Tag Archives: Seattle Municipal Court

Seattle/King County finally have a plan to address repeat offenders: Will cost just an additional $5M taxpayer dollars

I’m no bureaucrat but couldn’t law enforcement and judges just enforce current laws and hand out stricter sentences rather than releasing these perps? Yet that solution wouldn’t allow these progressive politicians to abuse more taxpayer dollars.

As I’ve told you in many posts, the Seattle/King County area is notorious for releasing repeat offenders. These repeat offenders have one thing in common – homelessness.

A report released this past March showed that of the 100 repeat violent offenders in the study, ALL were drug addicts and homeless. Around 40 percent had severe mental illness. A month after the report was released, 40 of the violent offenders had been arrested again and booked in jail, for a total of 43 times.

Seattle and King County already spend MILLIONS (around $200M annually; the 2019/2020 budget is even more) of taxpayer dollars to try and solve the homeless crisis.

But that’s not enough money. It’s NEVER ENOUGH.

Apparently the local bureaucrats have finally started to listen to their constituents and are now proposing a new idea to address the repeat offender crisis that results in criminals going through the revolving door of the King County Jail: A $5.4 million “suite of programs” to end this cycle.

Excerpts from the Seattle Times story about this brilliant new plan:

“Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes, along with county Executive Dow Constantine and County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, announced four programs focused on providing more places for this population to get treatment, as well as more incentives for them to seek that treatment.

In response, Durkan this spring convened a work group that included members of law enforcement, courts and public health. Thursday’s recommendations are a partial outcome from that work group, but many of the measures will need to be approved as part of upcoming city and county budgets.

The recommendations would cost the city almost $3 million, while the county would kick in $2.4 million. The programs could come online late this year or in early 2020, Durkan and Constantine promised.

The proposals are focused on trying to close gaps in the system that prevent these offenders from getting treatment and services, and not merely locking them up, as some have called for.

“Simply going with an incarceration model is not going to cure the high rates that we’re seeing,” said City Attorney Pete Holmes. “That is appropriate for certain populations but it’s not going to solve the problems that we see on a larger scale on our streets.”

The city and county said they will work together to fund a 60-bed treatment center, with case-management and behavioral-health services available, in the West Wing of the King County Jail at a cost of $4 million for capital, and $800,000 for annual operations — costs that will be split evenly between the city and county. A low-barrier homeless shelter has been open in the jail since the spring.

Durkan also proposed putting $170,000 toward a new probation program in Seattle Municipal Court focused on interventions such as shortening sentences for an offender who’s willing to get into treatment; this would be in addition to $120,000 from Seattle Municipal Court.

The mayor has also proposed hiring an additional assistant city attorney focused on overseeing these efforts and assessing whether they work, at a cost of $150,000.

You can read the whole story here and how they plan to meet the needs of the law-abiding citizens criminal population.

Do you really believe that these bureaucrats are going to be able to solve their repeat offender situation for just $5.4 million when they can’t even put a dent in their homeless crisis with $200 million?

I wouldn’t bet $10 on that because that’s a guaranteed loser bet.

DCG

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How many convictions does it take for Seattle City Attorney to place a homeless criminal in jail after his latest assault?

City bureaucrat, I mean attorney, Pete Holmes

We may never know what Seattle City Attorney Peter Holme’s magic number is because, apparently, one having 72 convictions – including 14 felonies – is not enough to warrant your butt being thrown in jail for ANOTHER assault.

As I’ve noted many times in the past, the city of Seattle does not hold the homeless accountable for their criminal actions. See examples here, here, here and here.

Why do the Seattle demorat bureaucrats allow this criminal behavior? My guess is they don’t want their official crime statistics to show any kind of correlation between the increase in the homeless population and an increase in crime. They also have a vested interest in keeping the homeless industrial complex alive.

A homeless man was recently arrested for sucker-punching a man on the street. The perp, Francisco Calderon, is a 55-year-old who was recently released from state custody. Calderon has been homeless and unemployed for decades and his rap sheet includes 72 convictions (that record includes 14 assaults).

According to the story from KOMO News, Calderon has been under the supervision of the Department of Corrections 14 times. The perp is also a known drug user.

