DIANNE FEINSTEIN GETS TOUGH
In today's LA DAILY NEWS, Beth Barrett reports that California Senator Dianne Feinstein is ready to reintroduce legislation that will target street gangs and bring Federal charges on crimes that have previously been considered local beefs.
She sounds steamed up and ready for a brawl. "I've watched, virtually all my political career, gangs go from next to nothing in this country to where they are the major criminal enterprises, more vicious than Mafia crime ever was."
The final wording on the bill hasn't been hammered out yet. Some legislators are afraid the bill might be draconian. An aide to a Senate Democrat 9curiously left unnamed) said, "The big question was whether the federal government should be federalizing street crimes." That objection has been moot for decades. The RICO statutes already federalizes what used to be considered pure street crimes like conspiracy to murder, loan sharking, extortion, drug traficking etc. That horse is already out of the barn.
Feinstein's bill would elevate other crimes to the level of a federal offense. The most interesting item in her bill would make it a federal crime to recruit a minor into a street gang. On the most basic level, if you're an 18-year-old soldado and jump in your 16-year-old cousin, you've just committed a federal offense. Which means you don't go to county or the pinta. You go to Joliet or wherever there's room in the federal prison system. That makes it tough on family visits, not to mention all the other restrictions you don't face in state prison.
Despite objections from juvenile offender activists, the LE sources quoted in the DN piece are all in favor of the new laws. No surprise there.
To all you pee wees, midgets and tinys out there, the eye of Sauron is upon you.