Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Illegals: To Juggle With Price of Justice Is Costly

I read the news today, oh, boy,
4,000 holes in Blackburn-Lancashire.
And though the holes were rather small,
They had to count them all.

Now they know how many holes it takes to
fill the Albert Hall
... - John Lennon, "A Day In The Life"

When lawmen caught up with the accused serial murderer at the Atlanta airport, he was on his way back to Israel.

Elias Abuelazam prefers to use the blade. He allegedly stabbed his victims in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.

But hard times are taking their toll on the criminal justice system.

Accused of attempted murder in Genessee County, Michigan,
prosecutors figure it will cost them anywhere from $2,000 to
$10,000 to have the accused murderer extradited. The
problem is that the county is facing an $18 million deficit.

Mr. Abuelazam is an Israeli citizen.

In "lower level" offenses, it's much, much cheaper to
decline prosecution. The more attractive alternative is to
let the accused go and have federal authorities worry with
the costs of deportation. The trade off there is that no
one knows precisely where the perpetrators will go and what
they will do when they get there.

To juggle with limited resources sets lawmen on edge.

"County sheriffs are suffering immensely with extradition
costs. And this isn't something to be taken lightly," said
Aaron Kennard, the executive director of the National
Sheriffs Association. "If we don't extradite them, they
never pay for the crime. If we don't go get them, we're
thumbing our nose at the judicial system."

No one tracks the data on how many offenders are extradited
each year.

The truth is, it's a costly problem. The alternatives are
simple enough. Get the authorities who have the suspects in
custody to chip in some of the cost just to get the
prisoners off their books. Another solution is to have them
meet half way to turn them over.

A third alternative, one that is not so attractive, is to
have federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials
make a decision on what to do with foreign offenders. They
have been deporting violent illegal aliens first. It's the
number one priority. But there is a budget crunch there,

The decision is made by another authority and not the
local prosecutor.

If local prosecutors choose not to prosecute aliens, they
are set free in the community where they allegedly committed

The District Attorney of Northampton County, Pennsylvania,
stated the problem bluntly. "It doesn't make sense to spend
more tax dollars to colect tax dollars that are owed," said
John Morganelli. "If it's a misdemeanor charge, a case where
no great public harm is involved, we just can't go."

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