Seattle takes the lead from Berkeley for stupid ideas

| October 28, 2020 | 74 Comments

After demonizing their police, allowing a lawless wasteland to flourish for a month, and defunding their police department, the city council in Seattle is far from done.

They are now considering a law that would make substance abuse, mental illness, or poverty affirmative defenses for many misdemeanor crimes in the city.

The Seattle City Council is considering new legislation that would create a legal loophole that would make substance addiction, mental illness or poverty a valid legal defense for nearly all misdemeanor crimes committed in the city.

The council’s consideration of the plan has occurred with virtually no public discussion about the proposal, which has been included in the municipal budgeting process. The council has not, so far, conducted a standalone meeting to discuss the idea.

Scott Lindsay, the former public safety advisor for the city, said Seattle would be in a class of its own if it ultimately enacted the ordinance.

“I’m not aware of any legislation like this anywhere in the United States (or) even globally,” he said Monday. “All cities have criminal codes to protect their citizens from criminal acts. This would essentially create a legal loophole that swallows all those codes and creates a green light for crime.”

The legislation was proposed by Seattle City Councilwoman Lisa Herbold last Wednesday.

The proposal would allow for the dismissal of crimes of poverty and it would do so by revising the definition of duress as a defense against prosecution.

Seattle police currently make about 12,000 arrests every year that are not DUI offenses or related to domestic violence. In 2019, charges were filed for just over 5,400 misdemeanor cases, not including DUI charges or domestic abuse allegations.

If approved, the ordinance would excuse and dismiss — essentially legalizing — almost all misdemeanor crimes committed in Seattle by offenders who could show either:

  • Symptoms of addiction without being required to provide a medical diagnosis;
  • Symptoms of a mental disorder; or
  • Poverty and the crime was committed to meet an “immediate and basic need.” For example, if a defendant argued they stole merchandise to sell for cash in order to purchase food, clothes or was trying to scrape together enough money for rent. The accused could not be convicted.

“If you don’t feel very protected right now, this would wipe out almost all remaining protections that we have,” Lindsay said.

The offenses that would be covered by the Seattle ordinance would include just about any crime below the level of a felony while excluding charges of driving under the influence or domestic violence.

“This would absolutely open the floodgates for crime in Seattle, even worse than what we often currently struggle with,” Lindsay said. “It’s basically a blank check for anybody committing theft, assault, harassment (and) trespass to continue without disruption from our criminal justice system.”

Although the measure could radically alter the way Seattle levies charges in criminal court, there have been no public hearings about it and it has not been discussed so far by the council’s Public Safety Committee.

It was proposed late in the third hour of a council Budget Committee meeting.

Said Lindsay: “This is a back door to get this legislation into the budget process (and) not through the normal democratic processes with transparency, dialogue, (or) public discussion.”

If Councilwoman Theresa Mosqueda, chairperson of the council’s Budget Committee, adds the legislative proposal to the budget, it would be considered by the full council as part of the entire budget.

But if Mosqueda opts to not add it to the budget, the legislation could still be approved if five Seattle City Council members agree to add it as an amendment to the budget.

It’s mind bottling just how stupid, ignorant, and short-sighted these people are. As Clark Griswold said of Cousin Eddie, the Seattle councils’ heart is bigger than their brain.

Category: "Teh Stoopid", "Truth or fiction?", Liberals suck, YGBSM!!

Comments (74)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    So “Free Stuff” basically?

  2. Commissar says:

    This appears to be driven by the effort to shift managing drug addiction, mental health, and homelessness from the police to other professionals and experts better suited for managing those social issues.

    The ordnance is deeply problematic but the effect is being exaggerated.

    An Affirmative defense is not a get out of jail free card. It essentially shifts the burden of proof onto the defendant.

    They need to basically acknowledge they committed the crime but prove to the judge or jury they had good reason.

    “Duress” is an affirmative defense to many, but not all, crimes.

    You can say you were “forced” to do so. Typically the threat of violence against you is a common affirmative defense for being forced to commit a crime.

