Every day on my show Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. I highlight a story from our criminal justice system. I don’t always write an entire feature on them, but yesterday and today the stories have bothered me so much that I want them to get as much exposure as possible. Every time a gun control advocate wants to spend time, money, and political capital putting useless and unconstitutional gun control laws on the books instead of dealing with issues like this, it only demonstrates that fundamentally, their concern is with guns and not public safety. We absolutely cannot ban our way to safety. We have to deal with the small number of individuals who are driving the violence in this nation, and we have to reach them early.
A 14-year-old accused of being the instigator in a recent carjacking spree was ordered detained on an unprecedented bail of $950,000 Tuesday, while one of his two 16-year-old co-defendants was hit with an equally uncharted $470,000 bail.
Judge Mark Doherty set the high bail amounts after a lengthy court hearing in which a parade of New Orleans police detectives described piecing together evidence in a 24-hour crime spree that included four carjackings in which the stolen cars were used in a variety of burglaries and beatings.
As it turns out, the cops probably know the 14-year old suspect better than his teachers do. They’ve likely had more interactions too.
The public debate over how to handle violent juvenile crime also has drawn in District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, who has criticized juvenile court as having a “revolving door” for repeat juvenile offenders.
“We see what is, unfortunately, is the revolving door of juvenile court crops its ugly head again,” Cannizzaro said ahead of Tuesday’s hearing.
Cannizzaro said the 14-year-old has now racked up 28 crimes since 2018.
“We find that he is involved in 28 offenses. It seems to me, again, somebody is dropping the ball,” he said.
This isn’t a matter of someone dropping a ball. This is about a system that isn’t working.
A pair of young teenagers, one not even old enough to have a driver’s license, was arrested in New Orleans for a series of car thefts and burglaries.
One of the suspects, a 13-year-old, was on an ankle monitor and had a gun when police arrived Friday morning to arrest him.
The 13-year-old arrested at his mother’s house in Hollygrove was charged with a list of crimes, including auto theft, auto burglary and aggravated assault. Police say he was on an ankle bracelet after a previous arrest for business burglary but stopped charging his ankle monitor.
Walls said the teen, despite his young age, has been on NOPD’s radar for quite some time.
“He was in a parking lot on one particular incident with a gun, walking around with a gun. It looked like the gun was bigger than he was,” Walls said.
That story was from July, and involved another group of young teens also engaged in criminal offenses who were well known to authorities. Obviously the parents bear the primary culpability here, but it’s also clear that the criminal justice system is failing to rehabilitate these young offenders, which is theoretically its primary goal. Instead of putting in the actual work needed to try and turn these young lives around, the system seems designed to tag and release the juvenile offenders.
The mayor’s plan to address juvenile crime is short on law enforcement strategies and full of various social services programs, some of which may actually be useful in preventing youth from engaging in acts of violence to begin with. If, however, they commit a crime and enter the juvenile justice system, what happens next? Mayor Cantrell might want to avoid incarceration strategies, but wouldn’t it have been better for this 14-year old to have been in juvenile detention for the past two years instead of getting arrested and let loose more than two dozen times? What lesson did he learn from those experiences other than “the criminal justice system is a joke”?
Mayor LaToya Cantrell is also a big fan of gun control efforts, and held a “buyback” program earlier this year that didn’t go so well. In fact, she seems to be a big fan of lots of things, but putting repeat violent offenders in prison doesn’t seem to be one of them. Sadly, until elected officials like Cantrell accept that some of these youthful offenders are going to need to be placed in a detention facility and stay there under intensive supervision and instruction, New Orleans is likely to see their juvenile crime continue to climb past the current record-setting levels.