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Seattle's Crime and Punishment

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A Seattle Police car sits parked at Hing Hay Park, Seattle, March 18, 2021.


Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Good information out of Seattle, for as soon as. The metropolis’s most prolific criminals will not be eligible for an automated get-out-of-jail-free cross.

Ann Davison

received election in November on a marketing campaign of restoring order to a metropolis shedding management of the streets. Now she’s received a notable victory with a brand new settlement that can improve the probabilities that repeat offenders face penalties.

The new deal revises a 2019 settlement that allow Seattle’s notoriously lenient Community Court deal with some two dozen misdemeanors, together with theft of as much as $750 in items, residential trespass, and property destruction. The accused had been sometimes launched with a referral to help providers and typically an task for a life-skills class or neighborhood service. We lately wrote about

William Piccone,

who lately has been referred for prosecution to the Seattle metropolis legal professional 46 instances.

The revised settlement excludes those that have had 12 or extra expenses referred to town legal professional for prosecution up to now 5 years, together with one up to now eight months. Their instances will as an alternative be heard in Municipal Court, the place judges can require bail and impose jail sentences.

Ms. Davison pushed for the revisions after studying {that a} mere 118 people had been answerable for greater than 2,400 crimes in Seattle over the previous 5 years.

Prolific criminals certified for Community Court no matter their rap sheets, they usually had 4 tries—usually involving a number of misdemeanors—earlier than being pushed into Municipal Court. Excluding instances involving home violence and site visitors offenses, the Community Court was dealing with 55% of all crimes referred to town legal professional by police for prosecution, Ms. Davison’s workplace reported.

Ms. Davison’s proposal met important resistance from the Community Court and town’s Department of Public Defense. But she requested Municipal Court judges to intervene, they usually lastly authorised the revisions. Seattle nonetheless has a protracted approach to go to be a secure metropolis, however the voters are starting to see some outcomes from their democratic intervention.

Wonder Land: Joe Biden prefers to speak about racism and weapons somewhat than face the actual drawback. Images: AFP/Getty Images/Reuters/Shutterstock Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared within the May 24, 2022, print version as ‘Crime and Punishment in Seattle.’

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