Then, why do cops have guns? And isn’t the statist power to wage war worse than death penalty? Death penalty only applies to the killer-criminal. But when state wages war, it kills many innocents in collateral damage. Worse, US has been waging wars that pose no threat to the US. Nations that never attacked the US. This Sotomayor bitch has no problems with Obama/Hillary’s wars on the middle east and north africa that have killed countless. She has no problem with US fomenting war in Ukraine that took 1000s. But she is so wound up about some meth dealer?

    If Supreme Court wants to do some good, it should take a case against the US government as a criminal-imperialist enterprise that destroyed entire nations. After all, the reasons US came up to attack Iraq and Libya are far flimsier than what cops do to nab druggies.

    Okay, some will say foreign policy isn’t what Supreme Court is about, so we can’t blame Sotomayor for ignoring foreign issues. But, she IS a political animal fully allied with the Democratic Party and Obama-Hillary-AIPAC-ism. She’s been making political statements all her life, and she has never attacked Democratic foreign policy that has been just as murderous as the GOP kind. She is not some neutral objective expert of law. She is a pompous dogula hag who sees herself as ‘wise latina’. And if she is such a constitutional purist on law and order, why is she for ‘affirmative action’ that is clearly discriminatory against whites and Asians(even in favor of African immigrants whose ancestors were not slaves in the US and in favor of even white Hispanics like Sotomayor)? Why is she for ‘gay marriage’? I mean where in the US Constitution is such nuttery allowed? And she would surely endorse Obama’s Dream Act that is breach of rule of law.

    And she must know that stuff like stop-and-frisk and etc are the product of Democratic urban renewal project that called for mass incarceration that took place under Clinton and continued under Obama. So, for her to scapegoat cops is totally bogus. Cops were pressured to get tougher on criminals cuz white libby-dibs or lilly-liverals were too chicken to deal with the problems themselves. They got cops to do the dirty work, but now that blacks are bitching, people like Hillary are covering their tracks by blaming cops and ‘white people’.
    But in fact, a lot of white people just let blacks run riot and take over the cities in the 70s and 80s. They gave blacks what they wanted. It was the lilly-liverals who wanted to revive the cities and make them into hipster whitopias. Since they were chicken and too proggy to confront black crime and violence, they called for more law and order and placed all the burden on cops. And of course, colorful homos and gentrification did the rest.


    Sotomayor loves to talk about the social context to broaden our understanding of ‘social injustice’, indeed even going so far to quote James Baldwin. If so, she should admit that the #1 reason for increased tension between blacks and police is due to white lily-liveral project of reviving cities. Many police departments put quotas on cops to arrest certain number of people.

    Cops didn’t come up with this policy on their own. They were pressured by urban politicians who were pressured by urban lily-liveral voters to DO SOMETHING ABOUT CRIME. Of course, these low-life lily-liverals want to have the cake and eat it too. They wanna seem proggy and do-goody and so compassionate toward Negroes. But they also want to push out dangerous blacks or have them locked up to have their whitopia. Look at Hyde Park in Chicago. Very rich and Liberal and totally surrounded by cops.
    I went there few times, and you can walk around peacefully with Jews, whites, Asians, and nice Negroes and not worry about the surrounding areas filled with the wild jaffers.

    Anyway, anyone who says the state has the right to wage war but has no right to kill murderers is a total baloner. So, US has the right to drop bombs and use drones to kill people all over(and kill innocent children in the bargain too), but it cannot kill a convicted murderer who told Richard Pryor he killed everyone cuz ‘they was home’?
    That makes no sense.

    Some say Death Penalty is wrong in the US cuz ‘too many’ black men are executed. But using that argument, even plain ole incarceration is wrong since ‘too many’ blacks are imprisoned. No matter what the punishment is, more blacks will be affected since more of them commit acts of crime.

    Indeed, the logic of proportional justice is behind the Obama administration’s cynical bitching about ‘too many black students are suspended from schools’. So, Disparate Punishment supposedly nullifies the need to suspend or expel bad students. Since ‘too many’ black students are affected, there must be other ways of ‘justice’. But going easy on nasty black students only encourages them to act worse, and things get worse.

    Now, I say Obama is being cynical because he knows why more blacks are punished. He knows. But since he’s spent most of his time serving Wall Street and homos and Zion, he has to show that he still has some street cred by throwing some symbolic gestures to blacks. It’s to show he ain’t no uncle tom. He thinks such gestures will placate the Negroes, but Negroes, being what they is, get the wrong message and get out of control, and then Obama has egg on his face. Obama is like Scatman Crothers in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. He figures on making a nice little deal with the loonies and get some free drink and hoors, but lo and behold, the mothafuc*as done messed everything up.