So for Calderon’s latest sucker-punch attack (a 4th degree assault charge) what did the city recommended as a punishment?

The city wanted a plea deal in which the perp with 72 convictions would undergo a mental health evaluation, enroll in a drug treatment program and have two years probation. The perp would be released back onto the streets because he already had time served.

Fortunately, Seattle Municipal Court Judge Ed McKenna put a stop to this nonsense and sentenced Calderon to 364 days in jail stating, “I’m not sure I have ever seen a more significant history of violent offenses. Everything in that criminal history tells me that he’s a violent offender and is going to re-offend.”

Read about the city’s intent to give freedom to this perpetual homeless criminal at the KOMO story here.

Given all the details of Calderon’s past, it will make your blood boil that a public official would endanger the lives of his fellow citizens by giving a man with 72 convictions a chance to run free and injure another person.

DCG

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Seattle is a “fair” and “just” city for all, quashing outstanding warrants for low-level, non-violent offenders

Mayor Durkan: Making Seattle “fair” and “just” and safe…

On Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that the city would be purging warrants for over 200 low-level, non violent offenders. From her tweet: “I am joined by @carmenbest @CityAttyPeteH and @CMLGonzalez as we take another step to make Seattle a more fair and just place for all.”

More details from the city’s press release:

“Today Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, City Attorney Pete Holmes, Councilmember M. Lorena González, and Chief Carmen Best filed a motion at Seattle Municipal Court asking the Court to consider quashing over 200 outstanding warrants for people charged or convicted of low-level non-violent misdemeanor offenses that occurred 5 to 22 years ago.  The City is taking these steps to help address inequities in Seattle’s criminal justice system and to protect public safety (not according to this report) by ensuring that law enforcement can focus on more serious, violent offenses.

The vast majority of the 208 pre-dispositional and post-conviction warrants are for people charged or convicted of Prostitution (107 people) and for Driving with a Suspended License in the 3rd Degree (73 people), which is commonly known as “driving while poor.” The Seattle City Attorney’s Office filed charges on these misdemeanor cases between February 1996 and July 2013. The motion also asks that the pre-dispositional cases be dismissed.

“If you haven’t re-offended after 5-plus years of a warrant being issued, I’m comfortable asking the Court to dismiss your warrant,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. “Public safety is well-served in this action, as this clears the field to allow officers to focus on finding those people who’ve committed more serious offenses. Further, people with a cleared warrant will be much more likely to engage with police, report crimes they may witness, and get on with their lives.”

“We’re acting to make Seattle a more just city, to recognize that our criminal justice system disproportionately impacts people of color, and to ensure that our officers can focus on the most violent offenders and protecting public safety,” said Mayor Durkan.

Other warrants that the motion requests be quashed includes Graffiti (10 people); Attempt to Obtain Controlled Substance (5 people); Prostitution Loitering (5 people); Minor in Possession of Alcohol (3 people); Use of Drug Paraphernalia (3 people), and Park Code Violation (2 people). No felony offenses are included in the motion.

The warrants addressed in the motion are primarily for post-conviction warrants, which are issued after a defendant was found guilty at Seattle Municipal Court but failed to appear for a subsequent hearing. Pre-dispositional warrants are issued after a person doesn’t show for a court-ordered appearance prior to the Court’s or jury’s finding on the defendant’s alleged offense.

“Outdated, low level warrants do not make our communities safer, but instead can cause harm, particularly in communities of color,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.

The 208 defendants included in today’s motion are not required to appear or take any action as the Court considers their outstanding warrants. 111 of the warrant holders are male, 96 are female, and one is unknown. 101 of the warrant holders are White, 73 are Black, 9 are Asian, 5 are Native American, and 20 were not identified.”

Don’t kid yourself that this will have any real impact on public safety and the ability of law enforcement to focus on more serious, violent offenders. They can’t even keep up with the crimes committed by the homeless. See the following:

This is a “feel good” PR stunt by the major touted as “social justice” with progressive, flowery terms such as “justice” and “equality.”

In reality the city just – once again – selectively excuses illegal behavior while punishing law-abiding citizens.

DCG

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