Monday, July 22, 2019

Owens Wants Go Easy on Burglars

Hinds County District Attorney candidate Jody Owens wants to take it easier on those who rob houses.  He stated in an interview with the website The Appeal Political Report:


In discussing decarceration, you have focused some responses on “nonviolent crime,” as opposed to “violent offenders.” But this distinction is often overdrawn, and reformers also criticize sentencing guidelines for higher-level crimes as excessive. Are there ways you think ending mass incarceration should involve modifying some prosecutorial approaches for higher-level offenses?

Yes, in Mississippi, we should revisit the violent crimes that do not have a violent intent. For example, currently, the burglaries of an occupied dwelling and an unoccupied dwelling fall under the same offense with a range of up to twenty-five years, both are classified as violent crimes although one does involve a dwelling where no one is present.

House burglary is a plague that afflicts Jackson.  It is probably the most common serious felony suffered by crime victims in Hinds County.   Take Javarius Chambers.  That teen punk robbed quite a few homes in his neighborhood by Jamaica.  He would simply watch the homes from his house and rob them while no one was home. Burglars often rob homes in the same neighborhood and the same homes as well, leaving the victims to live in fear.   Owens thinks such hoodlums should get a break if no one is home.  It never occurs to him that such crime is one of the main reasons people move out of Jackson.  

Read the rest of the interview.  Notice he rarely talks about crime victims. 

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is this the best Jackson has to offer?

I repeat a repeated sentiment by many commenters on this blog - Jackson is lost!

Anonymous said...

Unfuckingbelievable

Anonymous said...

You can't get elected by talking "tough on crime" in Hinds County.

The democratic majority in Hinds County is happy with the justice system currently in place. Although, a few more blessings from Tomie, along with no bonds and expanding "catch and release" are good topics to campaign on.


Anonymous said...

A burglary IS NOT A ROBBERY! A robbery is taking property by force or threat from another person. If a weapon is used then it is an armed robbery.

A burglary is entering a building with the intent to commit a theft or any felony. If a person is in the building and the perp uses force or threat to take that person's property, then it is both a robbery and a burglary.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand. This poor excuse for a judge thinks I should suck it up and let the same punk continue to burglarize my house (and others) over and over again just because the residence was not occupied? A house or apartment that I worked hard to afford filled with items that I also worked hard to obtain are free game for some a&shole that is too lazy to work? I don't think so! Sounds like a good excuse to allow trip lines attached to shotguns.

Cynical Sam said...

Owens is guaranteed to receive votes from......wait for it...burglars.

Anonymous said...

Decarceration- a liberal buzzword so new that it doesn’t show up in my spellcheck.

Anonymous said...

George Soros loves him some Jody Owens.

Anonymous said...

It may well have changed recently but my recollection is that burglary of a dwelling is a "violent felony" for habitual offender purposes in the USSG.

One way or the other it was a capital offense if done at night under the English Common Law:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burglary#Common-law_definition

It is a dangerous, violent act for the obvious reason that as a result somebody is just liable to be killed, either the perp -- not necessarily a bad thing -- or the homeowner, or his baby child, wife, old mom or some other decent Christian desiring only to rest easy in his/her own bed.

Poor legal research by anybody saying it's not violent. Of course the Mississippi Bar has the world's lowest standards so no big surprise there.

Anonymous said...

@Cynical Sam, that's a pretty strong constituency in Jackson...

Anonymous said...

Two of the Hinds DA candidates are quite good. This one is not one of them. I guess we shall see in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

You seem to have all forgotten how handsome Owens is....

Anonymous said...

Owens will be a big improvement in the Hinds DA office, and he's got my support for that reason. I don't agree with all of his stances, but we need someone competent who can move cases.

Anonymous said...

Jody is the best candidate for the job.

This is fake news to the Nth degree.

KF should be ashamed of herself.

Anonymous said...

I don’t see an issue with treating burglaries of an occupied dwelling harsher than an unoccupied dwelling. It makes sense to have that distinction.

Kingfish said...

Some of your SJW's raise hell about burglaries being included in violent crimes under 585.

The difference is such hoods have to serve 50% of their sentence before they can be released. Jody and his ilk want it to be considered non-violent and eligible for release after 25%.

Anonymous said...

...but we need someone competent who can move cases.

What specifically in Owen's work experience proves to you that he "can move cases"?

Cynical Sam said...

The intent is usually the same, as in most cases the perp has no idea if anyone is home or not, i.e. the perp is willing and prepared to do a "home invasion," a burglary of an occupied building/residence.

