The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


August 16, 2013

Stop-and-frisk ruling is common sense


The city has argued that the races of those stopped mirror the racial composition of those involved in committing crimes. If anything, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in June, police “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”

This dismissive attitude undervalues the corrosive impact of a stop-and-frisk program that is both inadequately supervised and racially skewed. Police stops are not airport security checks, an inconvenience that everyone must undergo in the interest of public safety. They are more intrusive, humiliating and targeted.

“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life,” Scheindlin wrote.

New York City is a far safer place than it was several decades ago; Bloomberg may be correct, as he said in decrying the decision, that stop-and-frisk “has saved countless lives,” most of them “black and Hispanic young men.”

But Scheindlin did not order an end to stop-and-frisk. She ordered that it be conducted more carefully, with more training before the fact and more supervision afterward.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement on mandatory minimum sentences dealt with the opposite problem: inadequate discretion when it comes to sentencing, once again an issue with racial overtones.

Holder described a nation “coldly efficient in our incarceration efforts,” with a prison population that has grown by almost 800 percent since 1980 and almost half of the inmates serving time for drug-related crimes.

Holder singled out “draconian mandatory minimum sentences” for drug crimes. “Because they oftentimes generate unfairly long sentences, they breed disrespect for the system,” Holder said. “When applied indiscriminately, they do not serve public safety.”

And, as with stop-and-frisk, there is a racial element bound up in mandatory minimum laws. As Holder noted, “They ... have had a destabilizing effect on particular communities, largely poor and of color.”

Text Only
  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Cappella choir concert was a success

    The CHS A Cappella reunion was great. It was real great to hear so many good voices of so many former choir members.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time to boost social security

    It's time for Congress to act so that Social Security benefits can finally start to keep pace with the cost of living.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results