Tag Archives: Hans Bader

Committee Kills Bill to Release “Good Behavior” Murderers

by Hans Bader

Voting along party lines, a legislative committee in Virginia’s Republican-controlled House of Delegates voted 5-to-3 yesterday to kill a bill that would have allowed a large proportion of the state’s murderers to seek release from prison.

The bill, SB 378, would have allowed Virginia prison inmates to seek release from prison after 10 or 15 years if they hadn’t committed a specified “disciplinary offense” in the preceding five years, or if a soft-on-crime prosecutor or judge waived such “behavioral standards.” Progressives argued that the bill should be approved because everybody deserves a second chance. Conservatives opposed the bill, saying that it would increase the crime rate and reopen old wounds for crime victims. The Democratic-controlled state senate had passed the bill on February 15. Continue reading

Many Criminals Don’t “Age Out” of Crime

by Hans Bader

Supporters of releasing criminals from prison make misleading claims. They say criminals age out of crime, and usually don’t return to crime after being released from prison. But a recent report of the U.S. Sentencing Commission shows how misleading these claims are, chronicling how most violent offenders return to violent crime after being released.

On February 10, the Commission issued a 116-page report titled “Recidivism of Federal Violent Offenders Released in 2010.” Over an eight-year period, violent offenders returned to violent crime at a 63.8% rate. The median time to rearrest was 16 months for these violent offenders. So, most violent offenders released from prison committed more violent crimes. Even among those offenders over age 60, 25.1% of violent offenders were rearrested for violent crimes.

Supporters of cutting sentences for violent offenders claim otherwise, even advocating that serial killers be eligible for release after 10 or 15 years. The ACLU of Virginia claims that “most people ‘age out’ of crime. By the time a person has been incarcerated for 10-15 years … they have matured significantly” and likely are safe to release. Similarly, the Virginia Grassroots Coalition claims that keeping violent offenders in prison for many years doesn’t “make us safer” because “violent crime is strongly correlated with youth.” And Families Against Mandatory Minimums claims that “long sentences” are not “necessary to keep us safe.” Continue reading

“Second Look” Bill Would Cut Sentences for Violent Criminals

by Hans Bader

The District of Columbia has a violent crime rate that is five times Virginia’s. In 2018, the violent crime rate was 995.9 per 100,000 inhabitants in Washington, D.C., compared to only 200 per 100,000 in Virginia.

Yet some politicians want to make Virginia more like the District of Columbia. A bipartisan bill would give Virginia a more extreme version of one of Washington D.C.’s most controversial pro-crime policies: “second look” legislation. A second-look law lets judges cut sentences for criminals, or release them, after they have served 10 or 15 years — no matter how serious the crime they committed. Even if a criminal has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering several people, he can be let out after 10 or 15 years if he files a petition seeking release, and convinces the judge that he has been rehabilitated.

The Virginia bill would let inmates who have committed even the most violent crimes such as murder seek release after ten years in prison if they committed the crime before age 25, or after 15 years in prison if they committed their crime after turning 25. By contrast, Washington, D.C.’s law allows only people who committed their crimes at under age 25 to seek release, after they have served 15 years in prison. Continue reading

Morrissey Proposes Extending Parole to Most Violent Offenders

by Hans Bader

State Senator Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, has proposed legislation to make parole available to even the most violent offenders, including those who were given shorter sentences due to the lack of existence of parole at the time they were sentenced. The proposal includes a bill to make parole available to all types of offenders at all ages (SB 112), a bill to make parole available to all offenders who committed crimes as juveniles (SB 110), and a bill to make parole available for people who committed crimes before age 21 (SB 109).

Legislation making parole available to offenders of all ages was proposed but not approved in 2021. It might pass the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate this year, but is very likely to die in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates. So SB 112 is likely to die.

Senator Morrissey’s other bills, aimed at paroling more youthful offenders, have better prospects for passage, but still have a good chance of being defeated. Continue reading

Schools Closing Because Teachers Don’t Like Child Care Options

by Hans Bader

My school system in Arlington County is needlessly closing today. Supposedly, the reason is the “weather,” but the school system admits that actually, “the primary and neighborhood roads in Arlington are clear and our schools are ready.” Why then, are they closing? Because some teachers have kids, and some of those teachers complain they are having difficulty finding decent childcare options for those kids! As the lawyer Clark Neily notes, “they’re going to go ahead and pass that inconvenience on to us — while billing us for the privilege, of course.”

