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Jason Rantz

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Rantz: Seattle leaders angry when repeat assaulter finally put in jail

Tents are a common sight on Seattle streets. (AP)

Seattle city leaders are mad that a homeless man with 72 criminal convictions was finally put in jail, instead of being offered treatment he won’t accept so that he ends up back on the streets, attacking innocent passers-by.

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Francisco Calderon, a repeat offender, is at the center of a preposterous fight between Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and King County Department of Public Defenders Director Anita Khandelwal, against Seattle Municipal Judge Ed McKenna.

Holmes and Khandelwal take issue with McKenna for throwing Calderon in jail, rather than offering him yet another chance at seeking treatment. In their eyes, you can’t use jail as a means to end homelessness or addiction.

They’re right. But you can use a jail sentence to stop a man from physically assaulting people walking through downtown Seattle. And that’s what this is about.

Imagine being this passionate about keeping people out of jail; people who have demonstrated an unwillingness to accept resources for help. They claim it’s compassionate. Well, their compassion will literally kill people.

No one thinks jailing the homeless will end the problem; nor is anyone seriously suggesting we indiscriminately round up the homeless and put them all in jail. Instead, we’re saying people who pose a safety threat to the general public — not people merely homeless — be dealt with in a way that’s good for both them and us.

It is not controversial to suggest a criminal with 73 convictions — 15 of which include assault — should spend time behind bars. It should be controversial that it took 74 convictions for this guy to do time.

Judge McKenna is a hero, but this is Seattle, so he will be villainized by a righteous group of progressive activists who’ve been in charge as the problem has gotten worse.

Holmes and Khandelwal think putting Calderon back on the streets, with his now 73 convictions, keeps us safe. They are both wrong, and their world view is as much as a threat to our safety as is Calderon roaming around the city a free man.

Seattle is dying because these people are in power. And if you want to know why homelessness has gotten worse, while we’ve seen a rise in rape, assault, and theft, take a look at these two. They are more invested in keeping criminals out of jail, where they aren’t accepting help, than seeing justice done.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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