Saturday, June 1, 2019

James Tulp: We Have a Tolerance Problem

Last August, a 38-year-old illegal alien named Valentin Ariosto Alfonso-Arguello raped a 12-year-old girl outside her home in Gluckstadt. She first encountered him while dining with her family at Cazadores in Ridgeland- Arguello's former employer.

Cornering the child in a bathroom at the restaurant, he managed to coerce her into sharing her home address and phone number. At 3AM the following morning, the victim's mother opened the front door of her home to find her daughter walking into the house. Behind her, a pickup truck with one door open sped off into the night.

According to the press release, Arguello raped the victim after she repeatedly told him "no" and attempted to flee in his truck.

On May 21, a Madison County Court sentenced him to serve just 20 years in prison.  Astonishingly, eight of those years are suspended, meaning he will only have to serve 12 years in prison for raping a child.

Twelve years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl is a disgrace that should embarrass all of us. The message is sent loud and clear to pedophiles: if you rape a child and get caught, your life is not over.

That is an unacceptably weak message.

The purpose of prison sentences is not just to punish the guilty, but to deter would-be criminals. In Saudi Arabia, the punishment for theft is the amputation of a hand. Guess how many people steal in Saudi Arabia?

One can tell a lot about a society by what is tolerated. Ours, for example, seems to take financial crimes more seriously than sexual crimes. Despite what many rabid anti-capitalist revolutionaries like to blurt out at Bernie rallies, we actually punish financial criminals quite harshly in this country.

Consider the prospect of running a Ponzi scheme. The potential payout is great, but the fact that 71 year old Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison is something to consider. In Mississippi, Lamar Adams was sentenced to 20 years for operating the largest Ponzi scheme in the state’s history. While that may be too light, it’s certainly enough to make you at least think twice. Assuming you’re unburdened by a conscience, would you trade 20 years of your life for 100 million dollars?

A better question, and my main point, is this: is what Bernie Madoff or Lamar Adams did worse than raping a child? Our criminal justice system says yes.

Let’s look at another case- attorney Michael Avenatti is facing 400 years in prison for extorting Nike and stealing from his clients, including Stormy Daniels. As incorrigible as Avenatti is, is what he did 33x worse than raping a child?

Contrary to what we hear in the media, most Americans don’t think prison sentences are too harsh. According to a 2016 Morning Consult poll, only 27% of Americans either somewhat support or strongly support reducing the prison time for people who committed a violent crime and have a high risk of committing another crime. Most people agree with the common sense idea that if we communicated via our criminal justice system that we absolutely do not tolerate child rape, fewer children would be raped.

That logic certainly held true for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. While it was spearheaded by then Senator Joe Biden, he is now deeply embarrassed by his support for this bill. He shouldn’t be, because it’s the best thing he’s ever done in his political life and it’s not even close.

The 1994 crime bill expanded the death penalty and increased prison sentences for rapists, murderers, and child molesters. Since then, the violent crime rate fell nearly 50%. Across the 30 largest cities, the murder rate fell 66%.

Without going into too much detail about the recent criminal justice reform laws pushed at both the state and national level, suffice it to say that lowering penalties on any criminal, even the beloved so-called “non-violent drug offender”, will disproportionately hurt our most marginalized communities. This was the main reason why the First Step Act was opposed by the National Association of Assistant US Attorneys, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the National Sheriffs Association, among many other law enforcement groups.

We do not have a prison population problem. We have a crime problem. Our problem is not intolerance. Our problem is that we are too tolerant.

The fact that a 38-year-old illegal alien found guilty of raping a child will be free before his 50th birthday proves my point.

James Tulp hosts The James Tulp Show weekdays at 7am on WYAB 103.9 FM. Check him out on his Facebook page at


Anonymous said...

Which judge gave him that sentence?

Anonymous said...

Horse hockey. I agree on his point about the rapist. But sending people to prison for non-violent petty offenses needs to stop.

Anonymous said...

Are we really better off continuing to pay for Bernie Ebbers to rot in jail?

Anonymous said...

The law enforcement lobby will not go quietly into that good night. There's too much money flowing for them to go along with reform. Seized money, seized cars, grants for equipment you could use to raid Iraq, grants for headcount, it's big business. And its easy to play to the pro-Trump crowd on talk radio and conservative blogs. Reformers have a big up hill battle in front of them.

Anonymous said...

