N.Y. com­pet­ing with us for go­ing easy on crime

Rob a bank, go to jail? Not in no-bail New York

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS - Wil­liam P. War­ford [email protected]

When asked why he robbed banks, no­to­ri­ous 20th cen­tury thief Wil­lie Sut­ton sup­pos­edly said, “Be­cause that’s where the money is.”

If you asked no­to­ri­ous 21st cen­tury thief Gerod Wood­berry why he robs banks, he might say, “Be­cause they keep let­ting me out of jail.”

Both rob­bers were based in New York, but in Sut­ton’s day the state was not so stupid as to keep let­ting him out.

Wood­berry, who has the good for­tune of work­ing his un­law­ful trade in the New York of 2020, was nabbed for his al­leged in role in four rob­beries be­tween

Dec. 30 and Jan. 8.

But un­der New York’s new bail re­form law, which took ef­fect Jan. 1, au­thor­i­ties could not hold him on bail.

They let him out on Thurs­day, and he promptly robbed an­other bank on Fri­day, cops said (and the sur­veil­lance video showed).

It ap­pears now that New York is in a com­pe­ti­tion with Cal­i­for­nia for who can be nicest to crim­i­nals.

Our state has en­acted Propo­si­tion 47, which es­sen­tially gave a green light to sho­plifters and other thieves, since theft of any­thing worth less than $950 is a mis­de­meanor.

Theft is up across the state, and prob­a­bly by much more than sta­tis­tics show, since many peo­ple won’t bother to re­port a theft when they know noth­ing will be done about it.

We also had AB 109, which meant a lot of of­fend­ers who should go to state prison go to county jail, and of­fend­ers who should get county jail time get pro­ba­tion.

Then there was Propo­si­tion 57, which of­fers early pa­role for “non-vi­o­lent” of­fenses. Ex­cept what the law con­sid­ers non-vi­o­lent in­cludes crimes such as the rape of an un­con­scious per­son and lewd acts with a 14-year-old.

It has of­ten been said that Cal­i­for­nia leads the na­tion in trends, good and bad. In­deed, I found a New

York Times editorial prais­ing Cal­i­for­nia’s pro-crim­i­nal, er, crim­i­nal jus­tice re­form mea­sures as an ex­am­ple to the na­tion.

Now New York has fol­lowed that ex­am­ple and done away with bail for “non-vi­o­lent” of­fenses.

Mean­while, Gerod Wood­berry will be free to roam the streets and rob the banks of his choos­ing be­cause, ac­cord­ing to New York law, bank rob­bery is not a vi­o­lent crime.

Ask any bank teller who has been handed a stickup note whether bank rob­bery is a vi­o­lent crime.

oIn Sun­day’s col­umn, I wrote about the most mem­o­rable po­lit­i­cal cam­paign of my four decades of cov­er­ing news here in the AV, the 1992 25th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict race.

An­other story I didn’t have room for in­volved James Gil­martin, the Demo­crat who un­der­went quadru­ple by­pass surgery dur­ing the cam­paign and never told the pub­lic.

Gil­martin lost to Buck McKeon in that ’92 race, and again in a 1994 re­match. But in the ’94 race, he ran the best cam­paign ad I’ve seen in my time cov­er­ing po­lit­i­cal races.

The tele­vi­sion ad fea­tured a chicken go­ing back and forth across the road, as a nar­ra­tor listed what Gil­martin con­sid­ered McKeon’s flipflops, go­ing back and forth, on is­sues.

Then the an­nouncer in­tones: “Buck, Buck, Buck McKeon can’t make up his mind. We need a can­di­date who knows where he stands. Vote Gil­martin.”

Those were the days when pol­i­tics was still fun.

Wil­liam P. War­ford’s col­umn ap­pears ev­ery Tues­day, Fri­day and Sun­day.

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