Guest Editorial: PATRICIA JESSAMY vs GREGG BERNSTEIN FOR BALTIMORE STATE'S ATTORNEY
(BALTIMORE - August 24, 2010) - Hmmm, just watched clips of the debate between Pat Jessamy and Gregg Bernstein in Canton.. While Mr. Bernstein has raised alot of money his views are clearly a direct response to the same people who left the City, moved to the suburbs, waited for the housing to dilapidate, tear them down, build expensive unaffordable housing in the prime water areas and who "pay a premium" to live in peace.
Crime didn't leave the City because they moved in. The crime has been here, people in the inner city have clearly been forgotten. The neighborhoods have been destroyed by absentee landlords, redlining by the banks, 3 strikes your out - so the families are being left to fend for themselves with their mothers & fathers incarcerated.
The DRUGS that come into the City aren't brought to this country, state, city or neighborhood by the neighborhood semi-wannabe-gangster! They are brought in by people with planes, ships and legal license to bring them here!
Bernsteins idea of just put everybody in jail "forever", is in direct correlation to the Industrial Prison Complex's plan...make $100,000 per year to keep people in stockades, Build more jails, warehouse slave labor, don't train prisoners to be able to work when they come home, give them $1.95 when they get out of jail and let them figure out-how to get home or how to walk back through the door, 'cause they won't be hired; unable to feed their families, pay their bills or just keep the lights on in their homes.
Bernstein is part of the masterplan! Don't be fooled by the designer glasses and his shafty words of following 200 lawyers around, in a court room that has dockets packed 24hours a day daggone near 7 days a week. WTH? Who does that... that's like the President of a major company spending all daggone day with everyone of his employees! Doing what? You should hire the people who know how to do their job.
So then the Police who look at criminals, speculate or know what they're doing and then do nothing but LOOK at them! Stevie Wonder could see this on every corner!This venom that he's spewing is fueled by powers much bigger than your neighborhood and its may or may not be your family that is going to be impacted.This problem is social, educational, economical and Bernstein is NON-HEARING... And, so who did you say was funding his campaign?!
What do you think?
12 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
Okay, so you watch CLIPS of a debate, and you come up with this idea of Bernstein being some corporately funded guy who just wants to LOCK EVERYBODY UP UNTIL INFINITY??!! Oh, and this was rich as well: "...his views are clearly a direct response to the same people who left the City, moved to the suburbs, waited for the housing to dilapidate, tear them down, build expensive unaffordable housing in the prime water areas and who "pay a premium" to live in peace." Okay, I hate to inform you, but while you try to paint this as a "Black versus White" situation, there are scores of brothers and sisters who have fled this city due to the escalation of crime in this city, many of whom are friends and family of my own. A good portion of the well-known mega-churches are either right on the city-county line OR out of the city altogether, which means that your thinly veiled suggestion that it's all White folks taking over holds NO weight whatsoever.
As a Black Man, and someone who loves this city with a passion, I have this to say: If you don't use it, you SHOULD lose it. I have watched as East Baltimore (around Johns Hopkins Hospital)fell, fell, and kept falling. Not only could the residents of those neighborhoods NOT do anything about their living conditions, many of them did not WANT do anything about it!! And now the residents want to try to resist the Change that is so desperately needed in their communities?? No, you had your chance, and now it's time to move on.
But I digress. Part of the reason why this city has fallen apart is because of the amount of criminals that have not been efficiently prosecuted that have records that are MILES LONG!! They get arrested, and are almost immediately back on the streets doing more dirt (Steven Pitcairn, anyone? And I'm almost certain that the Milton Hill killer has been arrested a few times also). Pat Jessamy, while the crime problem in Baltimore is not entirely her fault, the enabling of the criminal mindset here in this city is one of many direct consequences of her inactions as City State's Attorney.
Jessamy represents the old guard, the staunch protectors of the status quo who have run this city into the ground over the last 25 years. For those here in this city who have just learned to deal with the way things are, they will vote for Jessamy for 2 reasons: She's Black, and she's all they know. For those who finally want to see CHANGE in their communities, and crime fought on a new level, they will vote for Gregg Bernstein.
While I do agree that rehab programs are necessary, and job training should be something that is in our correctional facilities, enough is enough. In the words of Commissioner Bealefeld, we have to become sick of the excuses. I for one am sick of the enabling, sick of the poison, and sick of our communities being paralyzed by fear of the dope man. That is something you should want too...
P.S. Oh, and that thing about Bernstein wanting to "lock everybody up"? That just so happens to be his JOB...