    Mental health, poverty, and drug addiction are not considered circumstances that justify a “duress” defense.

    However, that leads to long standing moral concerns like criminalizing an act of desperation. The most classical example; stealing a loaf of bread to feed their child.

    This councilman is arguing that poverty (stealing a loaf of bread to feed themselves of family) is a form of duress.

    But you still have to convince the judge or jury that the circumstances of poverty was justification for the crime.

    The ordnance also adds drug addiction, and mental illness.

    Mental illness has always been an affirmative defense to some extent. Though it typically is an expensive and difficult defense to pull off.

    Typically your defense has to show that you had either no awareness of your actions or you had no way of understanding what you were doing was wrong.

    This would allow a narrow expansion of the defense, in misdemeanor cases only, that you might have had awareness of what you were doing and you were aware it was wrong but your mental illness “compelled” you to do this.

    That would be a hard sell for a judge or a jury. The new ordnance does not require the judge or jury accept that defense. It just allows defendants to claim it as their defense.

    Drug addiction as a defense is similarly problematic. But more so.

    And entire grad school class could be created on the ethical question of drug addiction as an affirmative defense. This forum does not lend itself to debating an issue as complex as that.

    There needs to be a hell of a lot of discussion on that issue before they consider passing this ordnance.

    • 2banana says:

      And yet, if a druggie broke into your house, multiple times, and stole your sh!t and then was not charged/convicted…

      Yeah, all is all fun and games if it is happening to someone else.

      • Green Thumb says:

        Word.

        This is not going to turn out well.

        And then if you drop them, you could be charged for not trying to initiate a rationale and mutually-respectful conversation with them as they are “challenged”.

        • Green Thumb says:

          Particaulry if they are in your living room.

          Have a seat, I will grab you some coffee and lets discuss why you are in my living room at 0200. Oh, you got high, got lost, were coming down and needed some more “free shit” to pawn for green to score more dope.

          Mental health is surely the overarching issue.

    • Sapper3307 says:

      TDS = free T.V (not a transvestite) although that is covered under free stuff also.

    • Ret_25X says:

      Poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, and idiocy are not affirmative defenses for lawlessness.

      Period.

      Dot.

      Your apparent belief that there can be an excuse for lawlessness portrays you as lawless.

      Nice try, but as usual, you are wrong.

      Theft, murder, assault, rape, looting, rioting are wrong IN THEIR ESSENCE. Criminal behavior is not produced by poverty–poverty is the product of criminal behavior.

      As always, you have REKT yourself.

    • Hack Stone says:

      Your Honor, it is true that I was driving under the influence of alcohol, but in my defense, I was drunk off of my ass and I had no idea what I was doing. I move for a dismissal.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        Your Honor, it is true that I was snorting meth in public but I am homeless
        and have nowhere to snort Meth in private. Incarceration will only make
        matters worse for me and cost the taxpayers more money.

      • SFC D says:

        I had a Soldier under court martial for a multitude of sins, one of which was use of cocaine. Just before the presiding officer handed down his verdict, he asked the young man if he had anything to say in his defense. The little shitbird had the balls to stand up and say “Your Honor, I don’t think its right to charge me with use of cocaine because I didn’t know it was in the marijuana when I smoked it”.

    • Penguinman000 says:

      Yeah, let’s have a discussion about the merits of essentially legalizing shoplifting and vandalism. You are correct, it’s an affirmative defense. So the defendant has to state they have x,y,z symptoms of disease w.

      Conflating this with an insanity defense is disingenuous to say the very least. The threshold for an insanity defense is high. Defendants don’t get to say “I’m crazy” and call it a day. Nice try though.

      “Your honor, I was off my meds (that I don’t have a prescription for), I was using to treat a mental health disease (that I’ve never been diagnosed with). That’s why I was spray painting Trump supporter lives here. Oh, the bottles full of gelled gas with wicks? I don’t know how my finger prints got on them.”-Case dismissed.

