System Failure

We now know a little more [emphasis mine] about the shooting that occurred yesterday in Bothell downtown Seattle:

The shooting suspect is being held at the King County Jail, under investigation of being a felon in possession of a firearm, assault and committing a crime while under DOC supervision. He served prison time for selling cocaine.

Well done! Another non-violent criminal turned into a violent one thanks to the drug war. Are we winning yet?

UPDATE: Richard Pope in the comments has dug up the full list of this man’s violations and it’s a long one, starting in 4-2000 when he was either 12 or 13. It looks like I was a little too quick to assume what I did here. I will be re-implementing my “no posting after DL” policy immediately. :)


  1. 1

    Richard Pope spews:

    This fellow seems to have quite a LONG record, not just the conviction for selling cocaine:

    67 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King County District 205022809 06-14-2005 Probable Cause

    68 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King County District 205039883 10-11-2005 Probable Cause

    69 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King County District 206029551 07-21-2006 Probable Cause

    70 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant Tukwila Municipal CR0045458 03-16-2005 Criminal Non-Traffic

    71 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant Tukwila Municipal CR0045465 04-21-2005 Criminal Non-Traffic

    72 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 00-8-01691-5 04-04-2000 Juvenile Offender

    73 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 00-8-01732-6 04-11-2000 Juvenile Offender

    74 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 02-8-00304-6 01-02-2002 Juvenile Offender

    75 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 03-8-02473-4 05-21-2003 Juvenile Offender

    76 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 03-8-02701-6 06-11-2003 Juvenile Offender

    77 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 03-8-03684-8 08-13-2003 Juvenile Offender

    78 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 05-1-06518-1 06-20-2005 Criminal

    79 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 05-1-12919-7 12-05-2005 Criminal

    80 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant King Co Superior Ct 06-1-06621-5 07-25-2006 Criminal

    81 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Judgment Debtor King Co Superior Ct 04-9-13602-0 09-13-2004 Judgment

    82 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Judgment Debtor King Co Superior Ct 04-9-13603-8 09-13-2004 Judgment

    83 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Judgment Debtor King Co Superior Ct 06-9-34431-1 12-11-2006 Judgment

    84 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Respondent King Co Superior Ct 01-2-32102-1 12-24-2001 Civil

    85 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant Seattle Municipal Ct 475498 09-12-2005 Criminal Traffic

    86 Little, James Christopher Jr
    Defendant Seattle Municipal Ct 486600 05-06-2006 Criminal Non-Traffic

  2. 2

    Richard Pope spews:

    Perhaps we should look closely at this (young) man’s record to see if Norm Maleng and Dan Satterburg are guilty of “system failure”.

    From what I can tell, Mr. Little was charged with two felonies in King County Superior Court (prior to his cocaine selling charge in King Co Superior Ct 06-1-06621-5), that were apparently plea-bargained down to misdemeanors by Maleng/Satterberg. Mr. Little was given suspended sentences in both cases, again evidently part of the plea bargain. Mr. Little evidently violated the terms of these suspended sentences, due to his cocaine selling conviction, and perhaps other subsequent criminal conduct. However, Maleng/Satterberg apparently took no action to “unsuspend” these two prior sentences and hold Mr. Little accountable for the prior offenses.

    In King Co Superior Ct 05-1-06518-1, Mr. Little was charged with “Taking Motor Vehicle w/o Permission 2″, filed on June 20, 2005. This is a felony, but it was evidently plea-bargained to a misdemeanor, because Mr. Little was given a “suspended sentence” on February 22, 2006.

    (Felony convictions don’t get suspended sentences, as they are covered by the Sentencing Reform Act. Misdemeanor convictions can have sentences suspended, for up to two years, on condition of no further criminal law violations and anything else the court deems appropriate. If these conditions are violated, then the prosecutor should ask the court to “vacate” the “suspension”, and impose a jail sentence, as well as a formal conviction for the offense.)

    In King Co Superior Ct 05-1-12919-7, Mr. Little was charged with “Attempted Forgery” on December 5, 2005. This is a gross misdemeanor, while “Forgery” is a Class C Felony. Presumably, Mr. Little was originally charged with a felony, otherwise the charge would have been filed in district court. In any event, Mr. Little plea-bargained to a misdemeanor, and was again given a suspended sentence on March 22, 2006 (by the same judge he was in front of four weeks previously).

    Mr. Little was later charged with selling cocaine in King Co Superior Ct 06-1-06621-5 on July 25, 2006. This time, Mr. Little was sentenced to some time in prison. Or at least we assume that he was ordered to serve some time somewhere.

