Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jeffrey Getting's Bad Math

The race for Kalamazoo County Prosecutor between Republican Scott Pierangeli and democrat Jeffrey Getting is heating up. Pierangeli is currently an assistant prosecutor, and Getting was one before he was fired in 1998.

Candidates for Kalamazoo County prosecutor differ on visions for the office

One of the major differences in the race is Getting's objection to "plea to the offense".  If I understand it correctly, this means that the charges are not reduced, but the penalty may be reduced.  Of course, the reason plea bargains exist is to reduce the workload in the courts and prosecutor's office, which would otherwise have difficulty handling so many trials.

Getting's other complaint is that the office has too many prosecutors.
Getting also voiced concern about staffing within the office, which he says is well above that of Ottawa County, which has a similar population as Kalamazoo County, and nearly matches that of the more densely populated Kent County.

“We’re not being efficient with our resources,” Getting said.
The comparison is absurd.  Different counties have different levels of crime.  Ottawa County, the most Republican in the state, does not have a large, poor urban area to generate crime.  Anyone who studies issues of crime knows that demographic factors correlate strongly with crime rates.  The percentage of blacks in Kalamazoo (9.73) is higher than that in Ottawa (1.05) or Kent (8.93).
On the office's staffing, Pierangeli said it is based on caseload and that a previous review of the prosecutor's work force by the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners “found we were short an attorney.”

“We’ve been deemed to be efficient as an office,” he said.
Furthermore, how does Getting expect to cut the number of prosecutors while also making lots more work for them by reducing plea bargaining?  It doesn't add up.

And if this blog can so easily destroy his arguments, it doesn't say much for his skills as a lawyer, either.

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