The criminal-coddling rep has her head up her dress

This is a sick and sad story about a crime victim, but it has an unexpected ending.

U.S. Rep Mary Gay Scanlon has misplaced sympathy. (Photo: People)

The victim was U.S. Rep Mary Gay Scanlon, who represents most of Delaware County, a Philadelphia suburb ranging from blue collar to white shoe, which had been a Republican bastion until recently. In 2018, she won a special election to replace Republican Pat Meehan, who had resigned. Scanlon became the first woman and third Democrat to represent this district.

Two years ago, while on official business in her car, the 2017 Acura MDX was hijacked in South Philly’s FDR Park — at gunpoint. 


You know what that means? 

One nervous twitch of a finger on a trigger and someone is dead, perhaps the congresswoman who is always campaigning for “common sense gun safety legislation.”

That didn’t happen.

What did happen is police found the car and arrested a suspect, Josiah Brown, 19, of Wilmington.

Brown was tried and convicted last week, and here’s where we come to the sick and sad part of the story.

Although she didn’t appear at the sentencing, Scanlon sent a letter to trial judge Cynthia M. Rufe asking for a second chance for the convicted felon, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, which said Scanlon did not respond to a request for comment on Brown’s sentence to 7 ½ years last Wednesday.

I left a telephone message at her D.C. office and sent a tweet asking for a copy of the letter and about her knowledge of Brown’s past. I have received no reply.

“What Josiah Brown did was wrong,” the Inquirer quoted her saying in the letter to the judge.

“But punishment is not the only goal of our criminal justice system. Rehabilitation and reform are also important goals — especially for someone so young.”

The judge responded that she was sympathetic to what Scanlon said, but mandatory minimum sentencing laws required a sentence of at least seven years. And that’s a great argument for minimum sentencing requirements that are often accused of “tying judge’s hands.” 

In my messages to Scanlon, I specifically wanted to know — in regard to a desire for a second chance — if she was aware of the fact that when he hijacked her he was on probation for an armed robbery of a Days Inn in Chester County, and, according to the Inquirer, “had racked up prior convictions for resisting arrest, disregarding a police officer, and a robbery of a 7-Eleven.”

Plus other crimes.

So we are not talking about a second chance. Not even a third or fourth.

What we have here is a career criminal, even as a young man.

It is sad that both the judge and the congresswoman in an Alice in Wonderland inversion of reality seemed to profess sympathy for the predator.  They seem to share the sick notion that all criminals are actually victims.

It is also sick that they can’t recognize a threat to society when it stands in front of them. What kind of progressive indoctrination brings normal people to such abnormal beliefs?

During the hijacking, Brown pointed a gun at Scanlon’s chest. As I mentioned, all it would have taken was a twitchy finger to turn a hijacking into a homicide.

What is it in the progressive mind that so blinds it to reality, to find an excuse for the inexcusable, to turn off the genetic switch of self-preservation?

Yes, rehabilitation and reform are desirable goals. Can’t Scanlon see that being incarcerated for seven years might open Brown’s eyes to rehabilitation and redemption?

And if it doesn’t, at least other honest citizens will be safe for 7 ½ years.

If Scanlon is so repulsed by a career criminal’s earned punishment, she ought to quit politics and go into social work. 

24 thoughts on “The criminal-coddling rep has her head up her dress”

  1. Thank you Stu. If people don’t wake up and start voting for law and order America is through. We can’t survive the escalating chaos. People like Scanlon don’t represent the normal mindset. Her letter to the judge is nauseating.

  2. Agree, this person needs to learn a lesson. We all have need to learn lessons. Perhaps his doing time will awaken other family members, friends or neighbors that crime is not the way to go-you’re going to pay a price. Actions have consequences, straighten up and fly right!

  3. Well, Stu, this piece raises some important questions. What is the nature of crime and punishment in the United States? Are people put into jail solely for the purpose of punishment, or is there an attempt at rehabilitation in there? SHOULD there be an attempt at rehabilitation? Is rehabilitation actually possible? Does putting someone in jail give them any legitimate chance to turn their lives around or will it simply make them worse, more efficient criminals? Tough questions all, and I have no definitive answers. Certainly there are people who are simply bad/evil, and once clearly identified as such, I am 100% down with those bad seeds rotting in a cell for as long as necessary. Is this kid one of them? Maybe. No way for you or I to know for sure, honestly, but history obviously says he might be. Dan (above) states that there is “good” that can come from jailing this guy. Is he correct? If so, what good can come of it besides simply protecting society for a bad human being? Is that enough? I don’t know; I’m just asking. However, I don’t know that it is helpful to criticize a person for having compassion, even where that compassion may well be misplaced and potentially harmful to society. I appreciate her good heart, but obviously, the law is the law, and the judge followed it, which is the way it should work. I don’t believe it does the human condition any good if we start vilifying people who are simply trying to be kind, but on the flip side, I also have no problem pointing out that her position here might simply be incorrect.

