David Menschel Profile picture
Criminal defense attorney, social activist, documentary filmmaker, movement strategist, foundation director.
Blake Feldman Profile picture The ⚫ ♀️ is the most disrepected woman in America Profile picture Potato of Reason Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
18 Jul
1. Some in the press suggest those of us who want a serious, responsible dialogue about crime (rather than a sensational fearmongered panic about it) are “not taking crime seriously.” It’s nonsense – a petulant demand that we embrace a cynical politics & irresponsible journalism.
2. It’s also utterly false. Belied by the evidence, every single day. Progressives everywhere (including the DA reform movement) are not ignoring violence but confronting it, often more directly and taking it more seriously than the utterly bullshit dialogue in the press.
3. Just because we refuse to embrace the dialogue of moral panic does not mean we don’t care about violence. And those who suggest that can fuck off. Progressives everywhere are fighting to make their communities safe.
Read 10 tweets
16 Jul
1. Just two months ago @emmaogreen wrote this self-satisfied, scolding piece blaming “liberals” for being too cautious and therefore “anti-science” regarding COVID. Image
2. @emmaogreen’s nasty, petty piece completely failed to wrestle with ongoing uncertainty about the virus. It also ignored the fact that individuals have unique risk factors – people who can’t get vaccinated for one reason or another or who live with the unvaccinated, etc.
3. And most disgustingly: @emmaogreen’s piece completely ignored the fact that being overly cautious is not the mirror image of being too lax – the public health implications ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. They are not “anti-science” in the same way. Not even a little.
Read 7 tweets
1 Jul
@EricLevitz Is anyone downplaying the seriousness of homicides? I see plenty of people trying to *contextualize the uptick in homicides. I see people wanting to have a serious discussion about crime rather than one grounded in fearmongering. 1/
@EricLevitz In NYC, homicides were up significantly last year. They are also down compared to *50* of the past 60 years. They are down 80% compared to their 90s height. And despite the homicide increase, violent crime is at/near a 40 year low. Shouldn’t that ALL be part of the discussion? 2/
@EricLevitz The idea that liberals don’t think an increase in homicide is important strikes me as real bullshit. Can you produce a single significant voice saying homicide increases are not a problem? 3/
Read 13 tweets
25 Jun
With the help of Philly DA Larry Krasner’s conviction integrity unit, a Philly man is cleared of murder after 34 years by evidence that was in the police file all along. inquirer.com/news/curtis-cr…
The DA’s search of the police file yielded “extensive undisclosed documents” including evidence that the state’s main informant-witness failed a polygraph, identified a different perpetrator, and sought a benefit in his legal case.
A second state witness “had previously given a false statement in a different murder case.” inquirer.com/news/curtis-cr…
Read 7 tweets
23 Jun
1. Amazing how quickly that whole critique of the ACLU as not sufficiently defending free speech goes out the window when the ACLU defends free speech in the Supreme Court and wins.
2. Also how amazing how the same people who depict “woke” students as anti-free speech denigrate those very students as unserious when they take a free speech case all the way to the Supreme Court and win 8-1.
3. Here is a write-up of the very righteous free speech case that the ACLU and “woke” students won in the Supreme Court today. Too bad Andrew Sullivan is so disrespectful of the sacred principle of free speech. Surely the end of liberalism is nigh. nytimes.com/2021/06/23/us/…
Read 4 tweets
23 Jun
Kudos to the @Times @Jonesieman for this solid assessment of the Manhattan DA’s race where it looks like Alvin Bragg will win, though ballots remain to be counted. Though it starts from a pretty bad place, the Times’ reporting on DAs is getting better. nytimes.com/2021/06/22/nyr…
It feels a little early to assume that Bragg will be the winner, but assuming he is, here is a more inside the movement take on the job in front of him. filtermag.org/alvin-bragg-ma…
And here is @Taniel @theappeal’s interview with Bragg: How Alvin Bragg Rejects Bill Bratton and Broken Windows Policing. @Taniel is the definitive voice on DA elections and frankly a national treasure. theappeal.org/politicalrepor…
Read 4 tweets
21 Jun
1. I’m all for evaluating non-police anti-violence strategies but note that reporters NEVER EVER require similar evaluation of policing strategies. Only reforms must prove their worth and cost-effectiveness NEVER mass carceralism.