This is the same school system that is considering getting rid of grades on homework and allowing constant lateness and retakes on work. The school system claims that is about promoting “equity,” but eliminating grading also reduces work for the teachers, which may be something their union wants (on the other hand, allowing retakes is probably something teachers don’t want).

As I explain at this link, abolishing grades for homework will result in students studying less and learning less. The Arlington school board can be reached by email (at school.board@apsva.us).

Below is the Arlington Public Schools school closure notice: Continue reading

Arlington Schools Likely to Abolish Graded Homework in Name of “Equity”

by Hans Bader

Students learn less if they don’t do their homework. And many of them won’t do their homework if they aren’t graded on it. But in the name of “equity,” the Arlington County Public Schools are likely to abolish grades for homework, which will result in students studying and learning less. Arlington is also considering letting students have “unlimited redoes and retakes on” assignments they fail, reports ABC Channel 7.

The Washington Post’s Jay Mathews discusses these proposed changes in his column, “Abolishing grades on homework will hurt the neediest kids”: Continue reading

Schools Say They Teach CRT, Even As Journalists Deny It

by Hans Bader

Schools are teaching critical race theory, even as liberal education reporters deny it is taught anywhere, and falsely claim it is not taught in even a single school system.

Detroit’s school superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, says critical race theory is deeply embedded in his school system: “Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory, especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. We were very intentional about … embedding critical race theory within our curriculum.”

His school district is not alone. Twenty percent of urban school teachers have discussed or taught critical race theory with K-12 students, as have 8 % of teachers nationally, according to an Education Week survey. The Seattle public schools employed a critical race theorist as part of the district’s efforts to embed the theory in elementary schools.

“Unequivocally, critical race theory is taught in K-12 public schools,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher, noting he wrote a research paper detailing numerous instances of school districts openly using the phrase “critical race theory” in curriculum plans. Continue reading

FEC Asked to Investigate McAuliffe’s Foreign Donations

by Hans Bader

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, was hit with a campaign finance complaint on Friday over a $350,000 donation he received from a foreign-owned company linked to overseas money laundering probe.

The National Legal and Policy Center requested that the FEC “promptly investigate” whether the donation to McAuliffe violated federal statutes prohibiting political campaigns from accepting donations from foreign nationals.
“Terry McAuliffe has a history of accepting foreign contributions. The FEC must fully investigate these serious charges that he accepted $350,000 in illegal foreign contributions for his current campaign,” said NLPC lawyer Paul Kamenar.

LycaTel LLC gave McAuliffe $350,000 in July. The company is a New Jersey subsidiary of a Sri Lankan national’s England-based telecom conglomerate, which has been the subject of fraud and money-laundering charges in France. Continue reading

COVID Did Not Cause the Spike in Richmond Murders

by Hans Bader

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) suggested a spike in murders in Richmond is due to the coronavirus. But it isn’t.

VCU Medical trauma surgeon Michael Aboutanos said VCU is experiencing a 121% increase in gunshot-wound victims from across the Richmond metropolitan area. In response, Senator Warner cited the effects of COVID-19, the “frustration of people not being able to get back into the community, the frustration with schools being shut down. But 120 percent increase, month over month over last year? If that doesn’t scream epidemic, I don’t know what does.”

But the coronavirus epidemic affected the whole world and shut down schools and community institutions in many countries. Yet the United States was almost alone in having a huge increase in homicides. Most of the world saw reductions in homicide rates in 2020. Continue reading

Virginia Likely to Reinstate Parole for Murderers

by Hans Bader

Senator Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, predicts that Virginia’s senate will vote to bring back parole in 2022 — “across the board,” meaning for even the most serious crimes, such as murder. Restoring parole could increase the number of murders, rapes, and robberies in Virginia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

A movement to reinstate parole in Virginia could hinge on the outcome of election results next month. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe has indicated willingness to support expanded parole …. While many Democrats support reinstating parole broadly in Virginia, Republicans generally oppose it. The Democrats hold a 55-45 seat edge in the House of Delegates. … The issue will be debated in next year’s General Assembly session.