    1. The perp was a multiple violent offender. We could spend hours debating the nature of crime, punishment, rehabilitation, but in the meantime, when it comes to GUN CRIMES — LOCK THEM UP.
      Otherwise, you are NOT serious about “common sense gun safety legislation,” as the cliche goes.

      1. He was a multiple violent offender and yet he had a gun. Yet you think Ms. Scanlon is the problem?

          1. You made yourself clear but perhaps I did not make myself clear. I meant that the root PROBLEM is our Nation’s love affair with GUNS and the refusal to stop the proliferation. Ms. Scanlon and liberals are NOT the problem.

          2. If the problem is guns, why side with a daffy woman who wants to go easy on a GUNman?
            Btw — as a multiple offender, he could not legally own a gun. Yet he had a gun. So much for gun laws that impact ONLY the honest citizens because criminals — duh — don’t obey the law.

  4. The problem with an idiot progressive’s compassion is it may turn loose a career criminal, thereby putting some innocent person into harm’s way.
    So far as refamiliarization is concerned, a wag once wrote that “…the only thing prison has demonstrably cured is heterosexuality.”

  5. Incarceration is a great crime prevention tool. Enforcing the federal statue on carjacking by US Courts who have mandatory sentencing guidelines is a tool to be used to ensure the safety of law abiding citizens. My hope is that the federal court system adopts more of these cases to prevent violent crime from reoccurring. Violent crime in the Delaware Valley is out of control.

  6. Maybe a visit to the morgue would give her a little insight on what some career criminals give back. Maybe a talk with a victim who is now afraid to go out because they were shot or robbed by a career criminal would get her some focus. Some people only learn by example, maybe a stroll through Chester, or most parts of Philly will help her. I doubt it though.

      1. Is a full copy of the letter available? All I’ve found is the news story. The words “second chance” are not in quotes, so it seems unclear whether that is what she said, or whether it is a paraphrase by the writer. Same thing with the paraphrase that she “urged the court to grant him an opportunity to reform.”

        The part that is quoted is:
        “What Josiah Brown did was wrong,” she wrote. “It was a dangerous and criminal act, and he should be held accountable. But punishment is not the only goal of our criminal justice system. Rehabilitation and reform are also important goals — especially for someone so young.”

        That could just as easily be suggesting something close to the minimum (he got only 6 mos more than that) instead of asking that he just go free or get probation. She did say “he should be held accountable” and I’d like to know what she meant by that before deciding she wants to open all the prisons.

        The quote itself is pretty anodyne and close to a truism. It acknowledges the need for accountability and punishment, and simply adds that rehabilitation and reform are “also” goals of the system. These are considerations of all sentencing decisions. That’s why “taking responsibility” is always a factor, because if you don’t, you need to be given more time to think about it and are less likely to reform, requiring a more lengthy detention.

        If there were more extreme statements than what was quoted, I’d have expected to see them verbatim. I would be quite willing to jump all over her if she was suggesting probation or “diversion.” But if she was just saying “he traumatized me, he should be held accountable as the law requires, but I realize he’s pretty young, so I’m not asking you to go all medieval on him” I don’t see a problem with it. I don’t think that the lack of a thirst for vengeance is either a personal or political flaw.

        So, I’d like to see the letter–it may be as bad as you think, but I can’t conclude that from what I’ve seen.

        1. What part of career criminal don’t you get? had the article ended with Scanlon died from a gunshot wound, but he didn’t really mean to shoot her, should that bring pity on him for being so young? I think not. Sadly because the system has gone south, many career criminals are getting this” poor kid ,so young didn’t really know what he was doing” crap. So people die, kids die and cops die. So why should anybody be willing to give a repeat offender using a gun a second chance. Not one that I can think of. It IS as bad as we think!

          1. Stu is checking if she knew about the priors or not. If she did, you have a point. I’m just saying there’s not enough information yet to know based only on the article Stu is citing. I’m ready to be totally critical if all the assumptions people are making turn out to be true.

            As for the system “going south”–this is nothing compared to the 90s. Since then violent crime has pretty steadily gone down.

            Of course, going from truly nightmarish to merely awful may not count for much. Violent crime ticked back up from 2014 to 2020 (though nothing like the 90s) and it is now ticking down again, at least at a national level.

          2. When someone is asked for info and refuses to provide it, others are free to draw their own conclusions. I’d rather have an answer, but will proceed without it, if needed.

        2. I requested a copy of the letter Friday, along with a question about whether Scanlon knew his conviction record.
          I am still waiting for a reply as of 9:50 p.m. Tuesday night.

          1. Well, at least in my biz, when someone stonewalls you on information, it is not because it would make them look good.

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