      And now businesses and homeowners have no legal remedy for trespassing? What do you think the put come of that is going to be? Answer, lost revenue and homeowners who decide to solve the problem via methods that don’t involve calling the police.

      And notice that nothing they are proposing that would actually provide services for the mentally ill or provide a way for the poverty stricken to remedy their situation. Just a legal excuse to act in an anti-social manner. That’s not compassion. It’s enabling.

      • Poetrooper says:

        “That’s not compassion. It’s enabling.”

        You just nailed it, P-Man…

      • rgr769 says:

        This is a terrific development for the FSA. The FSA is on the march. The widespread looting last night is exhibit A. They already feel there are no consequences for their thievery. Exhibit B is the fellow pushing a dolly with his looted (stolen and free) washing machine across the parking lot at that Phillie Walmart.

        That’s my empiric evidence, Commie Cuttlefish.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      The folks who don’t want to be on the receiving end of this insanity will leave if they are able, or use violence to defend themselves (legally or not).

      The folks who want to be on the pitching side will congregate. They are -very- adaptable to stupid rules.

      Things will get ugly. Fast.

      You cannot be stupid enough not to see the easily foreseeable consequences, thus you own the mayhem and death that will result.

      Don’t expect any exemption from the folks you want to “benefit”. Don’t expect any sympathy from sane folks, either.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      It’s amazing to me the amount of effort you put forth trying to rationalize obvious bullshit, Lars. Especially when your rationalization for said bullshit often contradicts the bullshit itself, i.e. “It doesn’t say what says!”

      When this gets passed by the asswipes running Seattle, will you go up there and start a business? Of course not. You’ll just demand that all the existing businesses “deal with it” and pretend nothing is wrong. Standard for you, as you’re a lazy coward who will never willingly shoulder the burden of anything you support.

      As usual, fuck off.

  3. 2banana says:

    I luv it when people who vote for socialists get smacked in the face with socialism.

    Stupid should hurt.

    Fools will learn no other way.

    • David says:

      Alternative for addicts: First bust you are offered free counseling and treatment to kick your habit. Second offense, or dealing/trafficking first offense, execution following sentencing. Guaranteed most “addicts” would suddenly acquire the strength to kick their habits.

      • Mason says:

        That’s actually the way it already goes. In fact, I’d wager in any major city people get offered treatment instead of jail for their first several drug-related crimes. In my AO, felony possession of narcotics doesn’t result in any appreciable jail time until the fifth conviction (not just arrest), at which time they are sentenced to 30 days.

        Most addicts know that the CJ system won’t hold them accountable, so they just walk out the revolving door. They have no interest in treatment until they realize they want it.

        It’s the same with homelessness. Most of the bums you see want to be on the street and turn down any offers of help. At least until it gets below -15 degrees, then they’ll take some help.

    • NHSparky says:

      Problem is, that’s not socialism. It’s straight up anarchy.

      Funny how people are so hot cock to live under socialism, yet never realize just how much of a police state every communist/socialist country in history thus far has been.

      It’s like they think its gonna be puppies and Skittle-shitting unicorns.

  4. Adam says:

    So, I can assault you or steal your belongings as long as it’s only a misdemeanor and I say it was to further my drug habit. Brilliant.

  5. IDC SARC says:

    Utter bullshit

  6. Devtun says:

    Many refugees from Seattle & Portland are migrating into Oregon’s 2nd District – a traditionally Republican heavy area. Unfortunately the newcomers didn’t learn their lessons, and decide to hold onto their leftist ways. The 2nd district is being transformed from ruby red to purple.

    • Fyrfighter says:

      That’s what happened to Colorado too. Used to be just small collections of idiots, part of Denver, and all of Boulder.. then waves of Californians came and turned the state blue.

      And you’re right, they never learned the lessons that what destroyed where they came from was the stupid policies / people they voted for there. My assumption is that anyone stupid enough to vote for that crap in the first place isn’t intelligent enough to recognize their mistakes.. That and on the off chance that they do recognize it, they’re far too arrogant (see also Commissar) to admit it, and change their ways.

