Mired in the coronavirus pandemic, the true colors of American legislators and politicians become evident as each vies for a share of celebrity spotlight. The most egregious solutions and bizarre ideas are bubbling to the surface. The worst being promoted is the mass release of prisoners.
The current trend in liberal criminal justice reform is to lock up the victim and release the criminal. It’s a form of social distancing, keeping you safe behind your own doors.
Now, prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officers are deciding to empty jails of inmates because they could become ill, and jail funding does not provide adequate care. And the numbers of criminals released is staggering — in the dozens of thousands.
“Responding to coronavirus concerns, the sheriff’s department has taken active steps to reduce the inmate population at jail facilities, essentially releasing people with less than 30 days left on their sentences,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva (D). “We’re protecting that population from potential exposure. This is about being prepared, not scared.”
In the month of March, Los Angeles’ inmate levels dropped by 600 felons. Villanueva said many of those people were freed because they had less than 30 days left on their (already-reduced plea bargained) sentences. He also said deputies have been instructed to cite and release (not arrest) criminals in select circumstances.
Let’s not be naive. Villanueva is simply pandering to criminals and their strong-arm fundraisers and families.
Big Cities, Big Crime
Even Texas has fallen victim. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says burglaries are up 20 percent since Harris County issued “Stay Home-Work Safe” orders. “Some people are seeing the shutdown of businesses as a target-rich opportunity. Habitual burglars should not be released,” said Acevedo.
Nevertheless, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo (D) decided the consequences of a criminal lifestyle should not be pushed. Society, she believes, pushed otherwise saintly people into a degraded life. And Hidalgo should know that a prisoner’s attorney pleads down the most serious charge (from murder to aggravated assault, for example) to make it easier for the district attorney.
New York City has had a 21.8 percent increase in burglaries in the first month of its coronavirus crisis, according to numbers pulled from the NYPD CompStat at the time of writing. New York cops report auto thefts are up by 64.2 percent during the same period. Murders, robbery and shootings are also increasing.
New York City’s five district attorneys wrote to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) opposing any large-scale prisoner release. The police and their union are similarly opposed. In Monroe County, New York, where early release is already in play, eight registered sex offenders were released, three of whom are judicially classified as “most likely to re-offend.”
Statistics suggest that gun and ammo sales have gone through the roof during the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. It’s no wonder.