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TRUMP’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM SHOWS RESULTS (OpEd)

This OpEd by yours truly appears in the June 24, 2019 issue of Florida Today.

 

Most people are not aware of the First Step Act, signed into law by President Trump in December of 2018. It is a major achievement in improving the criminal justice system, long overdue.

This law seeks to incentivize prison inmates to participate in training programs targeted at increasing opportunities once released. Participation can earn as many as 47 days per year knocked off their sentences. Inmates also earn lighter sentences while ensuring, after release, they will become a productive member of society.

We all want to see criminals pay their debts for committing crimes, particularly violent felonies. No argument there. But imposing extreme sentences on people who will spend 20 to 50 years behind bars does nothing to rehabilitate. Rather, it further reduces opportunities for ex-inmates to become productive citizens.

Some want to see criminals enter prison for decades. But we forget that most of those inmates will be coming out one day, with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Not everyone has family members or friends. Not all have support systems. Many are released without any source of income.

Ricky L. was

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HARD TO JUDGE: PARKLAND SCHOOL OFFICER

 

Op-Ed Published June 13, 2019, in Florida Today

 

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

That’s one way to sum up an analysis of Broward School Resource Officer Scot Peterson’s behavior, or lack thereof, as to why he did not take appropriate action when a crazed shooter went on a shooting rampage at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, killing 17 kids and adults, and wounding 17 more. After all, taking action was his job.

Peterson, age 56, with a 30-year law enforcement career behind him, has now been charged with 11 counts of criminal misconduct including culpable negligence, perjury and felony child neglect. Upon being arrested and fired from the job, the judge set a modest bond at $39,500. If convicted on all counts, Peterson could conceivably be sentenced to 97 years in prison.

What did he do? Nothing.

That’s the problem. Rather than take action, even if it meant risking his life, he took no action other than communicating on radio. This is a case of someone being charged with a crime for what he didn’t do, not what he did do. Several news reports relate how Peterson walked outside of the building, as multiple gunshots

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WHY I AM AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY

Op-Ed published in Florida Today, March 31, 2019.

Marshall Frank, Community columnist

Friends and readers generally tag yours truly as a conservative, though I do view some issues with a liberal lean. Capital punishment is one of those issues.

I’m no bleeding heart. During my 30 years with Miami-Dade Police, 16 working homicides, I was witness to hundreds of premeditated killings, gore, deadly riots and inhumanity of people killing other people. For those who plot and carry out grisly murders, I believe they should receive the harshest of punishments. But not death.

Who decided death to be harsh? Is it harsh when an inmate pleads for a rapid end of life, as did Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing? Is it harsh when we condemn our pets to die by a needle because it’s “humane?” Is eternal sleep a punishment?

The new governor of California recently made news by banning executions for all its 737 death row inmates. In fact, California has not executed an inmate in 13 years.

There are many reasons to halt executions. The top of the list is the fear and probability that even one innocent human being may be, or has been, executed. That probability is

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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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