    Anyway, when it comes to blacks and the police, the Democratic elites are passing the buck. These lily-liverals, while mouthing proggy pieties, pressured the cops to clamp down on the Negroes, mainly to revive the cities. But now that Negroes are marching and yelling “we aint going to the back of the bus while homos get to sit in front”, the Globeral elites, the lowlife smugots, are trying to blame the cops for everything.

    I mean something has to give when your side (1) pressures police to get tougher, more aggressive, lock up more Negroes, and racially profile more ‘thugs’ and (2) encourages blacks to get angrier, meaner, nastier, and more self-righteous.
    Overtly, the Democratic elites indulge black rage and aggression. Covertly, they instruct the police and judicial institutions to get tougher with the Negroes.
    They act like the devious general in PATHS OF GLORY. Saying one thing, doing another. They are the most devious lowlife smug bunch of progots.

    Now, the case in which Sotomayor dissented. While I do see some merit in her argument, her conclusions are ridiculous or at least excessive. She says if the law allows this, then the cops can pull over and inspect just about anyone by using some bogus excuse like warrants for non-felony offense like parking tickets and etc.
    But she must know the government has been doing this forever. Right or wrong, it’s always been so. Take Al Capone. The government couldn’t get him on his crime(because snitches get stitches)*, so the gubment got him on tax evasion.
    Government always sets its eyes on certain targets, criminal or political. And if the government cannot get it on the suspected abuses, it will look for other reasons to bring it down. And no one seems to mind. US government especially does this in foreign policy. It set Iraq as a target. It tried to get Iraq by connecting it to 9/11. But there were no such connections. So, the government cooked up OTHER excuses. This is bad stuff, true. But US government has routinely done this.

    Now, Americans need more protection against government abuses, but most Americans, libby-dibby and connie-wonny, don’t mind the government using OTHER means to get people for what they are supposed to be suspected of. Suppose there is some drug cartel boss or some terrorist chief. Suppose government cannot get them on those specific charges but gets them on other unrelated charges… like tax evasion or something. Will most Americans care? No. They will praise the government for cleverly using OTHER means to get the bad guys. Or suppose some white guy defends himself from black thugs by using a gun. But suppose it turns out that the white guy made some ‘hateful remark’ in the past. So, even though he acted purely in self-defense, the prosecution charges him with ‘racism’ because of his creed, and he is sent to prison. Now, he may indeed hate blacks, but in the case in which he shot blacks, he may have acted ONLY in self-defense. But it doesn’t matter. If he is deemed a ‘hater’, even violence in self-defense will be used against him. This is clearly evil, but Libby-dibs in government and media seem to have no problem with such ‘justice’.

    At its worst, government will go after totally legal political organizations like the Tea Party. We saw what IRS and Lois Lerner did. And it never seemed to bother any lily-liverals. The kind of behavior they attacked Richard Nixon for is perfectly okay if Obama and Hillary do it. Sotomayor has never complained about all the horrible shit pulled by Obama. Ruth Ginsburg loves to opine outside the law, as she did recently about Donald Trump. If she’s such a humanitarian who loves to pontificate about world affairs, why is she silent on Obama’s wars in the Middle East and North Africa and Ukraine that killed scores of people and wrecked entire nations? Deep down inside, she must know US government and media spread lies to wage new cold war on Russia that is more ludicrous than anything in the real Cold War. But she is complicit in all this. She supports Hillary the new-cold-warrior over Trump the peace-maker because her main passion isn’t the constitution or rule of law but Zionist Tribal Supremacism. That wench. She looks like that hen in Foghorn Leghorn cartoons.

    Anyway, Sotomayor’s dissent is weak for this reason.
    The cop in the case didn’t just randomly target ANYONE. He had information that the suspect was possibly up to no good. So, the cop wasn’t being arbitrary and chasing down people for the hell of it just to abuse police power. He was informed that the suspect could be a drug dealer, and he acted on that suspicion.

    Now, if this cop had just stopped ANYONE in the middle of the street and did what he did, then Sotomayor’s dissent makes sense, and I would agree with her.
    But the cop was staking out the guy because of reports that something may be up. One could argue that a more professional or judicial approach could be taken. Like I said, Sotomayor’s dissent has some merit.
    But the idea that the ruling would mean that cops just stop anyone for the hell of it and then do a ‘illegal’ check is dubious.
    Besides, even if cops were given such powers, most of them would not do such thing because it would be pointless. It would be as pointless as patting down old ladies at airports.

    “Sotomayor’s dissent describes daily existence for my defendants. Too poor to buy car insurance, fix broken tail lights, pay parking tickets, or get green cards, they are always on high alert for the police.”

