Five years ago, TTAG reported, “The Detroit News has a stunning if not entirely coherent report on the criminal state of the state’s criminal courts. The problem: heavy case loads leading to light sentences for violent crime leading to more crime leading to a heavier case load.” Yesterday, freep.com reported that “U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade noted that her office, with the help of a Department of Justice grant, has hired two new prosecutors who will exclusively handle gun cases.The goal is to reduce shootings and overall gun violence as the city of Detroit has seen between 1,400 and 1,600 fatal and non-fatal shootings per year over the last three years.” So . . .
Will two new federal prosecutors actually prosecute perps who commit firearms-related crimes to the full extent of the law, or will they resort to the “aggressive plea bargaining” reported back in the day? Leading to, well, nothing very much in the way of crime reduction, really.
But this time Detroit Mayor Mike Duggun is vowing – vowing I tell you! – to lock-up offenders. Duggun wants the bad guys to know that, this time, the City’s serious. So he’s spending taxpayer money to tell potential perps that very thing. mlive.com picks up the story . . .
Someone arrested with a gun who has three prior violent felonies could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison.
“Felon + Gun = federal prisons,” two accompanying billboards, one at Interstate 94 and Conner on the east side, and another at Southfield and Grand River on the west side, will say.
CrimeStoppers of Michigan is assisting with a TV advertising campaign that shares some of the same information.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by up to five years in prison. Sentences go as high as 10 years in the federal system, though McQuade said it’s “typically” between two and four years.
Anyone who uses a gun in commission of a felony faces an additional five years in prison under federal prosecution, with up to 25 additional years for a second offense.
Did you catch that bout about “could be sentenced”? And the admission that plea bargaining is already part of the bargain? And what of the idea that warning gang bangers that gang banging could land them in jail? Is that what passes for a deterrent in a city with 1600 [documented] shootings per year? Not to mention some 13 major gangs including Los Zetas.
Despite the fact that Dugggun called a press conference to announce the “crackdown” (as mlivd.com calls it) Hizzoner certainly doesn’t sound optimistic.
“We may not have the resources to get everybody right now,” Duggan said, “but we do have the resources to go after everybody who uses a gun … We’re going to make it much less pleasant when you are arrested.”
McQuade said many criminals are “absolutely shocked” when they learn the extent of the sentence they could receive for merely carrying a gun.
McQuade says there will “always be frustrations with how the system works” in regard to criminals with lengthy histories being released and recommitting violent crimes.
“Our goal here is to figure out how we can work within that system and do the best we can,”
God forbid they should change the system.