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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.

30 Responses to Detroit to Crackdown on “Gun Violence.” Or Not.

    • Why is a person with 3 violent felonies out on the street at all? Prisons too full of people who pulled the tags off couches to keep the thugs locked up?

      “You kill one more person and we are gonna have to take the kidd gloves off Jerome.”

  1. “Our goal here is to figure out how we can work within that system and do the best we can,”

    Like Baltimore?

  2. Detroit’s population has declined from 1.8 million during its heyday to 680,000 in 2013. Which means that these shootings are an important part of population control.

    Keep it up, Motorless City, until your pop is down to zero and the whole area can be repurposed for some use that’s actually productive. And maybe you can get Kwame Kilpatrick to run it.

  3. Lots of double talk that means nothing. Politics as usual. When will the people of Detroit catch on that this guy is an idiot and vote for someone that really cares and will make a difference ? How can this be happening in a city with so many restrictive gun laws ? Just proves that taking away the rights of law abiding citizens to own and/or carry guns has made absolutely NO difference in crime, homicides or violent deaths. How mind disabled does anyone have to be to NOT see this as a fact ?

    • How can this be happening in a city with so many restrictive gun laws ?

      Michigan is “shall issue,” open carry is permitted and state preemption applies. On gun friendliness, MI ranks below Louisiana and above Oregon — and that was before Oregon’s new UBC.

      • Building on what Ralph stated, I believe Detroit frequently leads the nation in justifiable homicides. That there is an armed populous in action!

        Oh, and we cannot forget Detroit Police Chief James Craig encouraging Detroit residents to get concealed carry licenses and tool-up!

        • In some of the not so nice areas there are cheap little signs planted in the grass. There are cash for cars, cash for houses, we buy gold/pawn shop, and the most popular, CPL Classes signs. Detroit is not restrictive when it comes to guns, which is why I know the above fact in the first place. Hipsters and immigrants have carved out their territory as well, the ghetto keeps shrinking as houses burn down and gangsters are rolled away in bags. The problem with Detroit is if you don’t like gambling or sports the best part of Detroit is twenty minutes north of downtown (and not in Detroit at all). It’s hard to rebuild a city no one wants to be in.

    • I’m not a huge fan of it either, but if you’ve seen the gross mismanagement of MI 36th District Court and the state of the jails, you would agree that any “help”, federal or otherwise, is desperately needed.

  4. Do you think maybe the problem is nothing is done before three violent felonies? Really, THREE priors and then you decide it’s time to get tough? Wow!

  5. I know US Atty McQuade very well. She is good people and is trying. This is a political call above her pay grade and zip code

  6. Here’s the evidence I’ve been harping about. The justice systems embraces a revolving door. Justifies their existence, keeps courts and corrections busy.

    People don’t wake up and decide to become criminals, criminals are wired to do bad. Lock up bad people and crime goes down. Don’t need s PhD. to figure that out.

  7. Someone arrested with a gun who has three prior violent felonies could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison.

    Why is a person out in society after three violent felony convictions!!!!!

    God forbid they should change the system.

    They cannot change the system — all those people going to prison are a substantial percentage of their voting bloc!!!!!

  8. Sound like Detroit is doing everything rf always preaches:

    1) encourage legal armed self defense (see previous articles about police chief)
    2) prosecute him crimes per the laws on the books.

    You can criticize the double speak all you want, but they are damn near doing everything the owners and authors on this site always preach about. You will never escape politics when dealing with politicians, but hey, it’s a start…and its logical to boot. A politically correct way of saying the .gov is going to be tougher on gangbangers and thugs.

    Don’t like the idea of having the Feds involved, but again, it may be the best option.

  9. I don’t know how it is in the rest of the country, but here in WA, they stopped issuing actual food stamps several years ago, on the grounds that it was humiliating for the users to pull them out in a grocery store. The replacement looks like a credit card, to be less conspicuous.

    At least nine out of ten people I bring to jail have one of those cards. Since jail sentences are so light, I would love to see a mandatory loss of the card, or housing assistance, or some kind of loss of unearned and unappreciated social welfare handout for every conviction. Scare people way worse than more jail time.

    • That would have the opposite result of what you want: people without the resources provided by the card would just do more crime.

    • Another main rationale for the switch to EBT cards was that paper food stamps had become a currency, with their own exchange rate against the dollar. If I recall correctly, they traded $0.50 on the dollar. People used them for all sorts of transactions, as you can well imagine. That’s not something you can do with the current card system.

      • Unfortunately, that’s not true. Go to any low income neighborhood grocery store and watch the EBT card fraud. Person A with the card buys the groceries for person B who did all the shopping. Person B pays person A a negotiated percentage of the amount charged on the card. Typically 50%.

        The two parties usually don’t know each other and the one with the card will approach other shoppers until she strikes a deal.

  10. I live in the city of Detroit, and I have been activily advocating for better PD as well as Fire and Rescue response, but I’m not stupid. My neighbors and I are all armed, and practice shooting often. Here’s my reply to the mayor in the Free Press as well as WXYZ TV:
    “So how will we collect these criminals if DPD won’t come when we call? A neighbor called DPD yesterday as he felt threatened by a cousin of his estranged girlfriend who was walking around the block with a gun. No one came so he called another neighbor who then called me and we kept an eye out for any trouble. DPD never came. If DPD always waits until shots are fired and people hurt, how is this helping us? -a frustrated citizen.”

    • Stay armed and vigilant. The police have already showed that they don’t have to protect anyone. I live in Macomb, in a very nice neighborhood but still carry 100% when not at work.

  11. Actions will speak more than the words.

    Or as that famous philosopher Tuco said, “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

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