Finally state media outlets are reporting the disturbing fact that Democrat actions will likely result in the release of a murderer (and attempted rapist) of a 14 year old girl.
Mainstream media stories are finally appearing around the state regarding the outrageous fact that a man who was convicted to life in prison for murdering a Vancouver teen, will likely soon be released from prison due to soft-on-crime legislation passed by Democrat legislators and signed by Governor Jay Inslee in 2021. Shift first reported this story back in July, and now more media outlets, including KING5 News, are reporting on this liberal mistake caused by the Democrat lawmakers rushing to meet the demands of the 2020 liberal rioters in Seattle.
Here’s the backstory – in 2005 Roy Russell strangled to death 14-year-old Chelsea Harrison as he attempted to rape her. Russell was charged and convicted of second-degree murder, which was his third felony conviction under the state’s “Three Strikes, You’re Out” laws and the judge sentenced Russell to life in prison.
In 2021, as part of the Democrats’ anti-police package, liberal lawmakers retroactively removed several crimes which were previously categorized as Three Strikes’ offenses. One of those removed crimes was one of Russell’s “strikes”, second-degree robbery,. meaning he will now be resentenced. This could result in Russell being set free in just a few weeks thanks to the Democrats’ pro-criminal agenda.
It is interesting that most media stories on this issue fail to adequately place the blame on those responsible for this miscarriage of justice. In most news reports, as it is in the KING5 story, it is reported that “the legislature” passed the bill which reduced the “Three Strikes” offenses. The fact is that Democrats are the ones who wrote, sponsored, and passed the bill (SB 5164) with only a couple of Democrat House members voting against final passage. All Republican lawmakers voted against this bill. Media stories from the time reveal that Democrat lawmakers knew who would receive reduced sentences and it is almost certain they knew that Roy Russell could soon be released. Yet, in their rush to appease the liberal rioters by passing laws which make it more comfortable to be a criminal in our state, Democrats overlooked this alarming fact and passed the legislation anyway. (KING5 News, Shift’s Daily Briefing, Washington Legislature Bill Summary, and PubliCola)
Are Washington State residents getting a preview of our future as California’s leaders are figuring out that their poorly designed climate measures have caused the state to face this year’s heat wave without enough power to meet the heightened demand. Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued statements asking residents to cut back on power usage (including powering their profoundly important electric cars) as rolling blackouts appear to be the next course of action. As power needs increase, the state has become dependent on energy produced by carbon-emitting generators powered by natural gas which have been activated to meet the demand.
Our friends at the sardonic Babylon Bee website (who are located in Southern California) have taken their usual jabs at Governor Newsom and the problems caused by his climate policies. They satirically state that the governor will soon be issuing human-sized wheels and telling Californians that they are now responsible for generating “your own electricity on massive spinning wheels, just like hamsters!” (Associated Press and Babylon Bee)
Illegal marijuana operations continue to operate in Washington State even though the state legalized the sale of cannabis in 2012. The recent arrest of three individuals in Pierce County for selling marijuana is a reminder that there continues to be a strong “black market” for cannabis despite it being legal to purchase pot in our state. The continued viability of illegal weed is due to three factors: 1) There is nearly a 50% price markup due to state and local taxes on legal marijuana; 2) The state places a limit on the THC levels legal marijuana operations can sell; and 3) A sizable percentage of those who use cannabis products, those under the age of 21, are unable to legally purchase the items from a marijuana retailer. (News Tribune)
Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center uses the current illegal strike by Seattle Education Association (SEA) to again raise the valid argument that all negotiations with government employee unions should be conducted in public. His reasonable question is that it is the taxpayers’ money the two sides are divvying up, so shouldn’t the taxpayers know what is being demanded and offered? Like all government employee unions, the SEA wants to keep negotiations secret so taxpayers are never informed of what educational program or student service was sacrificed to pay for the higher salaries demands which are causing the strike.
WPC has been a leader in promoting the opening of government employee collective bargaining sessions to the public. A 2017 paper states, “Since government employee contracts account for such a large portion of spending, they should not be negotiated in secret. The public provides the money for these agreements. Taxpayers should be allowed to follow the process and hold government officials accountable for the spending decisions they make on our behalf.” (Jason Mercier Facebook post and Washington Policy Center)
The illegal strike by Seattle teachers will soon cost taxpayers even more money as the City of Seattle has announced it will offer taxpayer-funded childcare for students between kindergarten and 6th grade. If the strike lasts through the weekend, the city will provide childcare starting on Monday at eight community centers across the city. (MyNorthwest)
The Seattle City Council took on the vitally important issue of gasoline-powered leaf blowers on Tuesday, even as city residents were facing skyrocketing violent crime rates, a deserted downtown retail core, an ongoing homeless crisis, and unaffordable rental rates due to a rapidly depleting supply of rental properties. It might be good news that councilmembers were keeping themselves busy on this somewhat meaningless topic, since it was council actions which caused and worsened each of these other important issues which have made Seattle a less livable city.
Showing the kind of diversity of thought which is a hallmark of single-minded council, the members unanimously passed a resolution stating their intention to ban gas-powered leaf blowers by city workers and contractors by 2025, and residents and businesses by 2027. The council made this decision without knowing the cost to taxpayers or to the residents and businesses who use them. The council instructed departments to conduct an “equity analysis” on replacing gas-powered blowers before a final vote on the issue. (Seattle Times)
A viral video of a brawl between a panhandler and customers dining on a restaurant patio reveals how the Seattle’s homeless crisis is continuing and that it remains a contributing factor for why many consumers refuse to return to Downtown Seattle. The incident occurred last Saturday morning. The video shows several patrons of a Pike Place Market-area restaurant engaged in a scuffle with someone who was evidently homeless (and several others attempting to flee the mayhem). The owner of a nearby restaurant said this is a reoccurring problem for many area businesses. He stated, “Us business owners, all the community, we need to stick together and let the city know we need more help.” (KIRO7 News)
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward announced that the Spokane police will again enforce the city’s “sit-and-lie” ordinances due to the availability of space at homeless shelter locations. The sit-and-lie ordinance prevents people from legally sitting and lying on public sidewalks in the city’s downtown area between 6:00 AM and midnight. With the opening of the Trent Resource and Assistance Center, the mayor encouraged those who face homelessness to “take advantage of the opportunities available to them to receive services in a safe, healthy, and humane environment.” The mayor stated, “Our downtown needs to be a safe and healthy place for everyone and living on streets, alleyways, viaducts, and fields is not in anyone’s best interest.” Police began last week to educate individuals of the available space and that the city would start enforcing the sit-and-lie policies starting today. (KREM-TV and City of Spokane media release)
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