An illegal rapes a 12 year old in Madison County and only receives 20 with 8 suspended??
Where is Paul Harvey to tell the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

You start messing with people's honey pot, you reap the consequences of having to endure all of the rebuttals. If the reform people get much louder, we'll end up with longer sentences, not shorter. Kind of like the whole road and bridge discussion a few years ago. After all that fuss about bridges, the legislature decided in 2018 to raise the weight limit for trucks on county bridges and they assessed a tax on hybrid cars. Same stupid outcome will happen with this criminal justice mumbo jumbo.

Rod Knox said...

If not for the corruption in the judicial system I would strongly support capital punishment for several offenses, and most certainly rape, especially of a child would be among them.

Anonymous said...

Ask the investors from WorldCom what they think about Bernie staying in prison. A federal prison for white collar crimes, such as Bernie's confinement, hardly sees harsher conditions seen elsewhere. As for the rapist, he could get out in less than 10 years. The scales of our justice system need to change with the times and nature of crimes.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things come to mind. One, 12 years in prison as a child rapist will be considerably more unpleasant than 12 years as a dope dealer or even a murderer of an adult (but IMO even 20 years is too light a sentence for a child rapist - see my reform idea below). Two, comparing this rapist to Madoff is apples and oranges. Madoff had 100s of victims, pleaded guilty to 11 counts, all of which were 5-20 year max sentences and the judge gave him the max on all of them for 150 years (the prosecution had asked for something like 40-60 years). At Madoff's age a sentence of 20 years or more meant he would die in prison so from a practical standpoint, 20 years or 20 million years was the same effective sentence. I would suggest that if this piece of shit had raped multiple victims, and thank God he did not, his sentence would have been much greater.

As to reform, IMO child rape should have a short sentence: only one day. But it should be served about 100 miles offshore knee-deep in a 55 gallon drum of cement. The parole rules would be simple: if you can hop your ass back to shore, you qualify for supervised release. And as a special bonus for illegal aliens, if you can hop your ass back home, I guess you are a free man.

Anonymous said...

Is this a paid post? If not, there are a hundred people in the metro area I would prefer to hear or read. Tulp appears to be all of 20 years old from his social media posts and is clearly just carving a niche with the the always-mad under-educated i.e. "typical" Mississippian.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when we continue to make laws based on the political emotions of the moment.

We get a piecemeal approach to problem solving because we are too impatient to allow the time or effort it would take to look how each piece fits in the system.

We have a justice problem and a penalty problem and prison problem. Mr. Tulp, as usual is oversimplifying and playing to his audience. Worse, if this rapist had been a white conservative contributor or politician, Mr. Tulp would probably be saying she didn't look her age, she shouldn't have been able to get out of the house or she was interested in using sex to improve her status. Maybe he'd take a case from Roy Moore and say the guy asked her parents permission.

A piecemeal approach problem solving and inconsistent morality based on the emotional reaction of a base that wants instant gratification IS the problem .

And,equal justice happens only when no one is above or below the law and everyone has an ethical prosecutor, competent counsel, a competent judge and an unbiased jury. That perfection of truly equal justice can't be achieved but we aren't even trying anymore. We don't have the patience to let a system work even when it's unbroken.

Anonymous said...

I agree that his sentence is ridiculous. Rape should carry a life sentence at least and the death penalty for rape of a minor child.
Once he gets to prison he better hope they let him have a big jar of Vaseline. When the other convicts find out he raped a kid they will probably let him experience what rape is all about. Certainly hope so anyway.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tulip's commentary is framed within the idea the incarceration serves two purposes: punishment and/or deterrence. I suggest that a third purpose is to remove certain people from society so that they can't continue to cause harm to others. Maybe "reform" could take the form of weighing the likelihood of repeat offending with the probable/actual harm to others caused by the crime. Data is available, so this doesn't have to be a guessing game.

It is a statistical fact that rapists have high rates of recidivism; child molesters even more so. It's also a fact that the harm to the victim in these case is extreme. Based on that analysis, this person should not see the light day, except when very strict conditions are met.

Non-violent drug offenders also have high rates of recidivism, but the harm to others isn't usually on the life-shattering level as forcible rape, and simple possession obviously doesn't cause the same level of harm as burglary of a dwelling. Maybe these people should face increasing penalties, until they either find recovery, or get sentenced as habitual offenders and have to serve a sentence day-for-day.

In my opinion, any workable solution requires a more thoughtful plan than simply, for example, abolishing bench warrants for non-violent crimes.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the 'we'really better than yall and our s**t don't stink' Madison suburbanites that think all crime is in Jackson (yes, there is plenty) and Hinds County Judges'sentences are too light (not at all an improper claim) and that once North of County Line, that doesn't happen?

This was a Madison County crime all the way, Madison judge and jury, and the child rapist gets out in 12 years - less, good time, early release, etc.

