Seattle’s Crime and Punishment – WSJ

A Seattle Police vehicle is parked at Hing Hay Park in Seattle, March 18, 2021.


Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Good news from Seattle, for once. The city’s most prolific criminals will no longer be eligible for automatic release cards.

Ann Davison won the election in November in her campaign to restore order to a city that had lost control of the streets. Now, she’s secured a notable win with a new deal that will increase the likelihood of repeat offenders facing consequences.

The new settlement amends a 2019 agreement that allows Seattle’s famed Tolerance Community Court to deal with about two dozen misdemeanors, including theft of merchandise up to $750, trespassing on a residential property, and vandalism. asset. Those charged are usually released with a referral to support services and sometimes assigned to a life skills class or community service. We recently wrote about William Piccone, who in recent years has been prosecuted to the Seattle city attorney 46 times.

The revised agreement excludes people who have had 12 or more charges referred to city attorneys for prosecution in the past five years, including one of the past eight. Instead, their cases will be heard in Municipal Court, where judges can request bail and impose prison sentences.

Davison pushed for the amendments after learning that only 118 individuals were responsible for more than 2,400 crimes in Seattle over the past five years.

Prolific criminals qualify for Community Court regardless of their rapping, and they made four attempts — often involving multiple misdemeanors — before being pushed into City Court. With the exception of cases involving domestic violence and traffic violations, the Community Court handled 55% of all crimes that police referred to city attorneys for prosecution, her office said. Davison reported.

Davison’s proposal was met with significant opposition from the City’s Community Court and the Department of Defense. But she asked the City Court judges to intervene, and they ultimately approved the amendments. Seattle still has a long way to go to become a safe city, but voters are starting to see some results from their democratic intervention.

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Appears on May 24, 2022, print edition titled ‘Crime and Punishment in Seattle.’ Seattle’s Crime and Punishment – WSJ

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