      As to Commissar and his comment about the issue needing further discussion, that’s kinda the point dude, Seattle city council has no intent of discussion, research, or any other form of intelligence, they’ll just pass it, consequences be damned..

      And as 2Bananas said, it’s just damn funny to see the morons of Seattle get EXACTLY what they voted for… now if we can just figure a way to force them to stay there and suffer the consequences of their actions, instead of spreading their stupidity to other places…

      • The Other Whitey says:

        I hate to say it, but my hope is to outlast the hippies. Sooner or later, California will hit rock bottom, and then we can pick up the pieces. I’ve considered relocating to Idaho, where I have a lot of family in the Boise area, but I keep hearing of large number of California refugees going there. Hopefully they are like myself, people who recognize the problem rather than just the symptoms, but I fear otherwise, so that limits said consideration.

        Besides, I was born here, raised here, from three or more generations who could say the same. This is my home, and I’ve sweated, suffered, bled, burned, and been hospitalized for it. If I leave, Newsom and the hippies win. Fuck that.

  7. JBUSMC says:

    Why exclude DUI? What if someone has an alcohol addiction and they have an immediate need for more alcohol (beer run)? DUI’ers should be exempt also. Why hold them accountable for their decisions and not everyone else.

  8. 5th/77th FA says:

    OK y’all, we have really got to quit asking how stoopid can these politicians get. They are taking it as a challenge. “Here, hold my copy of the minutes from the last council meeting, take a sip of a lattemochafrappe, and watch this.”

    Here’s a novel approach. Be personally responsible for your actions and quit making bull sh^t excuses for being a sorry POS. And yeah, not seeking and getting help with your mental defects is a form of being a POS.

  9. thunderstixx says:

    The resident klowne, larsie-boi never ceases to amaze me at how he continually rationalizes shitty behavior.
    The Seattle city council is doing nothing but enabling.
    Enabling any kind of an addict does more damage than the behavior could ever cause.
    The behavior stops when the consequences of that behavior become too personally costly, to prolong that by enabling such shitty behavior only hurts the victims of the behavior in the first place.
    That is addict counseling 101 dumbass.
    You and your shitty behavior are doing nothing but seeking approval from the people on this board that have had it up to their asses with your bull shit behavior and talk.
    If you think that it is no consequence, take one of these addicts under your wing for a while…….
    I guarantee that you, like the great liberal icon Oprah Winfrey will fill full of that behavior in a very, very short time. Look it up dumbass.
    You people kill more people than cancer and you make me sick.
    Even Ol’ Slickery William was smarter than you are when he acknowledged that the criminal justice system saved his brothers life…..
    I survived alcoholism and huge behavioral abuse by many of them for the better part of a lifetime,
    You really do make me sick.

    [[Edited to remove your PII -Mason]]

    • thunderstixx says:

      I’m not one to silence critics, but when they cross the line into enabling of deadly behavior they really need to go.
      I believe that larsie-boi needs a time out at least if not banning from this board.
      TAH is trying to look magnanimous by allowing the critic to remain, and I understand that.
      The problem is that it has outlived its usefulness and has crossed the line into rationalizing the worst behavior in America time and again and expecting us to actually believe anything he says when it is only designed to annoy and hurt those of us that have lived through horrific experiences resulting from the behaviors he supports on a daily basis.
      There is a very wide line from advocating to enabling.
      Enablers are the weakest willed people on Earth and serve only the purpose of supporting evil under the guise of advocating.
      I know, I grew up under a violent alcoholic and a weak willed enabler. It took me the better part of a lifetime to make that distinction and to deal with it on a mature level.
      This klowne is a detriment to the well being of this entire web community.
      It is time we shut the door on such enabling behaviors and instruct them that they may return, only if their enabling behaviors have stopped…
      It’s postings are only designed to enrage and frustrate the rest of us.
      Like I said, it’s time we shut the door on him and all like him and tell them that this; “Shall not pass”….

