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Law plans attack on gun crimes (Miami)
Miami Herald ^ | 6/28/03 | Elaine de Valle

Posted on 07/09/2003 6:26:13 AM PDT by Joe Brower

Law plans attack on gun crimes
BY ELAINE DE VALLE (edevalle@herald.com)
Jun. 28, 2003
Miami Herald

Local, state and federal law enforcement are coming together in South Florida to fight what they say are two of the biggest scourges of society -- guns and illegal gun-toters.

''Crime in general has decreased, but the amount of gun crime remains unacceptably high,'' South Florida U.S. Attorney Marcos Daniel Jiménez said Friday. ``We're going to attack gun violence with intensity and focus.''

That's where Project Safe Neighborhoods -- part of a national $234 million initiative unveiled last year by President Bush -- comes in.

The South Florida district has already received $1 million and stands to get another $1 million this year, Jiménez said. The money will pay for equipment -- such as computers to trace gun histories -- and additional staff to focus on gun violations, he said. State and federal prosecutors will take a joint look at all violent gun crimes and decide which can be prosecuted at the federal level, which generally has stiffer penalties than state courts.

RECENT CONVICTION

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine, for example, won the conviction last month of Emmanuel Marseille, a convicted felon who was arrested last summer after bragging to a confidential informant that he and his crew had netted $73,000 and a pound of cocaine in a home invasion. When Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents served a federal search warrant on his home, they turned up no guns -- but 19 bullets for a 9-mm semiautomatic.

While state law prohibits convicted felons only from possessing firearms, federal law bars them from having ammunition as well.

''The state could not have prosecuted that case,'' said Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis Pérez, who will oversee all Project Safe Neighborhoods federal firearms prosecutions.

Cases where only the state or the federal government has the authority to prosecute will be directed to the proper jurisdiction, regardless of whether the investigating agency is federal, state or local.

STIFFER PENALTIES

Federal courts also offer stiffer penalties for repeat offenders, convicted felons and career criminals who use firearms, Pérez added.

''Nobody that we pick up federally will do less than 15 years,'' he said.

Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said she was pleased to be working with the U.S. attorney's office on the most violent cases.

''We are going to be able to use the strongest laws available to us,'' she said. ``This project will really make a huge difference in the quality of life in our community.''

It has already made a dent in Broward County. Since January, the Fort Lauderdale U.S. attorney's office has prosecuted 21 cases involving violations of federal firearms laws -- compared with six cases during the same period last year, Jiménez said.

This week, that office indicted four firearms cases -- and seized more than 50 guns in the process.

In Miami-Dade, every arrest in which the gun was the primary part of the crime is scrutinized by specially designated federal and state prosecutors.

TO FEDERAL COURTS

So far, 83 gun cases have been reviewed and 12 have been funneled to federal courts, Jiménez said. He estimates that during the next year, at least 100 gun offenders will be selected this way for federal prosecution.

Prosecution will be only one part of the equation, however, Jiménez said. Part of the money will go to public-service announcements aimed at preventing more gun violence.

In one commercial, attorney Johnnie Cochran seems to be talking to a defendant in a dark cell, telling him that a good lawyer can get him out of almost anything.

Unless he uses a gun.

''Not even I can get you off,'' Cochran says.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; federales; guns; rkba

1 posted on 07/09/2003 6:26:13 AM PDT by Joe Brower
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To: *bang_list; AAABEST; wku man; SLB; Travis McGee; Squantos; harpseal; Shooter 2.5; ...
I could use some input on the article below, pros and cons. Nothing new; the article's author, Elaine de Valle, is obviously biased against firearms, as proven by the article's very first sentence, where she flat-out calls guns "one of the biggest scourges of society". Gee, ya don't say? I always saw the problem as the goblin behind the trigger.

I'm not familiar with South Florida U.S. Attorney Marcos Daniel Jiménez, but he certainly sounds like a zealot, so narrowly focused on "guns" that just about any use of them is a "crime". We know the type. I also tend to be leery of whenever federal involvement is invited into state-level legal matters, particulary when the criteria is "whatever provides the most massive penalities". Sort of like inviting an 800-lb. gorilla into your house -- rather difficult later when you decide it's time for him to leave...


2 posted on 07/09/2003 6:27:26 AM PDT by Joe Brower ("Oh, bother", said Pooh, as he chambered another round.)
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3 posted on 07/09/2003 6:28:01 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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Remember kids, commit your murders with knives. Be like OJ.
4 posted on 07/09/2003 6:31:15 AM PDT by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: Joe Brower
It seems they can't make up their mind whether they are going after violent crimnals and felons in possession, or are drifting into going after non-violent violators of technical firearms laws:

"illegal gun-toters" (that has been me, sometimes).

"the amount of gun crime remains unacceptably high"

"gun violence"

"additional staff to focus on gun violations"

"violent gun crimes"

"the most violent cases"

"21 cases involving violations of federal firearms laws"

"at least 100 gun offenders"
5 posted on 07/09/2003 7:01:13 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
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To: Joe Brower
It's like any other initiative that government in general and grabbers in particular undertake. They come along waving the flag of necessity (social security was for "widows") which becomes the toe in the door.

In two years after they're done rounding up all the creepy types described in the article, they'll be going after 40 year old men who were convicted of joy-riding when they were 17 because the have a 50 round box of .22 ammo in their tool box.