    Obviously, having a felony conviction for selling drugs (which were apparently sold in July 2006) would violate suspended sentences handed down in February 2006 and March 2006. But Maleng/Satterberg did absolutely nothing to revoke these two suspended sentences and punish Mr. Little for these two prior offenses.

    Why did Maleng/Satterberg plea-bargain the Forgery and Taking Motor Vehicle Without Permission cases down to misdemeanors in the first place? Mr. Little had been charged with at least eight other criminal offenses, in addition to the two plea-bargained suspended sentences, when those bargains were struck. Five juvenile offenders cases in King County Superior Court (two of them felonies), two criminal non-traffic misdemeanors in Tukwila Municipal Court, and a criminal traffic charge in Seattle Municipal Court. At least some of these eight prior charges appear to have resulted in convictions.

    Does anybody remember how Norm Maleng used to grandstand about the light penalties for felony auto theft when he was alive? Kept complaining that auto thieves would only be sentenced to the local jail, and would not be eligible for state prison (i.e. sentence of at least 12 months and a day) until they had committed several felonies?

    But how did Maleng/Satterberg deal with actual auto theft cases in reality? Apparently by plea-bargaining them down to misdemeanors, so that the defendant wouldn’t even get a felony conviction, even when the defendant had a long prior record.

  3. 3

    Richard Pope spews:

    Every cloud does have a SILVER LINING though. At least James Christopher Little, Jr. is NOT a registered voter.

  4. 4

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Pope-A-Dope – too bad this kid isn’t registered to vote – he might be the one who could put you over the top in your next waste of time running for public office.

  5. 5

    Bax spews:

    So let me get this straight: this guy shot somebody because selling cocaine is illegal?

    This is a stretch.

  6. 6

    UnSound spews:

    We will never win this danged drug war until Smirky McFlightsuit stands beneath a “Mission Accomplished” banner.

  7. 8


    The general proposition here is that non-violent criminals who are sentenced to long stretches in jail with violent criminals often are transformed into violent criminals.

    The specifics of this individual’s case may not be the best illustration of the principle being propounded, but an explication of the man’s individual offenses in no way proves that Lee is mistaken.

    Ya’ Know?!

  8. 9

    drool spews:

    Here’s your system failure:

    “Prosecutors say 14 warrants have been issued for his arrest since 2005.”

    That is from the Seattle Times. This guy is a POS.

  9. 10


    Thanks, Mr. Pope. (Is your campaign website up yet?)

    While this individual is probably not the best example of the “system” turning non-violent offenders into hardened criminals, it may well be a good example of our failure to see warning signs early enough to make a difference.

    This fellow seems to have had problems at least as far back as 2000.

    And with convictions for “attempted forgery” (how does that work, anyway? Was it such a lousy forgery that the prosecutor didn’t think he was serious?) and “Taking Motor Vehicle w/o Permission 2″ (don’t we call that “Grand Theft, Auto”?) I have to wonder why the only charge that got this joker locked up was for selling cocaine.

    If you forge documents and steal cars, you get probation. Sell cocaine and we toss you in jail. I’m no friend of drug dealers, as I’ve seen the harm that drug use can cause, but even so, this seems a bit strange.

  10. 11


    Apparently Lee believes that the suspect has absolutely no personal responsibility for anything that happens. It’s a system failure in his mind.

    This is just the kind of thinking that causes “independent” citizens to believe the left has absolutely no idea when it comes to law enforcement. For God’s sake the guy shot somebody on a busy city street and it’s somehow becomes society’s fault. What total bullshit.

    Yes maybe the drug laws need a major reform. But to equate this drug deal shooting to a general reputation of drug laws is a major reach.

  11. 12


    I just updated the main post. I shouldn’t have posted this. As for whether this is “society’s” fault, I believe that someone has to come from a pretty bad domestic situation to start committing crimes at the age of 13. As a society, we certainly need to do a better job in all aspects of raising our kids. What failed in this case? I don’t know yet, and I was dumb for assuming more than I really knew.

  12. 13


    re 11: The ‘personal responsibility’ meme has very stubby legs anymore. Just ask anyone in the Bush administration about their own personal responsibility — starting with the president — who is a convicted drunk driver, cocaine user, and military deserter who starts oil wars based on lies in which hundreds of thousands of innocent people die.

    And you come here with yoyr Orville Redenbacher “Main Street” America BS yapping emptily about personal responsibility?

    Just shut the hell up and go away.

