Friday, December 26, 2014

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The Call Blog: With Stabbing Suspect Captured, A Focus On The Justice System

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Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at and we'll post it to our blog.

One of our anonymous viewers, whose e-mail is posted below, made a good point. As much as what's gone wrong with St. Hubert, there's much that's gone right with other released convicts. The key is finding better ways to integrate the truly repentant and reformed and hold back the others.

The man arrested last night for allegedly stabbing two children in Brooklyn is no stranger to the criminal justice system. Daniel St. Hubert served five years for attempted murder and second-degree assault for trying to strangle his mother with a telephone wire. Since 2006, the 27-year-old has been arrested 11 times, including assaults on a police officer and a correction officer in jail.

Detectives are now investigating whether St. Hubert stabbed a man on a Manhattan subway platform yesterday. They are also trying to determine if he's linked to the stabbing death of 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland last week. While many New Yorkers are relieved by news of the arrest, some are questioning why St. Hubert was out of prison in the first place. What do you say?

What reforms would you make to the criminal justice system? Should repeat violent offenders face longer sentences for their crimes? Is a five-year sentence appropriate for someone convicted of attempted murder? Are there enough programs to help criminals turn their lives around?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I kept hearing people (on The Call) blaming everything on "the system" and possibly even on President Obama (he gets blamed for everything else; why not this too?) Yes those housing developments need working cameras but I doubt that would have prevented these heinous attacks. It would only have helped to identify the suspect earlier. Besides cameras could be blocked, doors could be broken. We live in a broken society where drugs and guns run rampant, morals are lacking, young people are bored and greedy. Gangs run the streets in many poor neighborhoods.

I hear many people blame these things on 1. Lack of education. 2. Lack of jobs and money. 3. The government. 3. The police department. 4. The mayor. 5. Anything under the sun except their very own debased and immorality. Lack of compassion for other people.

But if we put police on EVERY corner, every building, these same people would protest about their privacy.

I am glad the suspect was caught. But if we had the death penalty we won't be talking about him years from now committing another crime when he is released....again.


I understand people are hurt and want someone to pay for the young lost of life and the little girl still clinging but public outcry about what the monster that has been captured for these atrocities was doing out on the streets in the first place needs to diminish yes we are upset but he did his time that's why he was released there was know way anyone could have foreseen that he would commit these crimes there are so many men and women released from prison on a daily basis that go on to lead productive lives and it's sad to say that because of this monsters actions and the public outcry that is following that there are those who if they had been giving a second chance would only do the right thing but now won't get that chance we can't just give up on those behind bars because of a select few of those that do get out go back to a life of crime

Best program I know of for murderers to turn their life around is the hangman,s noose program.

Park Hill

The Justice system is flawed, why was he out of jail in the first place obviously if he commited all of those crimes he should of been in jail for life, he's mentally ill if he tried to strangle his mother. He's been arrested 11 times since 06 he's a violent man i hope he stays in jail for life now since he killed PJ and Tanaya I can see the pain in PJ's father's face i'm glad the media is giving this horrific story coverage i hope all the parents are keeping a eye on their kids all over the city not just in ENY anything can happen anywhere even in the safest neighborhoods. Repeat offenders should be given the electric chair espically if they harm kids. God bless all the single moms i hope the deadbeat dads are helping yall the kids are their responsibility too

Upper West Side

I live in Ozone Park, I heard people saying that men from Brooklyn coming into our neighborhood to rob people early in the morning and at night. Stop & Check needs to be in place.

St. Hubert should not have been released. He should be sent back to jail forever. Plus, the judge and all who were involved in his release should now be sent to jail along with St. Hubert.

Port Richmond

This is what we have come to know and call " The Revolving Door ". Law enforcement books them and the court releases them only for them to become repeat offenders.
Even today this Administration is giving a free ride to all minor offences and thus they become huge offences along the way and they end up with a laundry list of crimes.
They should do something about stop and frisk = They should not be so lenient with the smaller crimes that the youths are committing and are getting a slap on the wrist for whatever the offence is. We have had calls from present and retired law enforcement members saying that in schools they confiscate weapons every day and just store them in closets and once again are told to do nothing but take the weapons whatever they may be and store them.