2. For example, here is a study that suggests that when prosecutors refuse to jail people for low level offenses, VIOLENT CRIME PLUMMETS. bostonglobe.com/2021/03/29/met…
3. I mean check out these results. So when are cops and prosecutors going to have to prove that their strategies work?
Read 4 tweets
19 Jun
I don’t know anything about critical race theory, but as I see some of the stuff floating through my timeline – and the incredibly stupid elite dialogue about it – I just find my mind returning to Baldwin again and again. Image
I mean THIS. In the end anti-CRT or anti-wokeness or whatever one wants to call this particular incoherent spasm of white supremacist authoritarian backlash, it is in the end about white people and the terror that they have of looking at themselves... Image
...looking at their forbearers, their history from the perspective of the people they have treated for ~400 years as less than full and equal humans. Their need to maintain the myth of white innocence is just so profound. To relinquish it is an existential threat.
Read 5 tweets
12 Jun
1. Fabulous article about Kip Kinkle who, at age 15, committed the most notorious crime in modern Oregon history when he killed his parents and shot up a school. Now he’s 38, is in treatment for paranoid schizophrenia, and has grown and changed a lot. huffpost.com/entry/kip-kink…
2. As those of us who have represented people on death row know from our own personal experience, even people who commit the most ghastly, unthinkable crimes often grow and change as they get older. Many, (though not all), become rehabilitated. huffpost.com/entry/kip-kink…
3. This is not just true of people who committed their crimes as children, like Kinkel; it’s also true of those who committed crimes as adults. And it’s also not merely true of those who played a small role in a violent crime; principals/ringleaders often transform over time.
Read 15 tweets
9 Jun
1. I mean if you want to understand why there is still so much protest and still so little police reform in Portland the answer is concrete and basically never mentioned in any of these articles.
2. The mayor protects downtown business interests, loves police and always backs them. He got a MINORITY of the vote for reelection, yet he still won the race, because two candidates that promised transformative changes split the vote.
3. So after a year of protest and a lot of support for police reform among radical elements and not so radical elements, hopes were raised and very little changed.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Actually violent crime in toto was DOWN in liberal cities — like Portland, Philly, Chicago and NYC — last year. Homicides were up, though homicides were up in conservative cities as well. But go on with your false information and casual racism.
Here are receipts for three of the four cities I mentioned: Portland, Philly and NYC. (1) Portland 2019 (2) Portland 2020 (3) Philly 2019-2020 (4) NYC 2019-2020.
3. Can’t find end of year for Chicago, so only have year-to-date (violent crime down every year for four years). Also adding year-end San Francisco and Seattle for good measure – two more “liberal cities,” also down.
Read 6 tweets
8 Jun
1. Even though she was confirmed today, the politicization of the nomination of an old school prosecutor for the high court of New York State was a good thing. Something to be emulated.
2. These state appellate courts are lousy with former prosecutors. In some states it’s like ~60%+ former prosecutors and 0% former criminal defense attorneys/civil rights lawyers. That is some real nonsense. We have to contest that.
3. We are already contesting these judge positions at the local level. Important victories in Philly, Pittsburgh, Nevada, New Orleans, etc. theappeal.org/politicalrepor…
Read 8 tweets
6 Jun
1. This is some real demagogic bullshit from I guy I thought I liked. No sense of responsibility about how law enforcement including his own office helped to created that outcome.
2. When people fail to come forward they are not "choosing the side" of the harm-doers. Such nonsense.
3. They are responding to the circumstances around them which has involved 30 years of hyper-carceral harassment over the tiniest offenses — literally worse than anywhere in the world — from the people you’re expecting them to go to when something bad happens.