  13. 14

    James spews:

    Our criminal justice system has THOUSANDS of folks for whom there are warrants out for their arrest as to which the COPS DO NOTHING.

    It is too hard for them to go look for these people and arrest them.

    In this case, ‘ “Prosecutors say 14 warrants have been issued for his arrest since 2005.”
    That is from the Seattle Times. This guy is a POS.’

    So…..he is not alone, there are thousands more like him.

    Instead of ranting to each other about nature v. nurture, why don’t we all acually try to make the system we have actually work? surely we all agree that if a court issues a WARRANT FOR ARREST the guy should be ARRESTED and the warant should not be IGNORED FOR YEARS?

  14. 16

    Harry Tuttle spews:

    I want the criminal justice system to be fair, but I estimate that 95% of those enmeshed in it as defendants are guilty as charged.

    It’s the 5% that over zealous prosecutors insist on framing that I have some concern over, and James Christopher Jr. doesn’t appear to be one of them.

  15. 17


    I agree with you, and the point I wanted to make is that focusing on drugs creates these problems rather than solves them.

  16. 19

    chadt spews:

    So, Lucy, what’s wrong with personal responsibility? Are we supposed to emultae the bushies or oppose them?

  17. 21

    RonK, Seattle spews:

    The shooting itself may be drug related, as heated arguments in this neighborhood often involve the drug trade.

    And criminalization arguably affects the price points, intensity of competition, and recruiting practices of the drug delivery trades, so while Lee reflexively shot himself in the foot with the original post, he may still have a leg to stand on.

  18. 22


    You’ve made my day. Thank you. I should have waited until I knew more to say anything at all on this case (I was actually there shortly after the shooting to catch my bus, so it’s been on my mind heavily). Maybe when more details come out, there will be a more coherent way to demonstrate the cause and effect relationship between the prohibition policy and the violence that occurs in that area.

  19. 23

    Richard Pope spews:

    This James Christopher Little, Jr. (DOB: 08/14/1986) case history definitely shows that Dan Satterberg d/b/a Norm Maleng is SOFT ON CRIME. I was able to look at the King County Superior Court documents on-line this morning, and they confirm this:

    King Co Superior Ct 05-1-06518-1

    Original charge: Taking Motor Vehicle Without Permission. Bizarre case history. Started out as a juvenille offender case. Little did this on March 19, 2003, when he was 16, and was arrested minutes later, right after the car was stolen. Satterberg d/b/a Maleng didn’t file juvenile charges in juvenile court until June 25, 2003, or a little over three months after the offense. [Note: juvenile court is part of superior court, it just means the cases are tried under juvenile offender law, not regular criminal law]

    Little didn’t appear, and an arrest warrant was issued. King County Sheriff Dave Reichert was apparently unable to locate Little prior to his 18th birthday. Since Little wasn’t taken into custody and brought before the juvenile court before he turned 18 on August 14, 2004, the juvenile court lost jurisdiction.

    Satterberg d/b/a Maleng could have filed this case as a regular superior court criminal case immediately upon Little reaching 18 on August 14, 2004. However, Satterberg d/b/a Maleng fumbled and stumbled as usual, and didn’t file this as a criminal case until June 5, 2005 — a delay of almost 10 more months!

    Satterberg d/b/a Maleng then plea-bargained this case to a misdemeanor (“Attemped” Taking Motor Vehicle Without Permission), in spite of Little having a lengthy criminal record and having been caught in the act, in the stolen vehicle several blocks away, right after the victim’s car was stolen from the victim’s driveway! Little was given a suspended sentence on February 22, 2006, with the main requirement being no additional criminal law violations for the next 12 months!

    King Co Superior Ct 05-1-12919-7

    Original charge: Forgery. Little was originally arrested on June 13, 2005 at the bank where he maintained an account. Little had deposited a check, stolen from the victim, on which he forged the victim’s signature, wrote it to himself for $1,500.00, and deposited it into his account on June 6, 2005. On June 8, 2005, Little deposited another check, written on a closed account (not clear whether this check was also forged) for $800.00. Little might have gotten away with this more easily, but this was a NEW ACCOUNT, just opened on June 6, 2005, and he couldn’t withdraw the funds for five business days. Little was a little (no pun intended?) too eager to withdraw the funds, asking the bank about it several times, so they investigated the matter, and the police arrested him when he showed up on June 13, 2005 (the fifth business day).

    Satterberg d/b/a Maleng did not get around to filing criminal charges against Little until December 5, 2005, almost five months after Little had been arrested red-handed at the bank by police!

