Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.
Another "rap guy" bites the dust. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." In this case, the "rap guy" is Judge Harry Rapkin (search), whom you may remember let repeat offender probation violator Joseph Smith avoid prison. A few weeks later, police say Smith killed 11-year old Carlie Brucia (search).
That Florida murder outraged the nation. And The Factor began investigating Judge Rapkin. We found out that he had been soft on irresponsible convicts for years. In fact, a newspaper reported that Rapkin allowed criminals who violated probation to avoid going back to prison at least 50 times. Also, a recent Sarasota County Bar Association (search) report rated Rapkin second to last among 28 judges in Sarasota and Manatee counties. So there's no question that county Judge Rapkin was a big problem for law-abiding citizens and a pal to probation violators.
Since he wouldn't talk with us, we visited him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I called, we spoke to your office. And we said would you do an interview with us with "The O'Reilly Factor." And we had no calls back.
HARRY RAPKIN, FLORIDA CIRCUIT JUDGE: THE O'REILLY FACTOR?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five phone calls for you, sir.
RAPKIN: O'Reilly's a piece of scum. I really wouldn't give any interview to The O'Reilly Factor. You can put that on there. He's just -- everybody knows he's just a whatever.
You want to know about the facts of the case?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
RAPKIN: I will be glad to tell you. I never saw this man. He never appeared in my court. And no probation officer ever talked to me about this man. All I received was a piece of paper that said he's behind two payments in his payments for costs of court. He owed $170. The law in Florida is that to sign a warrant like that, payment of court costs you have to show that the person had the ability to pay. You just don't arrest people for debts.
O'REILLY: All right, now yesterday Rapkin called it quits, saying he'll retire, not run for re-election. Hopefully The Factor was a factor in the judge's decision.
We have nothing personal against Rapkin. We simply believe judges have to look out for kids like Carlie Brucia. This Smith guy who will stand trial for murder had a violent history and was a drug addict. Rapkin knew that. He makes an excuse but he knew it. And they let him out anyway.
Unacceptable. So say goodbye to Judge Harry Rapkin. We'll have reaction to his demise in just a few moments.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...
In Louisiana, as with most other places in the USA, many young people are wearing jeans that barely cover their privates. These are called lowriders. Thankfully, I have never tried them. Well, some in the Bayou State (search) don't like this sartorial trend. And now a bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would make lowriders illegal. If it passes, you would not be allowed to wear pants below the waist in Louisiana. Now we think this is a little ridiculous, because if you're skinny, maybe the pants slip down a little bit, or if you're a plumber, my God... Be that as it may, riding low in Louisiana might bring you down.