"In Richmond, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will expand Project Exile nationwide," the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports . "Project Exile is a widely copied program credited with cutting Richmond's violent crime 20 years ago by shipping firearm violators to far-off federal prisons. When [FBI Director] Comey was appointed director of the FBI, Exile was frequently cited as one of his accomplishments."
Except it wasn't really as big of an accomplishment as he (and the National Rifle Association) cracked it up to be, but it does go hand-in-fisted-glove with NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre's longstanding position:
"Let's agree on this: Every American city, let's put Project Exile, every time a violent felon, drug dealer, gang member touches a gun, let's prosecute."
At the time then-NRA president Charlton Heston was telling "criminals" to "Make my day" as he joined with anti-gun then-Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell to implement the program there, even though the numbers hardly substantiated the grandiose promises:
"In the final hours of 2004, Richmond topped its 2003 murder rate by one, securing its distinction as one of the nation's most dangerous cities."The city's final homicide of the year - called in to police around 8 p.m. New Year's Eve was number 95, surpassing the previous year's 94. In 2002, there were 83 and in 2001, 69."Murders in the United States dropped by nearly 6 percent in the first half of 2004 after rising for four straight years, the FBI reported. Numbers from the second half of 2004 have not been compiled."Richmond had the country's fourth highest murder rate in 2003 and was ranked the nation's ninth most dangerous city overall in 2004 _ beating out Miami and Compton, Calif. Richmond is the sixth most dangerous when compared to other cities with populations of 100,000 to 499,999."
And while there was "a steep decline" reported in 2011, a 2016 report noted "Richmond ranks high among 'murder capitals' in the U.S." and doubts about Exile were raised by the surge.
Care to see how they're doing today?
Besides which, since when is "effectiveness" a measure of Constitutionality? Where is the authority to do this? That's a question a group of us have been asking for years, and for which we have never received acknowledgement from Exile proponents, let alone a responsive answer. Perhaps it's time to resurrect and heed the objections and warnings of the Project Exile Condemnation Coalition.
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