Essie Mae Horne holds a photo of herself with her late husband Mahan Sr. and brother Johnnie Ray Horne in front of her old aparment at Creekside Villas on Feb. 1, 2022. Horne’s husband Andre Mahan Sr. was murdered in their home back in 2006 when an unknown man entered the house and shot him. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
Essie Mae Horne holds a photo of herself with her late husband Mahan Sr. and brother Johnnie Ray Horne in front of her old aparment at Creekside Villas on Feb. 1, 2022. Horne’s husband Andre Mahan Sr. was murdered in their home back in 2006 when an unknown man entered the house and shot him. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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In the wake of California politicians recently recycling tough-on-crime rhetoric, our Jesse Marx unpacks why some victims of horrific crimes are actually pushing for softer punishments

Take the story of Essie Mae Horne, for instance. She lost two family members to gun violence. But she’s forgiven her brother’s killers and has compassion for them. 

“These kids were old enough to be my kids,” she said. “If mine did something like that, I would hope others had empathy.” 

Marx dives into surveys by justice advocates that show victims of crime believe imprisonment makes someone more likely to reoffend in the future. And why it might be time to replace lengthy mandatory sentences with services, mental health care and financial support for the families affected.  

Click here to read more and get Marx’s column, Fine City, sent straight to your email by subscribing here.

Gloria Pledges Continued Action on Midway Homeless Camp

Mayor Todd Gloria vowed on Thursday that the city will improve conditions at a Midway District homeless camp that has grown dramatically over the last year.

On Tuesday and Thursday, the city reports that crews collected more than 10 tons of trash and other items from the camp that lines much of Sports Arena Boulevard between Rosecrans Street and Pacific Highway. Some business and property owners expressed frustration earlier this week when many residents returned to the camp after city crews left.

Fox 5 covered the Thursday operation and caught up with a homeless resident who was helping to clean the area.

Gloria said during a Thursday press briefing that he is committed to additional homeless outreach and clean-up efforts in the weeks to come.

“The conditions out there are completely unacceptable, and I will not be content with leaving them in that way, but we’re going to have to be persistent. This is not one and done,” Gloria said. “This is about an ongoing effort to make sure the situation there improves and ultimately is no longer out there.”

Gloria acknowledged recent pauses in city shelter intakes and other COVID-related dynamics have complicated the city’s ability to combat homelessness. With most city shelter beds unavailable to newcomers, the city has also been unable to cite homeless residents for crimes tied to homelessness.

A city spokeswoman told Voice of San Diego that twice-weekly clean-ups at the Sports Arena camp will continue for at least the next several weeks. 

In Other News

This Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer, Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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