Talking Points

Bill O'Reilly: Is the American criminal justice system unfair and racist?

Talking Points 8/13


By Bill O'Reilly

Many on the left say the police and prosecutors are going after black Americans and are putting non-violent criminals of all color in prison in a cruel and unjust way.

Let me give you an example of what's in play.

In the "New York Times" last Sunday, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column about a Tennessee man named Edward Young. He was recently sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison for violating a career criminal statute.

Mr. Kristof says the sentence's an outrage, unfair at every level. Quote, "Young, now 43, was convicted of several burglaries as a young man but then resolved that he would turn his life around. Released from prison in 1996, he married, worked six days a week and raised four children in Hixson, Tennessee. Then Young became a suspect in burglaries at storage facilities and vehicles in the area. And the police searched his home and found the forgotten shotgun shells as well as some stolen goods."

The shotgun shells according to Kristof, were given to Young by a neighbor but it is against federal law for a convicted felon to possess weapons and ammunition. So when police found the ammo in Young's home he was charged in federal court.

Nicholas Kristof wants us to believe that Edward Young is being put in a federal penitentiary for 15 years because he innocently held some shotgun shells.

Now, we asked Mr. Kristof to appear on the program this evening. He did not respond to that request. And I don't blame him because here is the truth about Edward Young. He has a rap sheet that includes 22 felony charges; 11 of which are classified as violent because they involve breaking into a home or business. Young was facing three state counts of felony burglary for crimes committed in September of 2011. Tennessee authorities also say Young brought his 14-year-old son with him while he was committing some of the crimes. If convicted under Tennessee law, Young was looking at far more prison time than 15 years.

So he pleaded guilty to the federal beef. In effect, the federal authorities did Young a favor because the state charges were then dropped. Somehow Nicholas Kristof didn't mention any of that in his column.

So, a "New York Times" reader is left to believe that the U.S. government put a caring father in the penitentiary for 15 years simply because he had a few shotgun shells in his possession... totally false, bogus and that kind of propaganda is now all over the place.

The left is hell bent on portraying the American criminal justice system as corrupt and racist. It wants Americans to believe that the prisons are full of nonviolent offenders like Edward Young.

In addition, the left generally opposes aggressive police tactics to neutralize violent street crime. We'll see that in a moment with New York City stop-and-frisk controversy.

"Talking Points" well understands that no justice system is perfect and there is some unfairness in the U.S. criminal code. But the truth is, the truth is, crime in this country has dropped dramatically partially because of harsh punishments delivered to career criminals.

And finally, as every cop knows criminals get away with most of the crimes they commit. Edward Young in Tennessee is a career criminal. And worse, if we believe the authorities, he is corrupting his 14-year-old son. And Nicholas Kristof wants us to feel sorry for this guy? Good grief.

And that's "The Memo."