Sorrow in Sydney

The hostage situation at the chocolate shop and cafe in Sydney did not end well. The store manager and a woman lawyer with three children were killed, along with the lone gunman, who was not a member of any extremist group. He had no ties to any terror organization.

Police stormed the cafe this morning. The gunman was Man Haron Monis, who was well known to authorities for his extremism and mental instability.

[He is] an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh known for sending hate mail to the families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan. He was charged last year with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, but had been free on bail.

He was facing more than 40 sexual assault charges.[More...]

Four more people were injured. It's not known if the gunman killed the two hostages or they were caught in the cross-fire.

Police say they decided to go in after hearing shots, fearing more lives would be lost if they didn't.

No explosives were found.

Was anyone monitoring him while on bail? How does someone with 40 sex assault charges, an accessory to murder charge and a prior record get bail?

This is all very sad. But it shouldn't be blamed on any religious group or on ISIS. Nor are more anti-terror laws needed. What's needed is more help for the mentally ill, both in and out of the criminal justice system.

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    What's needed (2.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 09:07:35 PM EST

    Besides more help for the mentally ill, civilians need to be allowed rather than prohibited effective means of self defense. Had this happened in Tel Aviv ot Dallas it may well have ended when the hostage turned his back on one of the 17 who happened to be carrying a concealed weapon.   There is a reason this kind of thing no longer much occurs in Israel even though there are still plenty of haters who would love nothing better.

    Who need facts ... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 09:33:44 PM EST
    ... when a good imagination and NRA myths will do.

    Mythbusting: Israel and Switzerland are not gun-toting utopias.

    Compared with the United States, Switzerland and Israel have lower gun ownership and stricter gun laws, and their policies discourage personal gun ownership.


    Not much of a refutation (none / 0) (#8)
    by toggle on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 10:54:22 PM EST
    Just conclusory and misleading assertions. In fact, according to google, Israel has 400,000 civilians licensed to carry firearms, which is about 5% of the population, including children and Arabs -- far more than any state in the US. And that's not even counting the soldiers.

    Nice try. In case you haven't noticed, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 11:03:19 PM EST
    except in the case of automatic weapons or handguns, Americans don't need permits. Period.

    They're not misleading in the least (none / 0) (#11)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 11:28:17 PM EST
    Moreover, I have no idea what Google link you're referencing since you don't provide it.  Probably a good pace to start when you're complaining of inadequate refutation with a link to a published, peer-reviewed study by an expert - as opposed to a claim with nothing to support it.

    BTW - No idea where your number comes from.  The number of people licensed to own firearms in 2012 was 163,274 - 2.5% of the population.  In the US, where you don't even need a license to own a gun, @ 24% own guns.  Not to mention that many other Israeli gun laws are more restrictive.


    Please don't hijack the thread (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 16, 2014 at 03:41:40 AM EST
    This is not a thread about gun control. Please take your debate over statistics elsewhere.

    Also, the Israeli police might have been (none / 0) (#7)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 10:26:46 PM EST
    more aggressive about taking him out earlier. From what I read, it sounds like the Australian police waited until they heard gunshots to raid the cafe.

    Mike McDaniel, from Stately McDaniel Manor, said they had clear shots but didn't take them.


    how does he get bail? (none / 0) (#1)
    by thomas rogan on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 07:36:38 PM EST
    I believe that many people on a criminal defense web site would say that bail is meant to ensure that the person charged returns to face the charges, not to punish an arrested person or to "protect society" from an alleged criminal.  Obviously this fellow didn't escape Australia.  

    I of course think that if there is probable cause for a dangerous crime that there should be no bail.  But I'm no lawyer.

    I didn't say he shouldn't have gotten bail (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 08:55:54 PM EST
    I asked how he got bail, with his record.

    Bail in federal courts in the U.S. can be denied if the defendant is charged with a crime of violence or a drug crime and is either a risk of flight or a danger to himself or others in the community. Both home detention and home incarceration can be imposed as conditions of bond.

    I don't know Australia's bail laws. I'd like to know the grounds for granting him bail on such serious charges.


    silver lining? (none / 0) (#6)
    by thomas rogan on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 10:16:32 PM EST
    If the courts were to learn to become more careful about letting defendants charged with serious crimes go out on bail, then maybe these poor Australians won't have died in vain.

    According to the Daily Telegraph, the AG (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 11:00:14 PM EST
    stated that under recently revised bail laws, this suspect would not have bern eligible for bail. However, the new lawbis not yet in effect

    From the Belmont Club (none / 0) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Dec 16, 2014 at 03:53:46 PM EST

    Sadly, questions about Mr. Monis' character are likely to remain unresolved now that he's dead. But uppermost in the minds of many, especially those who have been in a jam, is the question of `how did you make bail for a rap sheet like that?'

    How did Monis pay for all his lawyers? Were the lawyers public defenders? If so they must have been pretty good. In the Philippines, public defenders typically tell the defendant only one thing: plead guilty. Monis apparently had better counsel. They were taking his appeals all the way to the Australian High Court. "On 3 January 2012 the defendants applied for Special Leave to Appeal to the High Court of Australia. The applications were heard on 22 June 2012 and special leave was granted to appeal to the Full Court."

    The impression that emerges is not one of a poor harassed immigrant being persecuted by rabid mob, but of someone handled with kid gloves by a society which wished to give him every benefit of the doubt.

    Emphasis added.


    What were his mental problems, specifically? (none / 0) (#2)
    by toggle on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 07:45:15 PM EST
    I have seen the claim repeated in the media, but the only source seems to be a conclusory statement from the Australian PM.

    On the other hand, his history of violence and extremism have been well-documented.

    Bail? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 at 08:57:33 AM EST
    "Was anyone monitoring him while on bail? How does someone with 40 sex assault charges, an accessory to murder charge and a prior record get bail?"

    He got bail because the Australian jails are full of "bikies" being arrested for merely getting together and having a beer.