Read 6 tweets
1 Jun
1. @Twitter appears to be blacking out several of my tweets suggesting that homicides went up in liberal cities and conservative cities even though that is objectively true.
2. Here again, is @twitter blacking out my tweets.
3. Here is one of the tweets that @twitter is blacking out in other people’s feeds. It is objectively true.
Read 6 tweets
1 Jun
1. This piece is SO INCOMPREHENSIBLY BAD. It depicts Portland in apocalyptic terms, dismissing it as a liberal wasteland. But somehow the piece fails to mention: PORTLAND ISN’T EVEN IN THE TOP HALF OF (the 50 largest) CITIES WHEN IT COMES TO HOMICIDES LAST YEAR?!?!? Sheesh.
2. It’s true homicides went up in Portland last year, significantly. In part the large percentage rise was BECAUSE IT WAS STARTING FROM SUCH A LOW NUMBER, compared to almost any large American city.
3. And lets be clear, homicides spiked in ALMOST EVERY US CITY LAST YEAR. One could have written this piece about pretty much any city – progressive or conservative. Ft. Worth? Homicides spiked! Omaha? Homicides were up more than 100%!
Read 10 tweets
1 Jun
The Pacific Northwest is God’s country.
Spectacular day near Mount St. Helens.
Read 4 tweets
19 May
1. With Larry Krasner winning by a nearly 2 to 1 margin, I wonder how many of these reporters and editors will do some soul-searching tomorrow about the entirely fantastical backlash they sough to create without any evidence at all?
2. This same piece was pretty much everywhere. Was no real evidence for any of it, other than “shit the police union was saying.”
3. I mean the sheer sameness of the takes was pretty astounding.
Read 5 tweets
18 May
1. A 75-year-old Louisiana woman was freed after four decades in prison. Reform District Attorney of New Orleans Jason Williams said she never should have been convicted in the first place because she killed a man who was raping her. nola.com/news/courts/ar…
2. The woman had a strong “stand your ground” style self-defense claim, but prosecutors in the early 1980s ignored her account, in part because date rape was not yet a culturally accepted idea. nola.com/news/courts/ar…
3. How sexist was the prosecution? One assistant DA questioned whether she was “sort of asking for it.” Another faulted her for failing to run out of her own house – even though she had no legal obligation to do so. nola.com/news/courts/ar…
Read 4 tweets
18 May
Strikes me this article on Biden’s clemency plan is extremely disappointing for several reasons. nytimes.com/2021/05/17/us/…
Most critically: Biden says that he’s going to let prosecutors at DOJ who prosecuted these cases make decisions on who deserves clemency. This is a TERRIBLE idea. It relies on people who committed a vast injustice to admit their error and fix it, rather than an outsider.
The process is also EXTREMELY bureaucratic and difficult for most incarcerated people/formerly incarcerated people to navigate.
Read 6 tweets
22 Apr
1. The new ultra-conservative Supreme Court abandons the more muscular understanding of Miller/Montgomery which demanded that a judge find a juvenile is “permanently incorrigible” before sentencing a juvenile to life without the possibility of parole. supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf…
2. The court guts 100,000s of hours of work by lawyers like me and others to end the barbarous practice of sentencing children to LWOP. It says that so long as a judge has discretion to sentence a child to less than LWOP, the constitution is satisfied.
3. This is pretty deep in the weeds, but in some ways today’s ruling by Kavanaugh is the fault of Justice Kagan whose poorly written opinion in Miller v. Alabama (as opposed to Kennedy’s broader Montgomery) makes such a retrogression easy.
Read 14 tweets
20 Apr
1. I’m going to start a thread as a way of documenting the use of the repulsive euphemism “officer involved shooting” as a way of documenting its use and shaming the reporters and news outlets that use it.
2. In April 2021 @WKBN, ostensibly a news outlet, used the euphemism “officer-involved shooting.”
3. In April 2021 @KOINNews, ostensibly a news outlet, used the euphemism “officer-involved shooting.” koin.com/news/crime/sus…
Read 9 tweets