    Green cards? You mean illegals? Then, how about the US government help them GO BACK to their countries of origin. They shouldn’t be here in the first place.

    Also, poverty is a poor excuse. And cops don’t go after people because they are poor. Cops are most active in areas where there is a lot of crime, drug dealing, and etc.
    Cops don’t do much in poor communities with low crime(and there are many such places. Lots of low-income white, hispanic, and asian communities have much lower crime than in black ones, and cops mostly have no trouble with the folks there.)
    And I fail to see how communities will be hurt if cops catch and remove more criminals and drug dealers from the streets. I’d wager that poor US communities would be better off with the Cuban Castro-ite police force. Detroit would be safer if policed by Cuban Police that is ruthless in cracking heads.

    Rule of Law is important, but when it breaks down(as in many black communities and even ‘white trash’ communities), a kind of martial law is necessary to keep the order.
    We have to admit that parts of US are ‘failed states’ or ‘third world societies’.
    Indeed, before there was Rule of Law, there was Rule of Leviathon, like Steven Pinker said in Better Devils of Our Nature.
    If Sotomayor invokes the Dark Past to make her case, she is only half-right. It’s true that there was more police abuse against blacks in the past. But it’s also true that such tough policing made black communities safer and didn’t let the crazy negroes run wild.
    Black communities were safer prior to the 60s though more criminal than other ones.

    Black Pride gained over Black Prudence since the 60s, and the result was horrific.
    To be sure, it’s understandable why blacks were upset. Some of those ham-fisted Irish cops could be nasty. They had names Flannagan, had thick necks, and wispy white hair on their faces that look like pig bristles.
    But blacks went from calling for better policing and more justice to romanticizing every black thug who got killed by the police and every black thug who burned down entire blocks. Even in a pro-black movie like DO THE TRITE THING, the troublemaker is the Negroes. Even as Spike Lee tries to blame cops and whitey, he shows that the community would be safe and sound if not for rowdy Negroes who be yapping and crapping all the time.

    *snitches get stitches

    Speaking of this phenom in the black community(where those who tell the truth get jumped on or killed by thugs), don’t we have the same phenom in America as a whole?
    PC is about stitches for snitches. PC doesn’t beat up people and leave them bruised or killed, but it destroys the careers of those who ‘snitch’ the truth. Take Jason Richwine and Rick Sanchez, now famous cases. Richwine noticed the data and snitched that many immigrants have lower IQ. Rick Sanchez, though an ass, noticed that Jews are prominent in the media and make a dubious ‘victim group’ in today’s America.
    For their snitching of social truths, they got stitches alright. Richwine was hounded out of his job by the atrocious Jennifer Rubin(an admirer or Rachel Abrams who calls Palestinian children ‘savages’ and worse), and Sanchez was pretty much blacklisted from MSM for life. It’s just a genteel form of ‘stitches for snitches’. And James Watson got SFS-ed.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    Your’s is too good a comment to hide in this particular corner of the internet. This woman’s piece didn’t warrant your thorough reply. Good stuff, but wasted on a Pavlovian-conditioned mind like Coburn’s.

  16. Priss Factor [AKA "Anonymny"] says: • Website

    If it is ‘racist’ to say ‘all blacks are thugs’ because some blacks are thugs, it is also ‘racist’ to say ‘all whites are privileged’ because some whites are privileged.

    PC racially profiles ALL WHITES as privileged. Even those whites who have lost everything and are in the throes of White Death.

    Such racial profiling and vilification of ALL WHITES is the great crime of the 21st century.

    Such racial profiling leads to ZERO COMPASSION for poor white victims of black thugs. Since ALL WHITES are seen as ‘privileged’, even poor white victims are seen as ‘over-privileged whites who got their just desserts from blacks as noble victims.’ Since all blacks are racially profiled as ‘noble victims’, even its thugs are justified and lionized by PC. Since all whites are racially profiled as ‘privileged folks’, even poor whites who are attacked by black thugs are seen as ‘rich people who got just desserts from the have-nots.’

  17. Marty [AKA "Morty"] says:

    [Choose one handle and stick to it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, be prepared to see your comments summarily trashed.]

    Nights? I used to cross the bay almost every day to swim on the Berkeley campus. But black crime now keeps me from going to the east bay even during the day. Yes, liberal jerkoffs, I have been beat up by blacks in daylight, most recently at a BART station. By the way Judith, how many black lives do you think would have been saved if there had been a black exception to the Fourth Amendment these last 25 years?

  18. West Oakland?
    Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Judith Coburn Comments via RSS