RICHLAND COUNTY, SC- While much is made of lax enforcement of criminal law in liberal cities such as New York and Chicago, where the criminal justice system due to so-called “bail reform” has turned said system into a revolving door, the same problem exists in red states where you would think it wouldn’t be an issue.
Such is the case in Columbia, South Carolina, according to ABC Columbia where a local sheriff as well as two state senators are complaining that recidivism by criminals released on bond has reached “epidemic levels.”
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott this week slammed the criminal justice system, complaining about cracks in the criminal justice system that are in desperate need of repair.
“When is it going to stop? It has got to stop,” said Lott, sheriff in Richland County. “I am pleading with whoever needs to hear this: help us fix this crack in the criminal justice system.”
Lott is complaining about what he calls “catch and release.” He says judges have become too lenient on criminals, in particular repeat offenders which he noted puts dangerous criminals back into the community where they are able to reoffend. He also complained about laws which he calls too lenient, in particular those involving criminal possession of a firearm.
“Whether you get caught one time or 100 times, it’s treated like a first offense. There’s no graduated sentence. You have that for shoplifting and DUI but not for carrying a gun,” Lott said. “”That’s some legislation that would help and hold those carrying guns in our community accountable.”
State Senator Dick Harpootlian agrees in principle with Lott, however, believes there are laws on the books that are simply not being enforced.
“We have the laws on the books,” said Harpootlian, a Democrat from the same county as Lott. “I think solicitors, law enforcement and judges need to get on the same page.”
State Senator Brian Adams, a Republican agrees with Harpootlian in the observation that it is simply too easy for criminals to bond out of jail and believes bond should be revoked on a more regular basis.
“If they commit another crime while they’re out on bond, eliminate their bonds,” said Adams, of Charleston. “Call them back and put them in jail.”
Such a criminal this past weekend caused a Richland County deputy to be hospitalized this past weekend. Eugene Ivery, who was out on bond led county deputies on a pursuit which resulted in two deputies colliding, injuring both with the one being sent to the hospital.
“Not everyone needs to stay in jail, but those who demonstrate that they’re not going to follow the law are just going to ignore it and do what they want to. Keep their butts in jail,” Lott said.
The above incident started at an Exxon gas station in the county, where deputies attempted to speak with Ivery for an unknown reason. Ivery fled the scene which led to the pursuit. The fact he was even out on the streets was enough to set off Sheriff Lott.
“He is already out on three other bonds for three other previous arrests, including murder,” Lott said.
“He’s given another bond before my deputy is out of the hospital. He’s back on the streets. Guess what he’s probably doing? The same thing he has done every single time; break the law.”
After finally apprehending Ivery last weekend, deputies found a “large amount of marijuana” on him. In addition to marijuana possession charges, he was also charged with driving under suspension, failure to stop for blue lights and reckless driving.
Meanwhile in Newberry County, South Carolina, WACH is reporting that a man who abused his six-month-old daughter to the point of killing her saw bonds of only $30,000 set by two separate judges in her death. That has the sheriff in that county calling the bonds “sickening” and “unacceptable.”
The case in question involves a man named Colie Dawkins, 38, who is charged with felony child abuse and domestic violence relative to the death of his daughter. Since being arrested on Oct. 24, he has made two court appearances.
In one case, the judge set bond for the felony child abuse charge at $20,000, while a second judge set a $10,000 bond for the domestic violence charge. The child was found unresponsive in Dawkins’ vehicle after he threatened the child’s mother over the telephone.
Those low bonds set off Sheriff Lee Foster of Newberry County, in whose jurisdiction Dawkins was arrested.
“The way the system is in South Carolina, they can go to a bail bondsman and put up payments, $100 and walk free,” said Foster. “At some point, it has to stop.”
Foster joins Lott and other law enforcement officials statewide in South Carolina who are slamming the current bail bond system and asking for bigger bond amounts for offenders, while also demanding accountability from magistrate judges.
“They say that bond is not supposed to be a punishment, but it’s assurance depending on the severity of the case,” Foster said. “I’m not sure what’s more severe than the loss of a child’s life.”
As is the case in Richland County, Foster says this isn’t the first run-in with law enforcement for Dawkins.
“Drug charges to burglary, to harassment, to giving false identification and false information, to assaults, and yet we put him back out on the streets,” Foster said as he reviewed a rap sheet he printed of Dawkins’ previous arrests.