I have never seen a case where the perp entered a building and learned that it was occupied, and then said, "my bad, I'm leaving."

Anonymous said...

Look no further than the murder, car chases, kidnapping, stolen cars, etc. that all began as a burglary of an uninhabited dwelling in Brookhaven. With the myriad home monitoring devices today (and more put into service every day), an "uninhabited dwelling" can become occupied in minutes, so really, there would need to be at least two more classes of criminal offenses to deal with that aspect of this issue. In my opinion, those concerned about the cost of putting criminals who commit mala in se crimes (be it robbery of an uninhabited dwelling or murder) in prison ought to figure out ways to make the criminals pay for their own imprisonment along with paying for their crime rather than trying to figure out ways to not make them pay anything at all for their crimes.

Anonymous said...

Jody is a genuine crusader for judicial reform programs that are generally impractical and financially impossible in places like Hinds County. In his watchdog role a zealot like him helps keep the lock-em-up conservatives from running roughshod over the rights of poor suspects who cannot afford to buy their way out of trouble. But as a District Attorney his job is to prosecute those accused of crime, plain and simple, and to do so within the law and the rules presently in effect. Many police officers and judges would love to change the law and the rules but they understand that their job is to faithfully apply the law as it now stands. If they can't do that, they should find another job and work for change. Jody wants it both ways. Hinds County has enough problems without his confusion.

Anonymous said...

I encourage everyone reading this who lives in Hinds County, and especially Jackson, to read the full interview Kingfish linked above. Elect this candidate, Jody Owens, and watch Jackson fall into complete chaos.

Read the interview. You will not be able to say you weren't warned.

Anonymous said...

Jody isn't going to win Jack $#!t

Anonymous said...

Jody Owens currently runs the local office of the extremely anti-Christian Southern Poverty Law Center. Someone associated with such a hate-filled organization like SPLC should never be elected to a position of public trust.

Anonymous said...

31 years in the legal practice here...........this is an example of someone who wants to do social work rather than prosecute criminals. i see this all the time, especially from certain judges.if they want to do social work they need to take their happy asses down to DHS and apply for a job.

Anonymous said...

Does Owens currently run the local office of Southern Poverty? I've heard he is no longer there.

Anonymous said...

The majority of burglaries are addicts looking to steal to buy drugs. This is fact. The way the COV statute and drug court statute is written...these criminals are not eligible to receive treatment in drug court. Straight to prison if convicted. This was a CHANGE in 2014. Prior to that date, these people were eligible.

It's pretty simple. Where someone is home, it remains a violent crime where you can get lit up.

This change should allow more addicts to get treatment, which in turn should decrease property crime.

Anonymous said...

@4:39 PM - link? Is it www.shooting.from.the.hip.com or www.I.make.things.up.as.I.go.along.com?

Many are addicts, but to say it is a "majority" is stretching the facts to their limits.

Anonymous said...

11:51AM again:

I had a conversation this evening with a couple of people on this subject and I mentioned the previously-stated two additional classes (at least) of offense that modification would require. Here is why: Imagine a home being watched by a burglar to determine when the occupant left. Assume a occupant going to the grocery. In the first scenario, assume that upon arrival, the occupant realized they had forgotten their wallet and returned to get it, thereby unknowingly interrupting the "unoccupied dwelling" burglary. In the second scenario assume, a la the myriad "home monitoring" commercials and akin to the unfolding Brookhaven tragedy, the occupant received an alert that the dwelling was being robbed and returned to defend their property. In both cases, the unoccupied dwelling suddenly became "occupied" at least insofar as the occupant being present during the crime. However, in the former case the occupant merely happened upon the burglary in progress whereas in the latter case the occupant knowingly injected themselves into the situation (and it would be difficult to argue that the occupant did not have the legal right to defend and protect their home and property).

So, does the happenstance reappearance of the occupant versus the knowing intervention of the occupant require different criminal charge against the offender? If so, why should it? In the Brookhaven situation, the burglars had weapons. Should that make a difference (even if the weapons aren't used or even seen during the commission) and if so, why?

My general point is that these types of crimes can permit only a limited amount of dissection. At the end of the day, such crimes are committed by people who demonstrate a complete lack of respect for the rights of others or respect for the law, i.e., the perpetrator did not reasonably believe burglary was permissible due to the lack of occupation - they simply assumed they were less likely to get caught in the act. Why should such a criminal get rewarded via a reduced sentence simply because they thought their crime would go unpunished?

Anonymous said...

