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MISSING FROM TRUMP SOTU SPEECH: MENTAL HEALTH. (Op-Ed)

This Op-Ed by yours truly appears in today’s issue of Florida Today.

President Trump’s recent State of the Union address covered a myriad of topics, all vital toward improving life, liberty and happiness in a world rife with poverty, violence, crime, terror and more. Absent from his to-do list was any mention about government’s role in dealing with the epidemic of serious mental illness.

     We blindly turn our backs to this tragic problem as though it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t make a lot of noise. It gets little attention. There are no protesters or demonstrations. The media doesn’t cover the problems nor do bleeding heart groups. Politicians skirt the topic with a minimum of attention because mental health is not a priority and garners no political steam, left or right. Besides, it’s difficult to quantify. It makes no difference to any political base.

     The medical field does their part in numbing psychotic people with prescription medicines, which only works if the patient 1) does not abuse the drugs, 2) does not sell the drugs or 3) fails to take the drugs. But it does not solve and/or cure the illness. It’s a means of getting by.

     But

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THE TRUTH BEHIND THE BORDER WALL RESISTANCE

It’s all about power.

     Donald Trump is not the first president who has railed against rampant illegal immigration. He is not the first to support the building of a wall/barricade along the Mexican border. It is not just a Donald Trump issue. It’s an historical American issue supported by both sides of the aisle over the years. Until now.

     Hmmm.

     In 2006, the Secure Fence Act was passed by congress allowing for the construction of nearly 700 miles of border barriers, i.e., walls, fences. The vote passed in the senate, 80-19.  Could that happen today? Among those who voted for the bill were Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. Anyone can check Youtube and find several examples of those notables on the left who, 10-20 years ago, made speeches in support of a border barrier.

     According to the Department of Homeland Security, half of the 2000 mile Mexican border is already protected from mass migration due to terrain. With roughly 700 miles complete, that still leaves 300 or more miles of open borders that need fixing or else the caravans will continue and illegal immigrants will never cease swarming into our country.

     The

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NOT ALL SEX OFFENDERS ARE THE SAME (OpEd – Florida Today)

Marshall Frank, Community columnist Published 11:03 a.m. ET Dec. 31, 2018, Florida Today

Florida Bar Association President Michelle Suskauer recently penned a column published in FLORIDA TODAY about needs for reforming the criminal justice system. In her piece, she focused on a number of important issues about mental health, curbing recidivism, re-entry, sentencing and much more.

Missing among these targets for reform, however, is the ever-present quagmire dealing with sex offenders, a topic most politicians and justice officials prefer to ignore. Suffice to say, the very term “sex offender” presents a vile image that calls for eternal condemnation of anyone within that category. When offenders finish serving time, they are required to register for life within law enforcement, even if they were not predatory. This goes for the federal as well as state systems.

A young man aged 19 who engages in consensual sex with a 15-or-16-year-old female will wear the Scarlet Letter for life, forever banished from living in specific locales within a certain distance from schools, parks, bus stops, or anywhere where youngsters gather. This doesn’t mention the inability to get jobs or housing because the condemnation is far reaching. That 19-year-old offender will sustain a life sentence even if not

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THREE STEPS TO MAKE A MURDERER CONFESS: CNN article

POSTED 9:49 AM, MARCH 28, 2014, BY CNN WIRE  

I recently came across this article that was published 4 years ago after I was interviewed by a CNN reporter. He basically had heard about me through my books and articles on policing and asked for a phone interview. 

     There’s certainly more to the story, as they say, but the content had to be wrapped up in a word count. 

    Mainly, it is about one cop’s experience and views about dealing with serious felons from whom we seek to elicit a confession.

     Enjoy the article. Go to the link below.

Link to article:    3 steps to make a murderer confess | FOX31 Denver

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH OR SHOOTINGS WILL WORSEN (Op Ed)

(This article by yours truly appears as an op-ed in Florida Today this date)

Since the latest mass shooting tragedy took place in a bar near Los Angeles on Nov. 7, leaving 13 dead, the usual pundits are heard repeating the same explanations we’ve been hearing for decades. They say the main culprit are guns, guns and guns. As people are able to obtain them, the more crazy shootings we can expect.

Maybe we need to take a second look.

It’s easy to solve a problem with elements we can see and touch and quantify, such as  guns. It’s not so easy when the root problems are buried within demented minds of afflicted human beings that are difficult to identify until a tragedy occurs.

Sure, some killings are based in religious zealotry, others are triggered by substance abuse or politics. But by far, the most glaring explanation is rooted in mental depravity, a problem which is not so easy to see, touch or quantify. But it’s a significant part of the American landscape, from sea to shining sea, which has only worsened over the last five decades. But what is America doing about that? Not much.

In February of 2018,

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VIOLENT CRIME IN CITIES: AN AMAZING DISCOVERY

An interesting crime statistic:

The top ten cities in America for rates of murder per 100,000 are as follows:  (Per FBI stats)

  1. St. Louis, Mo.      –   59.8
  2. Baltimore, Md       –  57.8
  3. New Orleans, La.  –   41.7
  4. Newark, NJ  –   33.3
  5. Milwaukee, Wi.  –   24.2
  6. Wash. DC    –    24.1
  7. Chicago, Il.  –  23.8
  8. Kansas City, Mo.  –  23.0
  9. Cincinnati, Oh     –   22.1
  10. Memphis, Tn –   20.5

If you wanted to see the next 10 cities on the list, it would be:

  1. Oakland
  2. Atlanta
  3. Pittsburg
  4. Philadelphia
  5. Indianapolis
  6. Miami
  7. Cleveland
  8. Stockton
  9. Buffalo
  10. Houston

New York City with the highest population by far (8,537,673) is far down the list with only 3.4 killings per 100,000

While I was going through this research, I stumbled on another interesting crime stat pertaining to rape.  Top five cities are as follows (per 100,000):

  1. Anchorage  –  171.6
  2. Cleveland, Oh  –  124.0
  3. New Orleans, La  –  104.0
  4. Aurora, Co.  –  97.7
  5. Columbus, Oh   –  95.1

     New York City?  Way down the list at 14.0

My next focus, following these crime trends, was to research the local government make-up of cities with high rates of violent crime, particularly city councils and mayors, who have the most influence on policy and

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THE DOWNSIDE OF HARSH SENTENCING

 

I applaud reality star, Kim Kardashian for embarking on a mission convincing President Trump to commute a woman’s prison sentence who had been serving mandatory life plus 25 years, for her role in a Tennessee drug ring. Alice Johnson, age 63, is a mother of five who admitted her crimes for which she was sentenced by a federal judge in 1996.

     Mrs. Johnson had petitioned President Obama for clemency in 2014, but was denied. Hers was a significant drug crime, but also a first offence. During her prison time, she was considered a model inmate.

     While president, Barack Obama issued nearly two thousand clemency orders for inmates serving non-violent offenses. I was no fan of President Obama, but I do think he was right to address the issue of harsh and mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes.

     Mrs. Johnson certainly deserved prison time. But relegating a human being to life without a chance of parole, except in the most egregious of crimes, is barbaric. If Mrs. Johnson, and others like her, remained in prison until age 90 or 100, costs to the taxpayer would be enormous.

     Elderly people in prison is becoming the norm, not the exception. According to Wikipedia

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