Dear Marsha ,your writing belies your intelligence. First Bernstein consistently says he is not for locking everybody up. Did you not hear him say that in canton debate? Second, the SAO is operating on shoestring budget w/no $ for social programs and finally would you be supportive of a white SA under whose 15 year watch, never removed us from one of Americas most dangerous cities. How much carnage must we witness before you agree a change is needed? Or is it that you are bothered more by the color of her opponent?honesty fuels credibility even for guest columnist!
C'mon, Mr. Carter! Everything wrong with Baltimore is Pat Jessamy's fault, right? Not the judges. Not the people with the planes that continually bring dope through ports and airports to serve dope on Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore every single day. It's her fault we have young people who find it easier to sling than to go to school because mommy has a habit and daddy's already locked up. It's her fault that Baltimore is violent even tho it was before she came into office and will be long after she is gone - regardless of who you put in there.
Until the schools are respectable, jobs are abounding so that people can feed their families, and social issues like HIV and drug & alcohol addiction receive the necessary attention - you can blame whomever you want. These are issues no one entity can fix.
Furthermore, I don't know what Baltimore you're talking about, but the one in which I was raised has a preponderance of my homeboys locked up for life.
Like I've said, I guess you wanna start locking up our grandparents next!
Thank you for your comments, don’t know that I agree with all being said. Never said this was about race! It’s really about access, power and money – the only color in this equation is green.
In a metropolitan area that has over 50% Black people, many of whom are professional and have been blessed to have the good fortune to take advantage of the many real estate opportunities in the city; while others have opted to leave for a variety of reasons, including crime and education.
Quite frankly, I have lived in both the city and the suburbs; most of my life in this area, as well as many of my friends of all races and religions… primarily because I like open spaces and I would presume that the mega-churches are faced with the same dilemma, since it is impossible to “grow more land”…
Your comments on the east corridor and really surrounding communities with the largest investments: this is where we have a real departure of beliefs. It should not be lost on you that the blatant and depressing ruin of these communities is going on throughout every urban center in America. I find that odd. I also question why the public school systems in these communities fall short on graduating large percentages of low income children, yet maintain very high drop-out rates. These same communities are closing schools, yet the citizens of those communities will be housed in the 2 newly built jails. These figures are in direct alignment with the studies with indicators forecasting that if by 4 years old a child is unable to read, they are settling into the pipeline for incarceration: those percentages are stunning.
I also wonder why more people have not acknowledged that many banks are still redlining and their community reinvestment activities don’t always apply to people who are making minimum wage. Perhaps it has been awhile if ever, that you knew what the likes of minimum wage looks like or how far it will or will not go. The other sharp contrast is that most of the houses of which you speak are owned by absentee landlords who have allowed these homes to deteriorate for a myriad of reasons. I would venture to say that the home ownership in the Hopkins footprint were owned by elderly people who can no longer afford to eat or pay for their medication; let alone repair something in their home.
I would like to add that this city has fallen apart because we as taxpayers, voters and concerned citizens and parents, have not demanded more equity in the educational system. This is where children learn how to become responsible adults; create a future and have hope for tomorrow.
I certainly am tired of the continual looping of crime, murder and mayhem that I see on the news, the blue lights observing the street action and the squad cars sirens whirling.
I disagree, with your comments of Black and she’s all they know; Stu Simms and Kurt Schmoke were very effective State's Attorneys. Pat Jessamy is about the development of people and the incarceration of those who have the right package from the arresting officer, the jury (that is committed) and witnesses that wish to risk their lives to speak of the ill in their community.
While we need serious answers to the blight on this great city, it can’t just be thrown in a cell and the key out the window. We must look at the holistic approach to peoples lives and aiding them in changing how they see the world, their community and themselves.
Pat Jessamy’s record speaks for itself:
Between 1995 and 2009, Baltimore City’s population decreased 9%, but crime decreased 59% according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. The police, judges, elected officials, and community leaders have all contributed to this decrease. But, the most consistent factor during these years has been State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy.
No bail for repeat violent offenders - There is less crime because there are fewer criminals on the streets. Jessamy’s “War Room” has been an increasingly effective crime prevention program that keeps repeat violent offenders in jail without bail until their cases comes up in court.
Jessamy’s lawyers have had phenomenal success convincing bail commissioners and judges to deny bail to 90% of the repeat violent offenders they review. From 2005 to 2009, War Room intervention kept 7,292 repeat violent offenders in jail waiting their court dates. We will never know how many thousands of additional crimes these offenders would have committed if they had been on the streets instead of in jail.