6 posted on 07/09/2003 7:07:46 AM PDT by AAABEST
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To: Joe Brower
With this article it is very hard to get to what the prosecutors are really after because of the author's obvious bias but if they are stricly ofcusing on violent offenders who have been caught with firearms it may be good. I can not really tell.
7 posted on 07/09/2003 7:08:31 AM PDT by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: Beelzebubba
It is easier to prosecute the average Joe who violates some obscure storage law than to go after the really dangerous criminals.
8 posted on 07/09/2003 7:19:29 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: harpseal
IMO, if a person is too dangerous to be trusted with a firearm, they are too dangerous to be let out of jail. The 1968 Nazi firerms law is unconstitutional.
9 posted on 07/09/2003 7:21:58 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: Joe Brower
So cutting to the chase...... they are going to put the gun in jail now vs the criminal ?:o)

Oh this is rich. About as rich as six foot up a bulls ass ! I'd like to see a policy established that says for every anti-gun federal dollar granted a like amount must be given to the constitutional RKBA educational effort . We'd be gazillionaires !!

But then I understand this is right next to "whirreled pea's" on my wish list so I'll just shutdaphucup !

Stay Safe Joe !

10 posted on 07/09/2003 7:33:40 AM PDT by Squantos (Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.)
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To: toothless
"Remember kids, commit your murders with knives. Be like OJ."

As I remind my fellow albeit liberal high school teachers from time to time...if Nichole Brown simpson had had my firearms course she'd be a rich widow today....

11 posted on 07/09/2003 7:35:23 AM PDT by ExSoldier (M1911A1: The ORIGINAL "Point and Click" interface!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
". . .if a person is too dangerous to be trusted with a firearm, they are too dangerous to be let out of jail."

Bears repeating.

12 posted on 07/09/2003 7:39:04 AM PDT by Badray (Molon Labe!)
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To: Joe Brower
Well, I missed this one. After the end of school I stopped my Herald subscription until the fall and opening of school. When the Miami Herald is part of your lesson plans...you tend to want to forget the commie rag during your summer off!

I live in Miami, and everything official in this area from Janet Reno protogege Katheryn Rundle Fernandez to the local Feds....is anti-gun. However, as long as they concentrate on bonafide criminals...this might not be a bad thing. They would be those "Goblins behind the trigger..." On the other hand, if the targets become CCW holders....still all in all, I doubt Jeb would allow such a shift in focus.

13 posted on 07/09/2003 7:40:49 AM PDT by ExSoldier (M1911A1: The ORIGINAL "Point and Click" interface!)
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To: Joe Brower
I agree that the author of the article is anti-gun, however this sounds very much like the "Project Exile" that the NRA supported in Baltimore that sought to aggressively prosecute criminals that use guns rather than prosecute guns.

The very article you post is highlighted on the NRA website here.

14 posted on 07/09/2003 7:40:56 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Joe Brower
Local, state and federal law enforcement are coming together in South Florida to fight what they say are two of the biggest scourges of society -- guns and illegal gun-toters.

Well let them lead by example and disarm all of the government's jack booted thugs.

''Crime in general has decreased, but the amount of gun crime remains unacceptably high,'' South Florida U.S. Attorney Marcos Daniel Jiménez said Friday. ``We're going to attack gun violence with intensity and focus.''

Hayzeus! I never realized that it was so much worse to get shot than to get cut. I should have realized it after all the "authorities" are always harping on "gun violence," but somehow I never was able to understand why violence using guns was any worse than any other sort of violence

15 posted on 07/09/2003 7:43:34 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: Joe Brower
"''Crime in general has decreased, but the amount of gun crime remains unacceptably high,''"

Translation: Their use of the scare tactic that gun violence is out of control so guns need to be banned has failed becuase the facts state that gun violence is in a downturn.
16 posted on 07/09/2003 8:10:29 AM PDT by PatrioticAmerican (When the government controls all information, they control you.)
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To: Joe Brower
""""such as computers to trace gun histories -- """""

To give Miami-Dade PD officers and staff new ways to play solitare and shop on ebay during office hours.


""""and additional staff to focus on gun violations, he said. """

Can you say cronies and pay off jobs for cronies.

""State and federal prosecutors will take a joint look at all violent gun crimes and decide which can be prosecuted at the federal level, which generally has stiffer penalties than state courts. """

So state prosecutors will pass their own duties off to another jurisdiction. What if the feds don't want the case? Are the crime prosecutions going to be based on race? The county records the race of every police stop and investigation. Police activly seek out non-black suspects in order to balance their statistics.


17 posted on 07/09/2003 9:56:15 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: Joe Brower
Reported on KKOB 770 Albuquerque today:

Perp grabs policewoman's service revolver and shoots her twice. (She's critical.)

Muchos policemen chase perp and shoot him dead.

Perp had earlier broken windows of police substation amidst a flurry of misdemeanor incidents.

Judge Blackburn said perp was not competent but not a threat so released him.

1) We must forbid policewomen from carrying firearms;

2) Three broken windows and you're out;

3) Declare the judge incompetent and dangerous.

As for the article, it could be Project Exile or it could be Project Nitpick You To Death--

With enough selective enforcement every citizen is a criminal.

What do you think about it, Senator Kennedy?

"I haff to get bahk to finding the real killer of Mary Jo."

18 posted on 07/09/2003 5:11:59 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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