The "unoccupied dwelling" burglary-turned-murder-turned-kidnapping-turned-etc. in Brookhaven has now turned into a shootout (Monday evening), with a deputy shot and one of the suspects killed. Er, yeah, let's give "mere burglars" a free ride...that'll work out well for all concerned. It's just a perception of (non-violent) crime.

Anonymous said...

@2:14, being anti hate isn’t the same as anti Christian. If you can’t see the difference, I feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

@7:19, the SPLC slaps "hate group" labels on any organization that does not agree with its extreme liberal ideology. They specifically attack highly-successful Christian legal organizations who advocate for religious freedom, free speech, and Biblical stances on sexuality and marriage (Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and Family Research Council). The SPLC is unashamedly anti-Christian. It has evolved over the years into a really sad, extremist organization.

Jody Owens is the SPLC's chief policy counsel according to its web site.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE some one explain to me what RESTORATIVE JUSTICE is?

Anonymous said...

8:03,

Despite the disrespect, I'll answer it for you. People need to know the truth and not some mindless talking point.

https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/DRRC.PDF

This data is old. 68% of those men arrested for burglary and 63% of females arrested for burglary tested positive for drugs (not alcohol, drugs only). Tested positive...this isn't self-reported data. Quick comment on this: With the exception of marijuana, which for a heavy user can stay in your system for 7 days (not 30 days as commonly believed), these drugs all have a short half-life, 2-3 days at most. Most burglars are not arrested in that short of a window...so you get my point.

HOWEVER, only 31% of burglars ADMITTED they committed the burglary for the purposes of obtaining drugs. There is a disconnect here. Is it the truth, a self-reporting problem where underreporting negative behavior is typical, or is there a whole lot more going on?

More recent studies indicate that of those incarcerated, 80% have a substance abuse issue and over 50% have a substance dependent issue. The "controversy" comes from what drives criminal behavior. Is the addiction a product of the criminal or is the addiction primarily driving the behavior? Studies differ on the results. Is it a mix? Is it different for everyone?

Anonymous said...

12:01...this is your point... "Why should such a criminal get rewarded via a reduced sentence simply because they thought their crime would go unpunished?"

A few things:

1. You are assuming most criminals are rational thinkers and consider the punishment when planning their crime. I.E. I'm going to take that purse when she puts it down on the floor and walks over to check on her kid (not really a robbery) versus "I'm going to pull the purse off of her arm" (definitely a robbery). Some criminals ARE careful planners and thinkers, but this is the exception, not the norm. These thinkers are called "The cartel" and "serial killers."

2. You are arguing that the worst possible scenario/outcome of the criminal's behavior should be punished instead of the result of the behavior.

Think about it in the context of a DUI...versus the context of a DUI causing death (vehicular manslaughter/whatever you want to call it). I think we can all agree that the impact of DUIs far outweigh the impact of burglaries on society. I'm talking about human life, deaths. Forget the elements of the crime or the outcome for a second...just concentrate on the BEHAVIOR of the criminal. Under your logic, someone who drinks and drives should get a lengthy prison sentence, every time. Right? So, applying your burglary sentencing criteria, your first time DUI sentence would be a lengthy prison sentence? If I'm not following correctly, let me know.

That's not what we do with DUIs, right or wrong. First time DUI-nothing, Second time DUI-a little more than nothing, Third time DUI-felony. First time DUI causing death...you're in trouble and you should be.

Within the felony world, let's treat burglaries with a similar concept. A burg is a burg. It BECOMES a COV when certain elements are present (occupied, weapon, etc). Or, you could make all burgs a COV, but the sentencing range could be significantly enhanced with these factors present?

If you are looking at a sentence as solely rehabbing the behavior(we don't), then all burgs should be treated the same. If you are looking at a sentence as solely punishing the behavior(we don't), then all burgs should be treated the same. If you are looking at a sentence as a combination of punishing the criminal behavior, rehabbing the behavior, and making the victim whole (we do!), then the specifics of the burgs should be considered when designing a sentencing scheme.

Anonymous said...

In response to July 23, 2019 at 9:36 AM:

"1. You are assuming most criminals are rational thinkers and consider the punishment when planning their crime. ... Some criminals ARE careful planners and thinkers, but this is the exception, not the norm. These thinkers are called "The cartel" and "serial killers."

No, I am not assuming anything about the criminals. The motive(s) for mala in se crimes are worth examining, but the motive(s) should not be the primary focus of punishment - see below. If by "The cartel" you mean modern drug cartels, your assumption that they composed of "careful planners and thinkers" is completely wrong. But right or wrong it is not germane to the topics at hand.

