The FBI recently confirmed that Samuel Little, 79, is the most prolific serial killer in American history. Little has confessed thus far to strangling 93 women between 1970 and 2005.
Crime analysts at the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) confirmed that Little has been matched to 50 cases, with many more cases pending final confirmation.
I thought of Samuel Little as I was reading about the tweets on prison abolition put out by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who previously called for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“Mass incarceration is our American reality. It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery,” the congresswoman tweeted to her many followers “To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country.”
Decarceration? “Prison abolition? Really?
“People tend to say, “what do you do with all the violent people?” as a defense for incarcerating millions,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted later. “A cage is a cage. And humans don’t belong in them.”
Well, yes, Congresswoman. What would we do with Samuel Little and the other violent prisoners, as well as the many thieves and cheats who are thankfully locked up where they can’t victimize more innocent people, if we were to abolish prisons?
In her tweets the congresswoman did not address the obvious question of what we should do with violent prisoners once she has abolished prisons, other that stating that law makers like herself should come to solutions together.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted that she spoke to a woman who was in the New York jail on Rikers Island and the woman told her that the conditions were so bad that she had to drink out of toilets. (I recall the congresswoman also claimed back in July that illegals were told by Customs officials to drink out of toilets).
Despite her comments about Rikers Island’s awful conditions, the congresswoman opposes New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close the old Rikers jail and build borough-based jails.
The New York City Planning Commission approved the mayor’s plan to close the jail on Rikers Island and replace it with new and smaller borough-based jails in the four boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Protestors at the meeting called out “No New jails” and “Close Rikers now.”
On Instagram, the congresswoman urged the city council to vote against the mayor’s proposal.
“We shouldn’t be building new jails,” the congresswoman wrote in support of a report by No New Jails, an activist group. “The No New Jails plan involves reducing the prison population to a level where Rikers Island can be closed and no new jails are necessary.”
In another tweet, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez stated, “I know the term “prison abolition” is breaking some people’s brains. The right is already freaking out. Yet the US incarcerates more than anywhere in the world. We have more than enough room to close many of our prisons and explore just alternatives to incarceration.”
Of course, the congresswoman does not mention in her tweet any feasible alternative to incarceration for violent offenders and other criminals. Conservatives may not be “freaking out,” as AOC put it, but many conservatives are shaking their heads in disbelief.
A while back I spoke with Heather Mac Donald, who writes well-researched and thoughtful books and articles for City Journal, rather than the occasional brief tweet like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
Heather Mac Donald, the author of “The War On Cops: How the New Attack On Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe,” disputed the left’s claim of “mass incarceration,” noting that there is nothing “mass” about the American justice system.
“Everyone in prison was put there one at a time with due process of law,” Heather Mac Donald said.
Over the years that I’ve covered crime, I’ve spoken to a good many crime victims at crime scenes, in police stations and outside of courtrooms. Listening to the horrific stories of crime victims are heart-breaking, especially when the crimes involve children. I’ve encountered battered women and children, grief-stricken family members of homicide victims, and the still-frightened victims of armed robbery.
Most of the victims of murder, rape, armed robbery and scams want the criminals who upset their lives to serve time in prison. The criminal offenders belong in prison not only as punishment for their crimes, but also to protect the public from their brutal and larcenous ways.
So Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on prison abolition made me think of Mark Twain.
“Suppose you were an idiot,” Mark Twain said famously in 1891. “And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
• Paul Davis covers crime, espionage and terrorism.