      [[Edited to remove your PII -Mason]]

      • AW1Ed says:

        Your comment deserves an answer, thunderstixx.

        First of all, TAH is not trying to look magnanimous by allowing differing viewpoints; we provide an open forum. As the active Admin, I have received numerous complaints concerning Lars, and in early days tried to deal with them as best I could. I was over-ruled.

        Management will back me to a point- that point ends with stifling comments even though they are outside the norm, and offer views differing from the majority here.

        I see both sides, but must take direction from Management if I intend to remain an Admin here. I do, and that puts me in a difficult position.

        So my rules have morphed into these:
        Personal attacks beyond the usual name calling and swearing will be moderated on a case-by-case basis, initiated by me. I will counsel the offender as I see fit, and if I deem further action is needed it will be taken. The offender is welcome to elevate my decision to Management via the Admin email link, or if asked I will alert Management personally, and await their adjudication.

        Any threats of violence to a member will be deleted and the offender banned. The only recourse is Management over-ride of my action.

        All attacks and threats directed at me will be saved, and shared with the members as appropriate.

        I’m your Admin. I do what I can within the constraints imposed. If any have a better idea, I’m listening. If any can do a better job, contact Dave.

        Until then, have a TAH day…

  10. Berliner says:

    In the Peoples Republic of Seattle if you park your car on the street it has to be moved every 72 hours or you will get a ticket.

    IF your car has visible bedding present, it is exempt. There is a market for derelict RV, running or not, which are often used by drug dealers and stolen merchandise resellers.

    In 2018, “Uwajimaya’s flagship location in the Chinatown-International District referred 261 theft cases to authorities through the Retail Theft Program during much of 2018.

    But at Uwajimaya all 166 cases under $25 went away. So we’re down to 95 cases. Of those, 44 were declined or have yet to be filed by the fall of 2019 (remember, these are 2018 cases). Twenty-eight others are “pending,” with bench warrants outstanding, which means the accused thieves have walked away and no one’s chasing them. Eleven cases were dismissed.

    When you add it all up, of the original 261 cases in which the shoplifter was caught or recorded on video, eight cases went forward, resulting in a guilty plea, while three suspects agreed to a diversion program. That’s a total of 12 cases out of the original 261 — 4% — resolved in a way anyway near approaching accountability.”

    The proposed new approach will be a “citation”.

  11. Roh-Dog says:

    “Sir, are you classified as human?”
    “Negative. I’m a meat popsicle.”
    https://youtu.be/8Dd_qiuWxPs
    Enjoy your dystopia, you worthless Collectivists sh*tstains.
    If you don’t have personal property rights you don’t have a western society.
    Maybe that’s the point…

  12. Hondo says:

    Seems to me that in general misdemeanors are defined under state law vice by local ordinance. In particular, I’m pretty sure that theft and assault usually are.

    Where does the Seattle city council think they get the legal authority to define what constitutes an “affirmative defense” for crimes defined under state law?

  13. Sparks says:

    I miss the good old days when law enforcement dealt with these types with nightsticks and a solid head slam into the doorpost of the back seat.

  14. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    The The idiots that elected those shitstains are getting what they asked for, now we see them migrating to infest other locales and turn them into the same kind of shitholes like a parasite migrating to a new host!

  15. 5JC says:

    I like it. At least for Seattle, cuz i don’t live there and never will.

    Let’s see, I have been a cop for seven years since I retired. In that time I have arrested around 500 people for various crimes. Can anyone guess how many of them had a substance abuse and/or mental health problem?

    If you guessed “all of them” you are correct and can award yourself 10 internets. Essentially all criminals use drugs, most use addictive drugs regularly such as meth, opiates or alcohol. They have a crime problem because they have a drug problem, not the other way around. Although most don’t see the drugs as a “problem” it is simply the most important part of their life. All of their daily life activity centers around getting more of their favorite drugs. Sending them to a drug treatment program simply doesn’t work because they don’t want to stop doing drugs because they love their drugs.

