Friday, December 03, 2004

The Birkett Solution

Jack’s comment on the previous post deserves an expanded explanation. My desire to agitate to reduce the murder rate in Chicago was inflamed during the 2002 election cycle. For those unfamiliar with Illinois politics a little background is in order. The then current governor of Illinois was George Ryan (Republican). He was under intense media criticism for the “Licenses for Bribes” scandal from his previous position as Illinois Secretary of State. Here is a brief "License for Bribes" timeline. Everywhere in the media you could hear an echo of the Democratic line that this was the “worst scandal in Illinois history” and that innocent children had died in a fiery minivan wreck due to the language deficiencies of a truck driver who did not understand radio warnings that a part was likely to fall off his truck. It did, the minivan ran over the part and burst into flames killing the children. (We’ll see how this withstands the test of time in the litigation over the E2 nightclub fire and Lincoln Park porch collapse disasters).
As a diversion, Governor Ryan ended up pardoning all the convicted murderers on Death Row because several (13?) had been found to have been wrongly convicted. Many of these convictions came due to illegal police tactics in the Chicago Police Department. An alleged mastermind of this situation was John Burge. The poster boys for the media were Rolando Cruz and the DuPage Seven.
In this volatile atmosphere, the Democrats were running a relative novice for Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan. Her chief qualification seemed to be that she is the daughter of the Illinois House Majority Leader, Mike Madigan. Her opponent was DuPage County States Attorney, Joe Birkett. Mr. Burkett has an extremely strong law enforcement record. Ms. Madigan had zero experience and tried to minimize the law enforcement aspects of the job as a minor part of the job. She contended that the job is more directed toward consumer protection. (Note that this was pre 9/11, and the media applauded).
So with all this bleeding heart liberalism about and concern of even a single innocent individual being executed, I thought WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE MURDER VICTIMS! Where is the concern for those hundreds? And it also occurred to me that, at least in the year 2000, Mr. Birkett had a universal solution. What was that? The answer is in the county murder statistics, DuPage County Murders 2000-2001. In 2000 DuPage had ZERO, REPEAT ZERO MURDERS! No murders means no murder victims and no wrongful conviction. Side benefits would include reduced expenses for courts and prisons. The whole concept proved beyond the ken of media commentators such as Mark Brown.
Which brings us to a point where we can go back to Iraq. As the good liberals tell us, we should value human life. It is a tragedy that over 1000 Americans have died in Iraq. But it is also a tragedy that over 1000 Americans have died in Chicago. Both need our attention. And I do not see any liberals suggesting that we should withdraw the police from Chicago’s streets. As to the value of Iraqi life, it too should be important. But isn’t it likely the number of Iraqis dying is lower now during the insurgency than it was under the tender mercies of Saddam, Usay & Qusay? In both places the desired result is the Birkett Solution, ZERO DEATHS. And while me will take some casualties along the way, the only way to get there is to suppress the worst criminal elements, not to ignore them or as John Kerry put it “treat is like a nuisance”.


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