    Satterberg d/b/a Maleng then plea-bargained this case to a misdemeanor (“Attempted” Forgery), in spite of the very strong evidence and Little’s very long criminal record. Little was given a suspended sentence on March 22, 2006, with the main requirement being no additional criminal law violations for the next 12 months!

    King Co Superior Ct 06-1-06621-5

    Little was arrested for selling cocaine very close to Garfield High School on July 20, 2006. This time, at least, Satterberg d/b/a Maleng filed charges practically immediately on July 25, 2006. It is even possible Little was still in custody when these charges were filed (unlike the prior lack of dilgenece by Satterberg d/b/a Maleng).

    Little did plead guilty to selling cocaine, but Satterberg d/b/a Maleng dropped a school zone enhancement (less than 1000 feet from Garfield) that would have otherwise doubled Little’s sentence. Also, remember that the two above prior offenses (TMVWOP and Forgery) were plea-bargained down to misdemeanors. Otherwise, Little would have had two prior adult felony convictions, and qualified for a longer sentence.

    As it was, Little was sentenced to 12 months and a day on November 29, 2006. [The actual sentencing order was FILED on December 11, 2006 — but Satterberg d/b/a Maleng tends to hold signed court orders in his office for several days or weeks before delivering them to the Clerk of Court for filing.] Little was entitled to credit for time served, and up to one-third reduction for “good time”, so he was probably released sometime in late April 2007.


    The suspended sentences in Case No. 05-1-06518-1 (“Attempted” TMVWOP”, sentenced 02/22/2006) and Case No. 05-1-12919-7 (“Attempted” Forgery, sentenced 03/22/2006) required Little to refrain from any new criminal law violations for the next 12 months. Little obviously violated these conditions by selling cocaine on 07/20/2006, for which he pled guilty and was sentenced on 11/29/2006.

    Did Satterberg d/b/a Maleng do anything about Little violating the conditons of these suspended sentences? NO THEY DID NOT. Absolutely nothing was filed with the court in either case to revoke the suspended sentences for these violations.

    Can Satterberg d/b/a Maleng do anything about Little violating the conditons of these suspended sentences? NOT ANY LONGER. Each sentence was suspended for only 12 months, during which Satterberg d/b/a Maleng could have taken action to revoke the suspension, and have Little sentenced to some jail time. However, the 12 months in each case has long since expired (in spite of the fact that the new criminal law violation was perfectly obvious to Satterberg d/b/a Maleng well before the 12 months was up). Little has escaped punishment for these two plea-bargained offenses, in spite of blatantly violating the conditions of his suspended sentences.

  20. 24


    re 19: If ‘personal resonsibility’ is used as a conservative cop-out for avoiding personal resposibility for every social problem that we are afflicted with, then , I would say: That is what is wrong with ‘personal resposibility’ as it is used as a bromide and panacea by the fringy wingnut right.


  21. 25

    ArtFart spews:


    “Personal Responsibility”, as defined by Neocon ethos, translates to “To Thine Own Self Be True”.

    These same people, some of whom frequently flap their jaws about their “faith”, seem unaware that there’s a rather large, highly popular book that deals with the true complexity and importance of this issue. It’s called the Bible.

  22. 27

    Puddybud spews:

    Goodness Moonbat!s Chadt is one of yours. As DIck Cheney says “BIG TIME”.

    Don’t you Moonbat! idiots read, or, as I always say, if someone disagrees with an ASSWipe, then you are their enemy no matter what politics you say. Also Moonbat!s have no memory, WHATSOEVER!

    Waaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa

  23. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The 3 strikes law was passed in this state years ago. If it’s not being implemented in King County, that would be the fault of the Republican prosecutor, wouldn’t it?

  24. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Maybe the reason this louse was running loose on the streets is because Dubya yanked the federal funding for the 100,000 additional cops that Clinton put on America’s streets, and diverted thousands more law enforcement officers to anti-terrorism duties without doing anything to replace them. The guys who for three generations advertised themselves as the “law and order” party left America’s streets unpoliced.

  25. 32

    Bax spews:

    Even if this guy had been convicted as charged of everything Richard posted, none of them would have been strike offenses. The 3 strikes law would have no impact on this guy.

  26. 34

    Silverstar spews:

    If he was tried as an adult because they didn’t get around to trying him until after his 18th birthday, I would say he has more than his three strikes. This sucker should have been put away a long time ago.

  27. 35

    Bax spews:

    Strike offenses are serious violent felonies (murder, manslaughter, vehicular assault/homicide, rape, robbery, assault, etc.). None of the crimes that this guy committed are serious violent felonies. The three strikes law would not apply to him.