Mandatory no parole sentences - Jessamy and her staff have been very aggressive and effective in obtaining mandatory no parole sentences. Her Firearms Investigation Violence Enforcement (FIVE) unit has obtained more than 1,800 mandatory five-year no parole sentences against convicted felons found with a gun. Jessamy was the principal architect of the law passed by the 2000 General Assembly that imposes this strict penalty, even if the gun has not been used. This program has imprisoned violent criminals, deterred others from carrying guns, and decreased crime.
Jessamy’s prosecutors have also routinely sought and obtained mandatory five-year no parole sentences under a different law that covers the use of a handgun while committing a crime of violence. These cases often involve nonfatal shootings, armed robberies and carjackings, all of which have decreased in Baltimore City.
Project EXILE - Jessamy’s staff also obtains mandatory sentences in federal court under a creative program called EXILE. Some of her assistants also become federal prosecutors and bring cases that require federal law or resources. The persons convicted are often leaders of violent drug and gang organizations who are then sent to federal penal institutions outside of Maryland. Their exiles have reduced crime in Baltimore.
Other successful Jessamy programs - Jessamy has done many other things that have reduced crime. For example, created a Forensics Unit to train prosecutors in the use of forensic science, created the TREES program to assist young offenders to obtain educational and support services and avoid becoming career criminals, partnered with federal law enforcement agencies to dismantle violent gangs, and created the Felony Family Violence Unit focusing on child abuse and domestic violence.
As you may or may not know: Patricia Jessamy became the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City in 1995. Since then, crime in Baltimore City has dramatically decreased in every category for which the FBI and the Maryland State Police issue official Uniform Crime Reports (UCR).
Since Jessamy has been the State’s Attorney, overall these UCR crimes in Baltimore City have decreased 59%, from 96,243 total offenses in 1995 to 39,286 in 2009.
Note: This chart does not include one UCR crime, arson. The Uniform Crime Reports do not include all serious crimes. For example, the UCR does not report on drug felonies and illegal weapons charges. Non-UCR crimes have decreased in Baltimore City to the same extent as UCR crimes. For example, in the last five years felony narcotics cases decreased 56%, from 7,180 cases in 2004 to 3,179 cases in 2009.
Thank you for your comment, I think? Clearly, you obviously do not know me. I find it interesting that you would actually think and believe that I am supporting Pat Jessamy because she happens to be Black; rather than to think I am supporting her because I believe that she has done and will continue to do a great job. Apparently the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reported that in Baltimore City crime is down 59% during her 15 year tenure.
I support Patricia Jessamy, because I don't hear Bernstein coming up with anything that is salient or innovative and his position is in stark contrast to what I believe is good for the people of Baltimore. His own website touts “to make Baltimore a Safer City by PROSECUTING and CONVICTING”… Not to mention his experience as a criminal defense lawyer far exceeds his experience as a prosecuting attorney.
Your inflammatory comment that “I” am racist is quite alarming and borderline libelist. Perhaps that reflection in your mirror will remind YOU that “honesty fuels credibility.”
Dear ms. J , crime has dropped all across the state and in fact the country .Assuming PJ is responsible ,what does that say about Simms/Schmoke both of whom you hailed as"very effective states atty "? In addition the st atty is in office to prosecute and convict . Finally Bernstein has far more trial experience tha both Simms/Schmoke and was a prosecutor longer. I have seen firsthand the deadly effects of a poorly run city states atty office over the last decade and a half. It's time for a change ! 15years as one of Americas most dangerous cities? We deserve better! and we will have it! Respectfuuly WAB
Okay... Here we go...
Doni, if you read my post, you would know that I made it clear that the city's ills cannot all be laid at Jessamy's feet. I am in full agreement with you when you say that this city's problems are myriad, with many different problems within problems. You are right about that. So your characterization of my post as being a referendum of sorts on Jessamy is ridiculous. The point I was trying to make is that Jessamy represents the old way of doing things in this city, especially since so many of the political establishment in this city loves her oh-so much. "Staying the course" just does not seem to be the right move, IMO. I for one am sick of seeing the same people in office that were there when I was a kid (I'm 28), and the city I love still is underdeveloped, unchanged (or worse), residents bleed out of the city, and-- surprise surprise-- criminals with mile-long rap sheets still roam the streets!!
What is my point with this?
