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    May 11, 2007
    Project Excile: There's more than meets the eye

    (Chris Ammann/Baltimore Examiner)

    A billboard on York Road in Baltimore is one of 30 being put up by the Maryland EXILE program.

    Not sure if you've noticed, but there are NEW red, black and white billboards popping up all over town advertising Maryland's newest tactic in the effort to stop all the killing. IMO - as long as weapons are easily accessible ....gun violence will continue, but hey....who am I? I must admit tho.....some of them are down right funny, "Who needs a used Bentley?"....COLD! 300+ Baltimoreans (many of them young African Americans) taken off this Earth every year for as long as I can remember...that's no joke......the reality of what is project Excile is even less of a laughing matter. Before singing the praises of Project Exile.....do a little research.

    OLD, story, but IMO.....still very true.

    February 12, 2003

    Ehrlich Errs with Project Exile
    by Gene Healy
    Gene Healy is senior editor at the Cato Institute and author of the Cato study "There Goes the Neighborhood: The Bush-Ashcroft Plan to 'Help' Localities Fight Gun Crime."

    In his "State of the State" address last week, Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich passionately endorsed Project Exile, a federal gun-prosecution program originally developed in Richmond, Virginia. According to Ehrlich, Maryland can dramatically reduce crime by adopting Exile and ramping up federal prosecution of gun-law violations ordinarily handled in state courts. But Maryland would be ill-advised to take Ehrlich's advice. Exile makes for an effective sound-bite, but it's terrible public policy. The program is unconstitutional, dangerous to the rule of law, and does little to reduce violent crime.

    Under Project Exile, crimes typically prosecuted at the state level -- such as possession of a firearm by a former felon, drug user, or illegal alien -- are handled in federal court, where mandatory minimum sentences and the possibility of serving time out of state are said to provide a stronger deterrent. Maryland's new governor isn't alone in his praise for Project Exile: President Bush has made an Exile-style effort to ramp up federal gun-law prosecutions the centerpiece of his crime control efforts.

    It's ironic that the effort to federalize the prosecution of gun crimes has come from the Republican Party, which likes to style itself as the party of federalism and the 10th Amendment. The statutes Exile is based on flagrantly violate the 10th Amendment, which states that powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states or to the people. There is no constitutional authority for the federal government to prosecute garden-variety gun crimes that are already illegal in all 50 states.

    And when the federal government takes on jobs it shouldn't have, it often shirks the jobs it should: Judge Fred Motz, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore, has warned that the frenzy to federalize gun crimes could have a "devastating" impact on the ability of the federal courts to do their job effectively.

    Moreover, Exile-style programs lead to a mindless "zero tolerance" policy for technical infractions of gun laws. Federal prosecutors already operate under an incentive structure that George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley compares to "the body count approach in Vietnam... They feel a need to produce a body count to Congress to justify past appropriations and secure future increases." This "body count" mentality may help explain the fact that recent federal firearms' prosecutions have included a Colorado woman who was convicted under the felon-in-possession statutes for posing nude on the Internet with a gun, and an Iowa man who was sent to federal prison for 15 years for possession of a single .22-caliber bullet. Exile practically guarantees the proliferation of such cases by hiring full-time antigun prosecutors who only bring cases under one narrow slice of the criminal code.

    Worse still, Exile opens the door to prosecutorial mischief affecting the racial composition of juries. There's good reason to believe that Project Exile prosecutors have used the program to avoid black juries. In Richmond, where Project Exile was first implemented, the jury pool for the state-level Circuit Court where gun-law violations are usually prosecuted, is approximately 75 percent African-American. In contrast, the federal jury pool for Richmond defendants draws from a broader area and is only about 10 percent African-American. By diverting gun-possession cases from state to federal court, Richmond prosecutors were able to do indirectly what the Constitution does not allow them to do directly: manipulate the racial composition of the jury pool. Indeed, an assistant U.S. attorney frankly admitted that one of Exile's goals was avoiding "Richmond juries."

    Those are some of the costs of Project Exile. How about the benefits? It turns out they've been dramatically oversold. Gov. Ehrlich's claims about the efficacy of Project Exile are false; the most comprehensive study of Exile's effects, just published by the Brookings Institution, says that the program did little, if anything, to reduce crime in Richmond. According to the study, conducted by Georgetown's Jen Ludwig and Berkeley's Steven Rafael: "[T]he decline in Richmond gun homicide rates surrounding the implementation of Project Exile was not unusual and... the observed decrease would have been likely to occur even in the absence of the program." As Ludwig puts it, federalizing gun crimes was "no magic cure."

    Undermining federalism, damaging jury trial rights, and wasting resources on long jail sentences for marginal offenders -- all in the name of a crime-control program that can't deliver the goods. Gov. Ehrlich came to office promising "new ideas" -- but Project Exile is one idea Maryland can do without.


    Now O'Malley (our governor) has picked up where Ehrlich left off......EXCILE IS HERE!!! & ..............Probably to stay

    & unfortunatley for Dixon..........O'Mally left her to deal with a real mess.....

    I attended one of her recent emergency meetings with city leaders. I think she genuinely believes her 2-prong strategy will work......

    Here's what her honor, Mayor Dixon, usually has to say.............

    "I have two goals when it comes to law enforcement: Protecting our citizens from our most violent criminals and getting our communities the resources they need to overcome long-term social challenges," Dixon said. (wbal)

    read more:

    Mayor Announces Plan To Fight Crime In Baltimore

    That's all good......Mind you, I am her biggest defender.....but when is she going to specifically ask the law-abiding citizens for help? Especially the YBP population in Baltimore? Why is the community only asked to help solve crime? The only thing the community is asked to do is report...tell...snitch, but no one wants to involve the community is creating strategies that benefit everyone.


    Baltimore's crime problem has reached the level that it has for 1 primary reason: NO JOBS!!!!


    Create some jobs or new sustainable local industries......improve the schools.....and I'd bet my last dollar that crime will go down significantly. Until I hear politicians talking about that......I will continue to think that systems are being put into place that send more and more African Americans (male and female) to prison for a long time. Too long for them to every truly contribute to society. That saddens me to my core. It just seems like there are a lack of creative ppl in decision making roles.....God, I pray someone with fresh ideas comes on the scene. If this is any idication of what Mayor Dixon will do to fight crime if given my vote.......she can count me as one less vote she can count on come election day. Let's end the status quo.....dress it up any way you want...still sounds like more of the same jibba jab to me.


    Po Po Commish Hamm ALWAYS has something interesting to say too (hate it or love it)...this week's City Paper article proved no different. ("Brass Tacks")


    Sounds like they want us to BELIEVE....yet again....that they have our backs!

    check me out on MYSPACE @ www.myspace.com/clove
    posted by C Love "The Rap Addict" @ 5/11/2007 09:34:00 AM  
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