Saturday, February 19, 2005

Failings of Scott Newman

The Top Ten List of Newman's Failings
[or how history should remember him]

1. Established "no tolerance" or "red zones" throughout Indianapolis where misdemeanants were prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This was often Indy's poorest and neediest citizens who could not afford legal help. In fact, many or those arrested were severely mentally ill or mentally retarded.

2. Publicly waged a "war" against the top ten misdemeanor persons. Eight of the ten were mentally ill or mentally retarded. All were without resources to defend themselves. At least three of the ten would die within two years under mysterious circumstances.

3. Publicly waged a "war" against the parents of underaged criminals, again who were almost aways poor and uneducated.

4. Disregarded the use of "prosecutor discretion" and sought the most severe penalties for the smallest of crimes. Again this was almost always at the expense of the poor, disabled, or ill.

5. Waged a public war against the homeless. Sought to arrest the homeless on a variety of enhanced charges when they were caught in some of the trendy areas downtown. All were poor and many were mentally ill, disabled, or retarded.

6. He was a major contributor to the problem of jail overcrowding by dragging his feet on the most minor of charges and forgetting the need to punish the dangerous.

7. Refused to investigate the flaws of the previous mayor's bidding process when "privatizing" city government functions.

8. Refused to investigate alleged bribes to the former sheriff, including one "gift" of a new sports car. Link 1

9. Refused to participate in any program to explore racial injustice in the system.

10. Refused to investigate the corruption in the local republican party and it got so bad that the federal authorities had to step in. The federal investigation continues

Public Debate

Critical remarks about the above comments.

1) Unproven. Please provide evidence as to the 'many' were mentally ill or retarded. Also please provide evidence as to 'war on the poor' as a strategy. A memo from the prosecutor's office with something like 'I hate poor people.' will suffice.

2) Please provide evidence. See above.

3) While it is true, criminals often come from poor backgrounds, I do not see the attempt to prosecute them as an attack on the poor. Lawful poor people were arrested and prosecuted?

4) This is the prosecutor's job. People want to see criminals punished. It is the judge and the jury who should grant mercy with justice.

5) Evidence?

6) The prosecutor does not allocate funds. That is the job of the city-county council. Go argue with them. The prosecutor does not magically create money from his ***.

7) Maybe. Or maybe that was not under his control, but rather a matter for the state to investigate.

8) Maybe. Or maybe he also refused to investigate allegations that Santa Clause was real. Perhaps Prosecutors should require some evidence before they go off spending taxpayer money on 'allegations'.

9) Maybe. Or maybe he just refused to participate in any system which was setup only to show racial injustice in the system, even if none existed.

10) Maybe. Or maybe he was just letting the Fed's investigate rather than duplicate effort.

Here's what I have for you.

1) Maybe you're an idiot. Or maybe you're not. But you're not providing any evidence that you're not.

Response to Critical Remarks

You ask a lot. I could spend the rest of my life finding the facts for you. Those in the know, or who worked closely with Newman, know the above to be true. Just for you though, I will promise to keep looking for the required evidence and post it ...somewhere...even if it is years in the future.

Meanwhile, I will try to address the above concerns.

Newman is/was a disciple of a sociologist whose basic theory was that you take care of the small crimes that infringe on the quality of life, you get rid of the big crimes. I will look for his research and provide a link. I believe he was associated with the Hudson Institute. Many have argued that one of the main components of a lessening quality of life is the mentally ill running amok in a community. Some would argue that maybe Newman was just trying to shame the larger system into doing something about the problem.

Item by Item comments:

1. At any given time, more than 20% of the persons in the jail are severely retarded or mentally ill. IT is a proven fact. Get a print out of who was in jail. 90% would be there just awaiting trial because they could not afford bail. Most were/are there because of nuisance crimes and a lack of tolerance by the community. The weak and helpless are just easier to prosecute than a normal person. They don't fight back.

2. This was in the newspaper. They are now charging for research or their archives, but I will try to get to the library to get a print out. The three dead are Albert Mitchell, George Murphy, and Alonzo Scott. This three by themselves had a totalt of over 1000 arrests in the previous ten years prior to being placed on the top ten list. All were mentally ill. All were poor. All were black. All died mysterious deaths. Mitchell died on the street, drunk, face down in a gutter. No one was arrested. George Murphy's body was found dumped and wrapped in a carpet with a bullet wound to the head. To my knowledge, his murderer has never been arrested. Alonzo Scott died after a beating in jail. No one was arrested. As I said, most of the list was mentally ill. It will be hard to publish their names without the official list.

3. Yeah, what ever you say. No innocent person is ever arrested. Those with means can defend themselves better.

4. You must know of the concept of discretion. The judge has to rule on the charge. For almost any crime, there are a range of possible charges. For example, having sex with a drunk girl who was unable to give consent. The charge could be sexual battery or rape. With sex battery there is just a brief range of possible sentences. With rape, the range of sentences could go to life. It is the prosecutor who makes this decision. Going for harsher sentences just because a defendant could not defend himself seems wrong.

5 The homeless were ran out of certain areas or put in jail. Newman fancied himself as a Rudy Gulanni [sic] type who tried to copy some of his actions in New York City. One of these were the panhandling laws. If a person was seen in certain areas, around certain people, they could be assumed to be panhandling and arrested.

6. If 90% of the people in jail at any given time are awaiting trial on their charges, one could argue that the prosecutor certainly has a say in this. The backlog was caused by Newman wanting the max out of the most trivial charges. The tax payers had to pay for this.

7. It was under his control Look at the current articles about Gov. Daniels trying to get a special department or "super prosecutor" to investigate such crimes in counties. Many county prosecutors don't prosecute their buddies. Daniels' new prosecutor could go after these fellows even when the county prosecutor would not. No one can do it now, except the county prosecutor. Marion County is not the only one with this problem. It just has the biggest politicians and the most money involved. [ read here ]

8. There is ample evidence for an investigation and prosecution. How come he did not even appoint a "special prosecutor" to look into it? All doubt of impropiety would have vanished. Here

9. Arguing about racial injustice is not good. Either you believe it happens, or you don't. You seem to believe it doesn't exist, and there is no use arguing this point. You are entitled to your opinion.

10. Maybe we should give all law enforcement over to the federal authorities. At least they follow some rules of justice.


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