“I will be introducing a bill that will reintroduce parole across the board,” said Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond. “I think it will pass [the] Senate Judiciary [Committee] and … the full body.” Democrats control the Senate 21-19. Senators are not up for election until 2023. But Morrissey said he predicts a possible roadblock to parole expansion in the House, where he thinks Republicans will make gains in the Nov. 2 election. … Virginia created parole in 1942 and abolished it in 1995, passing a “truth in sentencing” law among other criminal justice measures in an effort to reduce high crime rates…. Continue reading

Harsh Rhetoric Does Not Justify FBI Intervention

Image credit: bravenewworldmedia.com

by Hans Bader

Speech doesn’t become a “threat” just because a government official calls it that. Yet the National School Boards Association got the Justice Department to open an investigation after labeling parents’ speech as “threats and acts of violence” when it occurred in controversies over “critical race theory” and “masking requirements” in the public schools.

As the Washington Examiner notes, “A few of the most outrageous examples of these ‘threats and acts of violence,’ according to the association, include a man filming himself while calling school administrators and another man labeling a school board as ‘Marxist.'” The NSBA’s letter lists as an example of such threats and violence, “A resident in Alabama, who proclaimed himself a ‘vaccine police,’ has called school administrators while filming himself on Facebook Live.” Continue reading

Closing School Rewards Bad Behavior

by Hans Bader

Sometimes teenagers make school-shooting threats to trigger school closures and avoid class. School authorities make such bogus reports more likely by closing school — rewarding the person by giving him he wants. Most threats recorded in the K-12 School Shooting Database are “not credible threats of violence,” note researchers.

Today, Arlington County encouraged threats and bogus reports by closing Washington-Liberty High School after receiving an anonymous call falsely “claiming that there was a shooter in the building.” Officials closed school before 9 a.m., moving the students like my daughter to a “secure location” — a public park where they could have been mowed down en masse by a shooter had he actually existed. But the school system waited until 10:03 a.m. to notify parents like me of the school closing.

The 10:03 AM email read: Continue reading

Closing Schools Made Children Fatter, More Vulnerable to COVID

by Hans Bader

Many kids became fatter when schools closed to in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. “Overweight or obesity increased among 5- through 11-year-olds from 36.2% to 45.7% during the pandemic, an absolute increase of 8.7% and relative increase of 23.8%,” noted the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That’s making the effects of the pandemic much worse. “The evidence linking obesity to adverse COVID-19 outcomes is ‘overwhelmingly clear,’” say health experts. More than half of all people hospitalized for the coronavirus are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Children very rarely die of the coronavirus, but they can suffer a lot from it, especially if they are fat. Obese people are much more likely to require hospitalization when they contract the coronavirus.

“Pediatric COVID-19 cases are surging, pushing hospitals — and health care workers — to their breaking points,” reports Time Magazine. New Orleans is one of America’s fattest cities, and is located in one of America’s least vaccinated states. Predictably, Children’s Hospital of New Orleans (CHNO) is facing a surge in hospitalizations. Continue reading

Yes, CRT Is Being Taught in Schools

Ibram Kendi

by Hans Bader

On July 15, a Reuters fact-check claimed that “many Americans embrace falsehoods about Critical Race Theory.” But it is Reuters that embraced a falsehood, not the American people.

Reuters denied that Critical Race Theory teaches that “discriminating against white people is the only way to achieve equality,” saying that was a “misconception” promoted by “conservative media outlets.”

It’s not a misconception. It’s the explicit position of the most famous exponent of critical race theory, Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi. The “key concept” in Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist is that discrimination against whites is the only way to achieve equality: “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination,” writes Kendi in that book, a New York Times bestseller touted by many progressive journalists. Continue reading

Amazon Donates CRT Book to Arlington Schools

Ibram Kendi

by Hans Bader

Amazon donated hundreds of copies of a racist, error-filled book by a critical race theorist to Arlington County public schools. In doing so, the Seattle-based company helped poison young minds and taught high-school students falsehoods about America’s history and politics. It did this at the urging of a school official in Arlington.

The Free Beacon reports that “Amazon spent $5,000 to distribute hundreds of copies” of “Ibram X. Kendi’s book ‘Stamped’ to Virginia public school students.”  The “key concept” Kendi teaches is that society needs to discriminate against whites to make up for past discrimination against blacks. Kendi says, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” Kendi once wrote an op-ed suggesting that white people are aliens from outer space.

Amazon, which is building its East Coast headquarters in Arlington, donated the copies of Kendi’s book after “Amazon employees reached out to Arlington Public Schools as part of ‘NeighborGood,’ a program to donate $100,000 to schools and other institutions that ’empower black voices and serve black communities.’” Continue reading