Morris Park

Yes repeat violent offenders should face longer sentences because they violated there parole and should know better, so the hell with them!

There are well enough programs for drug addicts and offenders but it is up to them to take advantage of it.


Lets stop demonizing, and brutally sanctioning, the Correction Officers who have to guard the many incarcerated inmates, that are just as violent & dangerous as the one who has just been captured. As a Correction Officer who has seen the worse society has locked up, over the years it has sickened me to watch innocent officers suffer public scrutiny (along with departmental; criminal; and civil charges) because society wants to label them (the Officers) as if they were the violent perpetrators.

Long Island

Stop and Frisk could have prevented those children from being stabbed. The lives of their families and the suspects are ruined. Stop and Frisk saves the lives of victims and their families. Stop and Frisk may embarrass a few innocent people but it will save Black lives. If embarrassing a few innocent people saves lives and captures criminals, it’s worth it.
Unfortunately, the criminals hide among the victims and ALL need to be scrutinized.

Criminals shield themselves among the innocent. If you want to get the criminals some freedoms are compromised. Stop and Frisk should take place where most of the crime takes place. We all know what the data shows about the demographics of the victims and the suspects.

Ask the citizens, not a few loud moth politicians trying to look like saviors of justice, if they want stop and frisk. I belive the average honest citizen wants stop and frisk

Clinton Hill

I think 5 years for attempted murder is less than a thief would get for stealing. It's not justice. I think this individual should get LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. He tried to kill two "children", and killed one. He is also suspected in two other crimes one of an 18 yr old in the same neighborhood, and possible a stabbing on 18th St. This is an Animal, and he can not be rehabilitated.

Upper West Side

Soon people will all prefer jail to the streets. Cheaper & safer.

Richmond Hill

Anyone who takes a life should be put to death. Period. Mental health or not.

Midtown East

Why didn’t the mother have an order of protection against a man who attempted to kill her??

Red Hook West

The worst fact is that mental health issues are not given the necessary resources & manpower so that such tragedies as the one involving St. Hubert (& many similar cases) don't occur so often across the nation. More resources need to be channeled into these areas, obviously.


There have been several recent reports of mentally ill people going to jail with disastrous results. Ditto de blasio's comment: mentally ill people fill our prisons and roam our streets. No one is well served by this--neither the individual nor the public. We can and must do better. Let's study successful models from other cities or countries.

Park Slope

With this man's track record, he never should have been released.

With all he has done, I do not understand how he was given such a short term in

When someone is arrested, the police should immediately be able to see his past
record. And put him away for a very long time.

Upper East Side

I agree with Mayor De Blasio we do not give Mental illness the attention we need to in this country. I will do anything to see our leaders and law makers give more attention to this issue everywhere. Mental illness is a serious problem that is overlooked.

East Harlem

Its unfortunate what has happened to the 2 children that were stabbed. However, I know many individuals that go to jail & live very productive lives. Good people do do bad things. If they pay their debt to society they should be given another opportunity. I don't know what the solution is, but we cannot condemn everyone that has a criminal record because of 1 crazy individual.


We need to focus more in mental illness. There are a number of untreated mentally ill individual in our city. There should be reforms pushing court mandates to ensure that mentally ill individuals, who have assaulted someone should be forced to take medication.


I am a former Teacher and current College Instructor. I have two masters degrees, am married and own my own home. Unfortunately since the age of 24 years of age, I have been battling Schizoaffective Disorder and have been in and out of hospitals for the last 14 years. I have also been arrested four times and on one occasion spent a year in jail and three months in a state hospital in Virginia. Although I am not a violent person and have been deemed to be nonviolent by Psychiatrists, I believe greatly in what the former Commissioner and Professor from John Jay College said in the Introduction.

I feel there has to be a redefinition of what it means to be in danger to yourself or others. A person that has a psychotic episode or is capable of having a psychotic episode is in danger to himself or others by default, but it is currently defined that as long as you say you do not want to hurt anyone or yourself, you do not need to be hospitalized or forced to take medication.

