One of the local TV stations asks this question "Is Blue Crush Working?" as a teaser for their news story. They interview some people who live in the "war zone", then the director and district attorney.
The answer is yes, Blue Crush is doing what it was intended to do. There have been and there continues to be a large number of criminals taken off the streets. The issue is the REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT OFFENDER. Director Godwin and Bill Gibbons both understand the issues, but the current law is not having the intended effect. The current law allows the repeaters to continue to repeat, and repeat, and repeat. Until there is a major restructuring of the sentencing guidelines, we will continue to be plagued with a crime problem.
The ONLY way change will come about is if people get motivated and start pressuring the legislature to change things. As I've said for a long time, the repeaters are the ones who are causing Memphis to be a crime center. Roughly less than 1 percent of the population commits 90% of the crime. A sentencing matrix is sorely needed for several reasons.
The matrix should be used to reinforce the idea of a progressive discipline system. The criminals would learn the matrix, just like they have learned the current system. They know what they will get for most any offense. They know that most offenses are negotiated downward to a lesser sentence. The matrix would somewhat nullify that because the second offense would accumulate points that mandate an enhanced punishment. Currently, a prostitute who is convicted of prostitution the 100th time gets the same penalty as one who is a "first offender". Using a sentencing matrix would deal with this issue, so that someone who had been convicted that many times would have been a convicted felon because after (n) convictions, any additional charges could be accompanied with an escalation to Class E felony status. This way, the repeaters will learn to stop what they are doing, or move to a more criminal friendly environment.
We need citizen support on this issue. If you want to email your legislators, you can do that with just a few button clicks. Try this link.