It is a fear many citizens and those in law enforcement have when they learn that our court systems are releasing jailed inmates, some dangerous felons, back into society without even the typical probation, parole, or supervised work release programs.
Of course, this is thanks to panic over COVID-19 spreading through the jails.
It’s not just that these releases are happening without notification of victims of their crimes, it’s that the normal programs allowing for gradual release into society have been thrown in the trash and disregarded altogether.
These releases have proven bad for the public and even bad for the inmates, as many quickly reoffend and end up back in jail, facing much longer and harsher sentences than before since they’ve proven they weren’t yet rehabilitated.
In the Bronx, New York, 29-year-old Daniel Vargas was released after being in and out of prison for burglary, assault, weapons possession, and robbery, being arrested more than 12 times. He’d been initially imprisoned in New York’s state prison system in 2014 and was paroled in 2017. He violated the requirements of his parole and was returned to prison, only to be released again two weeks ago on March 27th.
On April 7th, Vargas beat up and robbed a 62-year-old man who was walking with a cane at 8am. Vargas demanded cash from the man, and when the man refused, Vargas attacked him with kicks and punches. He pushed the older man against a wall and then threw him onto the ground.
The man finally handed over his money, which totaled $80.
NEW YORK POST reported: Daniel Vargas is who NOT to release from prison amid coronavirus crisis https://t.co/CG44r8xk7e
— ZENITH NEWS® (@ZENINEWS) April 13, 2020
Vargas was subsequently arrested and charged with robbery, grand larceny, and assault. Officers recovered the cash, but the victim refused to accept it back because he feared it may be contaminated with COVID-19.
Next up, in San Juaquin County, California, Jason Gaul has followed a similar path. He’s a career/habitual criminal with prior felonies and has been arrested twice within five days of being released due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Judicial Council of California voted to begin a $0 cash bail program to slow the virus from spreading through inmate populations in county and state jails and prisons, but the backlash against the citizens of the state has been immediate and horrific.
The new system intends that lower-level offenders, like those involved with misdemeanor crimes and low-level felonies cannot be charged bail and are to be released pending court dates. These programs and policies draw both ire and bewilderment from citizens and those in law enforcement alike.
Jason Gaul was released yesterday on his 2nd ‘zero-bail’ release for a stolen vehicle. Today, Stockton Police Department rearrested him for another stolen vehicle. 1-hour after the vehicle was reported stolen; he was caught in it. Look in comments for charges. pic.twitter.com/SF5OLU076m
— San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office (@SJSheriff) April 16, 2020
Jason Gaul, 33 years old, is a four-time felon who was in jail since February for stealing a vehicle. He was allowed to leave jail on April 10th. This past Tuesday, April 14th, he was caught trying to steal another vehicle and fought with officers as he was taken into custody. He was charged with tampering with a vehicle and resisting arrest.
With the state’s new policy, however, he was released the same day.
San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow said in a video posted to the department’s Facebook page:
“Now that there’s zero bail, as soon as they finish booking him…he’ll be walking out the front door again.
This is what we’re going to be dealing with. We’ll be waiting for him when he goes to steal another vehicle.”
And guess what? The sheriff predicted correctly.
On Wednesday, April 15th, Gaul was caught stealing yet another vehicle and arrested by Stockton police. He was charged with grand theft of an automobile, vandalism, committing a crime while released from custody, and grand theft during a state of emergency.
According to the San Juaquin County Sheriff’s Office, this last series of offenses finally render Gaul ineligible for release under the other provision.
The Sheriff’s Office said:
“As we have stated before, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the stay at home order in place, all local law enforcement agencies are working together and will continue to do so to assure the safety and security of our community.”
At 5: Arrested, released, then arrested again. The San Joaquin and Stanislaus Sheriffs take issue with this cycle they say was caused by the Judicial Council of California's zero bail order. One example, is Jason Gaul, a suspected car thief who has been in-and-out of jail. pic.twitter.com/RKZRHurMVl
— Kay Recede (@KayRecede) April 16, 2020
The Sheriff had also stated his opposition to letting criminals out of jail early:
“We were proudly keeping [COVID-19] out of our jail, so we felt there was absolutely no reason for this order to be enacted here at our jail. There was no reason to put these folks back out on the street. As a matter of fact, they were even safer being in our jail. If it’s not here, they can’t get exposed to it.”
But, of course, that’s too much common sense for bleeding-heart liberals who just want their precious criminals to be set free.
I’m sure the sheriff’s office in San Juaquin County is doing their best to keep citizens safe, like every other county and city in the country. But our court systems and legal councils are releasing inmates at an alarming rate, and it’s just a short matter of time before much more severe crimes are added to the statistical count, and our family members and neighbors start dying.
It remains to be seen how the citizenry in each area will deal with these “crime explosions” due to these woefully doomed liberal policies.
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