    Really the only way to slow their drug abuse is to send them to jail where it is harder to get drugs. Sometimes the jail has a drug treatment program where they try to get sober because jail sucks. Some keep it up for days, months or even years after they get out. But we always know when they are using drugs again, because they get arrested again.

    And that is how crime works in America.

    Today’s life lesson is brought to you by 5JC. Please don’t let the City Council of Seattle know. If they can turn their city in to a magnet for all the criminals in the country it makes my life easier.

  16. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    As to the subject of stupid, Joe “Hairplugs” Biden has called the latest riots in Philly “A cry for justice”. So under Moonbat D-rats, everyone is allowed to go batshit to riot, loot and burn every time LE has to use deadly force!

    • rgr769 says:

      What I find totally irrational is that Gropey Joe put out a statement that the dead perp shouldn’t have died “just because he had mental health” problems. I would like to know what a LEO should do when being chased by a lunatic wielding a knife. When the officers shot that wacko he was well inside that 21 feet. He should have watched that scene in Indiana Jones and heeded the rule don’t just take a knife to a gunfight.

  17. Jus Bill says:

    They want to use “Mental Illness” as a defense when they’re tried for Malfeasance.

  18. Only Army Mom says:

    This is the most backwards way to address criminal justice reform, and I’ve heard some pretty a$$-backwards ways from my fellows at my uber-liberal university.

    The idea of criminal justice needing reform is neither new nor controversial. Sadly, all the initiatives currently being seriously considered in this age of “social justice” are aimed at reducing consequences for crime without accountability.

    This does not work, has never worked, will never work.

    Below is the broad strokes I proposed while on a panel on mental health justice and reform. You’d think I was advocating for the cutting up of babies as food for rabid pitbulls.

    It is neither inhumane nor unrealistic to hold those who are mentally ill or substance addicted accountable and responsible for their crimes. The mentally ill, if they are undiagnosed, get a pass for some nonviolent felonies on the first go ’round. Once diagnosed and medicated, they are responsible, even if they go off their medications. Because they chose to go off their medications. If they know not what they do, i.e., because they went off their meds, they are mentally incompetent and cannot be allowed to remain free in society as a danger to themselves or others. When advised they face a loss of freedom as a consequence of going off meds, they suddenly become very med-compliant.

    If they are addicted – that one time free pass for nonviolent felonies already exists except is more like three or more free passes – and commit a crime due to their addiction (either under the influence or in an attempt to become under the influence), they are held accountable for their crimes. Same thing – when they know their continued substance abuse and the criminal activity engaged in to support that abuse will result in loss of freedom, the motivation to get into and stay in treatment greatly increases.

    BUT – and this is a big one – the “treatments” that are the MOST successful at both reducing use/abuse and eventually leading to sobriety are all in the “harm reduction” category. So, in order for this to work, the addict must be allowed to continue to use and taper off, meaning the substances have to be controlled and doled out, i.e., by the government or an agency with government approval. Yes, this is a sort of backdoor to quasi-legalization of nearly all controlled substances. Think methadone clinics.

    The problem with all the loonie-lefty ideas out there is sympathy for the offender/addict as a victim without accountability. I’m all for understanding why and how someone got the way they are, both to help them and prevent others from going down the same path. The problem is when our empathy erases their accountability. This is what is wrong with our school system, criminal justice, and just about every other system – they are based on misapplication, misunderstanding or simply misuse of otherwise sound psychological theories. Worse are the initiatives based on psychological theories that have no empirical evidence of soundness.

    Then there is crap like this Seattle city council idea that occupies a whole category of stupid all it’s own.

  19. Only Army Mom says:

    Anyone familiar with Bangor, Maine PD? Someone there writes a blog, ending each entry with the following –

    “Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone and be kind to one another”.

    Pretty much covers it all. Scandalous, I know /sarc.

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