Along with this, I believe greatly that upon the first time you are hospitalized in a city or state psychiatric institution, your right to own a gun is taken away, and you are given monitoring. The social worker assigned to your case would not be able to force the person to take medication, but should be able to provide housing, food, and resources for a person getting out of a hospital or jail. They also can act as a liaison between the family, psychiatrist and therapist to answer questions and provide support. Finally this person in charge of your case will be an advocate in your corner. If you are arrested they will be able to talk to the court and hopefully help you. Currently some after leaving an institution are left in the street without medication, support, and no where to go.

Most mentally ill people are not criminals. The problem is there is no services for them and most do not have the support system that someone like me has been lucky enough to have.

St. George

The suspect in the murder of the young boy should not have been released from jail. Why? It is obvious that any person who tried to kill their own mother and showed extremely violent behavior wasn't ready to be let out. The people hired by the correction department who determined that he was fit to reenter society obviously lacked the qualifications to make such a decision.

Once prisoners are released from jail there is no bona fide re-entry to society type of programs, most of the programs are outsourced to people who claim to run programs, but are actually collecting a check from the government and making a sweet living off the tax payers.

East Flatbush

How does a felon who has been in prison for 5 years change his or her life after release, especially if the felon is a functional illiterate whose learning stopped in elementary school. Maybe his mental illness started when he was a kid and ignored by the schools and other institutions he might have encountered. So many kids that display behavior do not receive any help. What's Hubert's story?

Fort Greene

I personally don't think he should ever be let out. He been arrested (11 time)Once a person threatens to kill his own Mother the person that gave him life. Assaults police and correction officer's kill People and stabbed children but smart enough to shave his face and cut all his off. I'm afraid he smarter than the Doctor, Lawyers and the Judge. I feel if he was really crazy that would have been the fathers thing on a crazy person mind. He should never see freedom. Animals belong in cages.
Please put the animals with other animals.


What happened to those children is a horrible tragedy. However, Mentally ill people are roaming the streets of the city committing crimes, and then they go to jail, get no services for their mental illness, and go back onto the street. mentally ill people need to be treated, not incarcerated and then released. 40% of prisoners suffer from mental illness. They don't belong in jail, but in hospitals, yet the city and state have closed psychiatric hospitals and throw these people into the street or jail instead. It's disgusting.


How did someone this mentally ill slip through psychological screening? A better security system my not have prevented this. What would have prevented this would have been a diagnosis.


The criminal justice system is overwhelmed as a result of the so-called War on Drugs, which by any measure has been a failure.

Prohibition makes drugs profitable, and the money breeds corruption. Before you know it, your police force is serving the drug runners as much as it is serving the community.

A corrupt police force is an ineffective deterrent to crime.


This is a violent mentally ill person, who is in need of placement in a hospital for the criminally insane.. However, he shouldn't be in jail or allowed to walk the street again. He can't function in our society. This was proven by his prior arrest which was motivated by mental illness. Mayor Koch closed down the mental hospitals because of the budget crisis in the pass. He stated, "They would received the services that was needed at home. His promise was they would monitor these people.with medical people


The key for people in prison is education. If you educate people in prison it changes lives and society as well. I have seen it first hand through the Hudson Link non-profit which brings higher education to men and women in prison.
Until we start discussing mental illness and actually treating it in a real way and stop ignoring it, violence will continue.


I think it’s important to be careful with the choice of words we use when describing people with mental illnesses. Calling them “crazy” or “psycho” diminishes the very real illness that they have. More importantly, people with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Having said that, I do believe our society is ill-informed about how to recognize warning signs, and how to initiate help before a crisis happens. We need increased funding and dedication to this important matter.


The Mentally ill should be mandated to take their prescribed medication and treatment. They also should be followed up with to be sure they are showing up for medical appts. And taking medications, and if they cannot be found warrants should be issued to look for them and put back in hospital. We have to track somehow.


People fail to understand that a lot of people with mental illness do not have INSIGHT into their illness and a need for treatment. This lack of insight is one of the features of their illness. Services ARE available in the community but you can't force people to take medications/be in treatment, unless there is a court order for AOT (Assisted Outpatient Treatment) and it's very difficult to obtain one. As Justin said, if the person is not grossly psychotic and denies any intent to harm self/others, they can't be held in a hospital against their will.

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