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Over the past year, I wrote a few times about the spectacle of Massachusetts completely handing over the prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the federal government. As I wrote in April, the purpose of a federal government is to do only those things that the states are either incapable or ill-equipped to do on their own. In a normal world, the murder of four of its residents should easily be handled by state or local officials. Indeed, such officials should be very excited to prosecute such people.
Earlier this month, there was an odd development: Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan decided to go ahead and try Tsarnaev for the murder of Officer Sean Collier and other crimes the brothers committed in her district (the bombings occurred in neighboring Suffolk County).
“When you come into Middlesex County and execute a police officer in the performance of his duties and assault other officers attempting to effect his capture, it is appropriate you should come back to Middlesex County to stand trial for that offense,” Ryan said in a statement. Tsarnaev also faces several other state charges, including carjacking and kidnapping.
In the Washington Post, James L. Loewen makes an interesting point about Civil War monuments:
Take Kentucky, where the legislature voted not to secede. Early in the war, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston ventured through the western part of the state and found “no enthusiasm, as we imagined and hoped, but hostility.” Eventually, 90,000 Kentuckians would fight for the United States, while 35,000 fought for the Confederate States. Nevertheless, according to historian Thomas Clark, the state now has 72 Confederate monuments and only two Union ones…
Neo-Confederates also won parts of Maryland. In 1913, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) put a soldier on a pedestal at the Rockville courthouse. Maryland, which did not secede, sent 24,000 men to the Confederate armed forces, but it also sent 63,000 to the U.S. Army and Navy. Still, the UDC’s monument tells visitors to take the other side: “To our heroes of Montgomery Co. Maryland: That we through life may not forget to love the thin gray line.”
Over the past week, left-wing critics have pointed an accusing finger at the Right, asking why Charleston killer Dylann Roof hasn’t been called a terrorist. Some have gone on to argue that “terrorism” is simply the term we use to describe any mass murder committed by a Muslim, whereas other mass murders — particularly those committed by non-Muslim whites — are likely to be attributed to mental illness.
While that last point is as mendacious as it is factually incorrect — James Holmes, Adam Lanza, and Jared Lee Loughner really were crazy and Aaron Alexis is not exactly white — the question of why Roof isn’t considered a terrorist has a point. His crimes certainly seem to meet the everyday sense of the word, as well as the legal definition.
Fortunately for our liberal friends, news came yesterday that Roof is being charged with committing a federal hate crime. As Reason’s Jacob Sullum points out, this is an utterly superfluous and symbolic act. Murder — if you didn’t realize — is actually quite illegal in South Carolina and its widely expected that prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Roof (as well they should).
The horrific, racially motivated murder spree by Dylann Roof also served as a call to action for those who see the awful events of Wednesday night as corroboration of their core beliefs about the poisonous nature of American culture. Briefly, two key tenets of modern progressivism are that, one, racism is virtually ubiquitous. Even when […]
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