Hate to see the situation doesn't exist only in Hinds County, but obviously there are issues everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Crime and punishment in this country is political, not practical. The actual consequences of crime, whether serious or menial, is not well thought out by the lawmakers. Their concern is the immediate emotions of their district voters, not the long term effects. Obviously the victim of this rape and the rape itself was not deemed important enough to get the requisite publicity and voter indignation necessary for change. Another one might.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the way in which her father practically dismissed what was going on in that restaurant. It was well covered by the media. He said something to the effect of: "I thought it was so strange the way he kept flirting with my 12 year old daughter while waiting on our table". What's missing is that the dad did not get up from his umbrella drink and cold-cock a man for flirting with his daughter.

It's also not factual that 'he followed her into the bathroom and coerced her into giving him her phone number. He met her in the hallway to the restrooms and asked for and was given her name and telephone number.

None of this, however, changes the fact that he should be castrated.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. I don’t want to spend more tax dollars to lock people up for drug offenses, and I don’t think I’m in the minority, even as a Republican.

Anonymous said...

“We have a crime problem” is simply not supported by the facts. Crime overall is at one of the lowest levels in recent memory. Ask your average voter what their top issues are, and crime will not even crack the top 5.

Anonymous said...

12:33, none of the other fraudsters in comparable scams got nearly the time Bernie did. Enron, HealthSouth, Tyco, they are all free men. Hell, throw Lance Armstrong in there, how much did he defraud the USPO for? Bernie took the hit for everybody because he was an easy mark for the Feds...a redneck Mississippian.

No way we need to be spending $50,000 to $100,000 per year housing and feeding him. By the way, he didn't qualify for a country club white collar prison because of the length of his sentence.

Anonymous said...

Castration would solve many problems on many levels. Make it voluntary for a reduced sentence for just about any crime but murder. I mean, if they cut your balls off, you are not going to be motivated to do much of anything.

Anonymous said...

Castrate him, and then send the biatch back to Latin America.

Kingfish said...

I'd love to pull out some crime numbers and debate you.

However, Mayor Lumumba has made JPD switch to UCR and guess what? The city hasn't updated those numbers since February and has cancelled half the UCR public meetings.

Of course, the people who bitched about Melton keeping crime numbers secret say nothing about this administration.

Anonymous said...

With James Tulp promoting the story you can be sure there a completely different side to it.

Anonymous said...

2:34 - So, this 'was a Madison crime all the way'? Well, except for the fact that this illegal either stayed in Canton or Jackson. Nobody in Madison County favors illegals or sanctuary - Well, except for the hundreds of them camping out in Ridgeland apartments and the Canton slum-park. And of course the Catholic Charities group. And every one of those three categories is composed of liberals.

Anonymous said...

Who was the judge?

Anonymous said...

Illegal aliens: send 'em back.

Why do we pay for the iron bar hotel and 3 square meals?

Anonymous said...

Federal sentecing minimums got tougher and local crime fell.


Post hoc ergo proptor hoc.

Anonymous said...

Tulp is the best writer on this website.

Anonymous said...

All these comments and not one answer to the very first question ! KF, lawyers protecting lawyers and judges.

The public has a right to know what judge sentenced this piece of shit to such a bullshit sentence so we will not vote for him ever again.

Anonymous said...

7:19 am Read much? ROFL

James Tulp said...

I appreciate the response to this. It seems to have at least partly accomplished what I set out to- have a real discussion about crime and punishment in this country.

As for those who say I'm simply pandering to the Trump crowd, check your reading comprehension skills. I highlighted two specific laws in this piece: one supported by Trump, the other supported by Biden.

I'm not aware of many people who pander to the pro-Trump crowd by criticizing a bill Trump supported while praising a bill supported by Biden.

Anonymous said...

12:33- Just to set the record straight- Bernie Ebbers was Canadian. He lived in MS, for sure, but he couldn't qualify as a MS redneck.

Anonymous said...

Tulp please answer this honestly. How much do you pay Kingfish to publish this trash

Kingfish said...

Nothing. Nothing at all. Nor do I pay him.

Anonymous said...

Cleveland used to be a frequent 'guest contributor' here. He got tired of being denigrated. We still have Salter and that clown from Meridian. Now Tulp. Can Theca be far behind?

Anonymous said...

Who was the damn judge?? Seems like an important detail left out of the story.

Anonymous said...

Again, lawyers protecting judges and lawyers.

Anonymous said...

"Crime overall is at one of the lowest levels in recent memory. Ask your average voter what their top issues are, and crime will not even crack the top 5."

Somehow, with opinions like the one expressed above, the name of the judge becomes irrelevant.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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