"2. ..."Think about it in the context of a DUI..."

That is not an appropriate comparison. DUI is malum prohibitum whereas (almost) all theft/robbery/burglary is mala in se. Granted, operating a vehicle while impaired can and often does result in one or more malum(a) in se crime(s), but the operation of the vehicle is not malum in se. Put another way, the only instance in which taking the property of another would not be a willful criminal act/malum in se would be when the taker does not realize they are doing so, i.e., a very young child innocently taking a candy bar from the rack at a store, a person of insufficient mental competence taking whatever, etc. In your examples re: the purses, I would offer that in both cases, the taker knew the taking was "theft" and would (not could or might) deprive another of their property. I would also offer that the vast majority of impaired drivers do not decide to get liquored up and drive around until they have an accident and thankfully the vast majority do not get into any accident at all (that is not meant to suggest that DUI should not be prohibited conduct). Moreover, the very impairment that makes DUI dangerous is often what impairs the DUI driver from realizing the danger of their conduct (again, not a defense of DUI). However, whatever the motive thieves/burglars/robbers know what they are doing is a crime and wrong.

In any event, I still believe that those convicted of crimes ought to be largely responsible for the costs of their incarceration as well as their own sustenance...you know, just like responsible non-criminal people in the real world. Those that can properly behave would have less cost of incarceration and therefore, would have an incentive to do so. In so doing, they could either work less or have more "earnings" to put toward a more comfortable incarceration. Hell, it might even teach them valuable life lessons and start them on the path to rehabilitation and rejoining society as a productive member. Of course, those that wanted to continue the act as you please lifestyle would not have time and not likely have the energy left to make very much trouble. Again, perhaps some would learn from such a system, but if not, at least they would be less of a burden on society.

Anonymous said...

I’m sure Jody Owens is concerned about the high incarceration rate in MS—we are in the top five states per capita in the US. He should be. We should all be because of the high cost and economic and family damage associated with that. All he appears to be saying is that the alternatives to incarceration need to be at least considered where the statue places that discretion in the Judge. That’s reasonable where the direct and social costs of incarceration of such a large portion of the population is incarcerated at great cost to all of us.

Anonymous said...

6:17PM wrote, "...the high incarceration rate in MS—we are in the top five states per capita in the US." WOOHOO! We're in the top five! Oh, wait...

Assuming the assertion to be accurate, five of the fifty states are going to be in the top five per capita and frankly it doesn't surprise me in the least that Mississippi is one of those five. If criminals had to work hard for 16 hours a day, be they be JJ favs like little Shelton Alston or the garden variety carjackers, robbers, and other assorted thugs, they would not have the time or energy to cause the kinds of problems they cause in prison, Facebook from prison, etc. As a side benefit, a few might actually rehabilitate. But most importantly, their labor could offset the costs of their incarceration and thereby save the taxpayers from having to completely support that incarceration. Now, if Jody wants to legalize weed and get non-violent "pot offenders" out of the prisons, I'd generally be for that, but differentiating various burglary offenses (or again, most any and every mala in se offenses) because of who happens to be or arrive at the scene of the crime (and when or why) is pure nonsense.

Since comparisons to other crimes have been attempted by others, let me attempt one: would anyone suggest that a person who empties one or more magazines from a firearm into a large crowd and somehow manages NOT to hit anyone is less a danger to society than another such shooter with better aim? If the answer is "no," then why should a person who has no respect for the property rights of others or the law get a lesser sentence simply because they happened to get "lucky" and not encounter the property owner?

Anonymous said...

That’s reasonable where the direct and social costs of incarceration of such a large portion of the population is incarcerated at great cost to all of us.

Outside of taxation, there is no "great cost" to me. Your exaggeration is noted.

Anonymous said...

Jody is a joke! He thinks his “well to do” family automatically entitles him to win. People in Terry don’t even like him or his family. He has no experience in prosecuting anyone ever! He’s clueless as Chuckaway! Did anyone find out the REAL reason he was fired from that law firm downtown?! Oops......

Anonymous said...

He knows not to bring his a$$ to broadmoor neighborhood or Midtown due to his opposition to charter schools. I bet he avoids every house with a smillow prep sign in front yard. These students go to school for a good education unlike many jps kids unfortunately and it's free because there mom's can't pay tuition as many work 2 jobs or struggle to keep lights on. Stay away from midtown Jody you hypocritical foolish fraud!!!

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