Mrs. Jessamy is not the right choice for this city anymore because she refuses to evolve with the times. An office of over 200 attorneys prosecuting hundreds (if not thousands) of cases per year needs to be able to communicate with one another. The argument that Jessamy brought up in one of her debates that BlackBerrys are not allowed in court is untrue; you can bring them, you just can't use them while court is in session. So for someone to shun modern technology that would do nothing else except help her office (also, no Voicemail???) is ridiculous.
Secondly, Jessamy has made statements that IMO has disqualified her from the position, the main one being that she "cannot bear to see another Black Man in chains." Okay, while I second that emotion (especially as a Black Man myself), that is not the job of the City State's Attorney. I personally believe that Jessamy would better serve this city as a community activist, truth be told. But to be a CSA/social worker? Not your job. Your job as the CSA is to LOCK PEOPLE UP!!! So sorry if that fact is lost on people, but that is part of the job description for the position we are electing someone to in the next couple weeks. As someone who is tired of hearing the sirens, seeing the lights, and watching depressing news every day (which will always be a part of any urban city-- just a fact of life), I want to see someone else do the job that is NOT part of, again, Baltimore's political machine! And in my opinion, I believe that Bernstein will do a better job than Jessamy.
And to answer this stupid idea that Bernstein wants to lock everyone up (which strikes fear into most of the electorate whenever a white candidate comes along), I just have to ask you one question: Why would you insult me by saying, "I guess you want us to start locking up our grandparents next"? Come on, really? If that's the level of debate you're on, my brother, then you really need to step your game up. No-one would be so stupid as to suggest that we need to lock our grandparents up (I help to take care of my sick grandmother in her home), so I wish you hadn't said that. My point is that everyone needs to look at CONSEQUENCES. No-one in this city is worried about the consequences of bad behavior in this city (if anything, it's considered FUN!! I was on the bus and overheard 2 young Black Men talking about how much FUN PRISON was!!!!). Because teen pregnancy, selling heroin to make money, joining a gang, and robbing people have been so glorified here in this city, and because the older generations hanging on the corner all day getting drunk and fighting on Harford Road (thank God for viral video), it is no surprise to me that our younger generations keep the cycle in full effect. Unless we as a people decide to ELEVATE past who we are and what we have been, we are going to maintain this vicious cycle, and we will lose the little bit we have left!
Let us maintain our proper focus here. We are electing someone who we the people in this city want to represent us in prosecuting criminals for deeds done. That person needs to be fair and understanding, but very, very tough. And Jessamy is not it. I am personally willing to see new faces and fresh blood in the CSA office, and am putting my support 110% behind Gregg Bernstein.
Oh, and now to Miss Jews:
As far as your first couple of comments, I agree with you too. It is a matter of green; now it remains to be seen if the intentions are as nefarious as you and others seem to make it. To give you some background, I have been homeless, living in an abandoned building in Park Heights, to living in Harlem and the Bronx in NYC. Truth be told, I have wondered if the problems in Baltimore were deeper than the usual reasons given (the have and the have-nots). From what I have seen, for some in this city, it is a matter of apathy. I take the bus through Lower Park Heights every day (I live above Northern Parkway), and it has gotten significantly worse day after day. Because of the conditions there, I wonder often if anyone in those neighborhoods actually truly care about the conditions of where they live. And the answer I have been getting is no, most of the time.
As i said earlier, it's all about consequences. And for many, too many people want to simply understand instead of punishing the wrongs. Understanding why things are the way they are is great, and is necessary. But can that be the only way we approach the problems that Baltimore has, through only understanding?
I know too many people who are tired of understanding criminals and want to see them punished. I have a bit of confessed bias (my grandmother was murdered 5 years ago today by someone who Jessamy went light on; they should have pursued the death penalty for the murderer and didn't) concerning this whole debate, but the fact is that criminals must be punished for crimes committed. People of tired of seeing the same people in the neighborhoods with rap sheets miles long terrorizing their communities, myself included!! So again, Baltimore needs an even tougher approach to crime, and if Bernstein is going to provide it (which from what I can see is something he has a great shot of doing), I say more power to him.
All of you are misguided in supporting Evil and the Lessor of Two Evils, the sad part of this is most of you make a living of the depravity of instutional racism and Jim Crow in Blackface meted out by the likes of Patricia Jessamy and the rest of the corrupt Maryland Judiciary.
Either way the Jews win, Jessamy doesn't run her office Haven Kodeck and the rest of the Easy Bake Oven Bunch does; Warren is buck dancing for the Easy Bake Oven Bunch by backing one of their chosen corrupt lawyers.........a pox on both of their houses.
The not so funny part of this is that Ms. Lansey has been dubbed a "plant" a "spoiler" and totally ignored by the Jew controlled media in this town.
Warren I never thought you would be a buckdancing mouth piece for the Easy Bake Oven Bunch.....;after all of the civil rights violations that our People have suffered in this city at the hands of the Jew/Irish Mob and their boot-licking Black lackeys don't you think they've had enough?
This is sad, pathetic, and will be the cause of armed resistance to police brutality and the blood libeling of the Black Community....mark my words.
This is the beauty of America: the ability to agree to disagree. Despite the name-calling and labels and harsh opinions, at least we can dialogue.
At the end of the day, the most relevant piece to add is voting.
None of the rhetoric amounts to a hill of beans unless one votes.
As for me, I'll be voting for Jessamy.
ps If you think her office is light on crime, despite some who have fallen through the cracks, I believe you are mistaken. Further, to blame all of the ills on one office is to be ignorant to the powers that be and the will they exert upon black Baltimore every single day.
Big-ups to Marsha Jews
Okay, Doni, I'm just convinced that you only picked over everything I just read. Agreeing to disagree is a beautiful thing, but I see that you may be part of the problem here too. Supporting someone who has consistently failed this city, especially on the basis of their race (which you have once again implied should be done) is foolhardy. This city is dying, and the people currently in power (Jessamy included) have fiercely guarded the status quo with everything within them. The Baltimore political establishment is and has been in full effect here, and the things that scare people about Bernstein is that he is 1) Outside of the political sphere of influence, and therefore is a threat to the Baltimore political machine, especially if he is successful; 2) He's white. 'Nuff said there; and 3) has a fire inside of him to actually clean up this city by any legal means necessary. Jessamy has been content to rest on her record of inefficiency and laziness (while claiming a high conviction rate#, then call Bernstein a liar over 8 times without anything proving him to be such #first debate#. Stop the drama, Doni! There is no conspiracy theory here, there is no evil white cabal that wants to take over Baltimore City and ship all of us out to the counties. There are good people #myself included) that want to see new, thriving businesses and communities spring up where blight, drugs and filth have ruled for decades. People don't want to see just Harbor East, Canton, Fells Point and the western part of Downtown flourish; I want to see ALL of this city ELEVATE and be the comeback story of the century!! And I hate to inform you of this, but the turnaround takes a lot of diversity to make it happen. Baltimore needs every law-abiding resident to get more active in their communities, active in their places of worship, and come together to bring change here!
So, in case you missed it AGAIN, Doni, I will say it again. You CANNOT lay all of this city's ills at Jessamy's feet. Did you get that? I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU THERE!!!! However, I completely disagree with the idea of patching a notoriously leaking ship with duct tape and chewing gum, which is what re-electing Jessamy is akin to!!
One last point: Jessamy brought all this attention on herself, by the way. Had she not blown up Bealefeld's lawn sign and made it local news, she would not have had the fight of her political life on her hands that she has right now. Of course we all know that she would never have said anything had the sign been for her.
So enough with this, Doni. You vote for Jessamy like every other scared Black power broker in this city, and keep the status quo. I'm running with Bernstein (and there are a LOT of other people in the Black community here that is sick of her too). Enjoy the status quo! Hopefully you won't go insane doing the same thing and expecting something different.
DG, please listen to bro Carter. Change in Bmore is inevitable! The Gibsons,Hensons,and jessamys have had their run. It's over! Bernstein will win because people are tired of merely following leaders to nowhere.
To Warren Brown and the young Mr. Carter: Firstly, you ought to be putting that energy into speaking up about our three black elected officials who are a total of 240 years old. Number 2, go and tell Peter Angelos, Lou Grasmick, and John Paterakis they have had power too long - while you're busting our SAO to the ground.
Specifically to Mr. Brown: After all you have done to make a positive difference, I still cannot believe that you are walking the trail of lies concocted by a man you know damn well is going to make Baltimore a police state. You just gotta insist that it's not the crooked judges who get paid by bribing lawyers, nor police who halfway do their job, nor parole boards who let the wrong ones out. No, Mr. Brown - as you wish: It's all Jessamy's fault. I'm really getting tired of this broken record.
Mind you, people on the streets see what the deal is. We've heard the zero tolerance hokus pokus before. We've experienced the NY/Rockefeller ways of Ed Norris, now a convicted felon. We've seen career politicans come to Baltimore with opportunism in the core of their being. And we've seen who gets marched in and out of the Mitchell Courthouse in chains 5 days a week.
Like I said, I gues our grandmothers get locked up next.