Foster is pressing state lawmakers to do something about it, and in one case, state representative JA Moore told WACH that while he favors passing laws to crack down on repeat offenders, he does not believe that is an end all-be all solution.
“People have the right to be innocent until proven guilty. My answer to the problem is not just stripping away rights from people,” Moore said.
“I think it’s vitally important that we deal with crime but having this knee-jerk reaction position isn’t the way you solve problems long-term as it relates to violence. We need to make sure we’re investing in our public education system, and we need to be doing more with mental health.”
Spoken like a true Democrat.
Moore signaled the South Carolina legislature may take up some of those issues in the upcoming legislative session.
Foster meanwhile said sheriff’s deputies in Newberry County are awaiting autopsy results of the young child in the belief that additional charges may be forthcoming for Dawkins.
Some areas of the country are finally cracking down on repeat offenders, including San Francisco, where the DA who replaced recalled leftist Chesa Boudin is making a name for herself:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Former San Francisco DA and child of convicted terrorists Chesa Boudin spent his time in office pushing far-left progressive policies that favored criminals over law-abiding citizens.
Two of his more controversial ideas included eliminating cash bail and offering criminals a stint in rehabilitation rather than facing jail time. And for all his effort to flip the justice system upside down, he wound up being recalled by San Francisco voters.
Brooke Jenkins, his successor, has revoked thirty plea offers for drug cases facilitated by Boudin and his staff, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
Her office released a statement pertaining to the plea bargaining and rehab angle that Boudin employed.
“Since 2020, nearly 1,500 people have died of drug overdose in part because dealers have been allowed to operate with impunity,” Jenkins said in that release.
The previous deals allowed all thirty individuals to enter rehab instead of going to jail.
One of the deals that Jenkins took off the table was for a man who had six open cases for dealing fentanyl. He was arrested with more than 100 grams of the deadly drug.
The defendant in that case had already been remanded, through court order, to the program at least five times. He never completed the program.
Boudin’s agreement with that defendant?
A single misdemeanor conviction to settle all six cases pending against him. Much to his dismay, he is now facing a felony charge that will likely result in lengthy jail time.
But Jenkins wants the drug-involved criminal element in San Francisco to know, she is playing around.
“The lethality of fentanyl presents a different challenge, and we must immediately change course, so we can save lives and hold people accountable for the havoc they are wreaking in our communities like the Tenderloin and South of Market,” the statement continued.
For all drug-related offenses going forward, Jenkins has announced that anyone arrested in possession with more than 5 grams will not have a chance at the rehab option.
Jenkins’ team looked into open narcotics sale cases and discovered that more than half of those 150 cases involved the sale and distribution of fentanyl.
For the past year +, the previous administration did not earn one conviction for fentanyl.
We have to send a strong message that you will face consequences and potentially jail time for dealing fentanyl. https://t.co/Q8k2QnaQrP
— Brooke Jenkins 謝安宜 (@BrookeJenkinsSF) August 3, 2022
Yet, with that evidence in hand, Boudin and his team failed to obtain even one single conviction related to fentanyl in 2021.
Ironically, Boudin’s predecessor, George Gascon secured 90 or more in 2018, even though the now-Los Angeles County DA is facing his own recall efforts to remove him for his soft-on-crime stances.
Jenkins on the other hand, tweeted her belief on the topic, writing:
“We have to send a strong message that you will face consequences and potentially jail time for dealing fentanyl.”
In a separate submission, she stated:
“For the past two years, we tried the previous administration’s approach to holding drug dealers accountable. It is clear to me, and I believe to everyone in San Francisco, that it was a failed approach, and we need to embark on a new direction.”
According to the San Francisco Standard, Jenkins said:
“We have to send a strong message that if people choose to sell this lethal drug in our city, that they will be held accountable. It is not progressive to allow our residents to die out on our streets. It does not further reform, or the reform movement, to allow repeat offenders to continuously offend without any consequence.”
For more on Jenkins and her effort to restore her office to a place of credibility, we encourage you to
Soft-on-crime progressives absolutely fuming as former San Fran DA staffers get fired
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Last month saw the ousting of progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin through a recall election. His replacement is cleaning house and liberals are not happy.
Mayor London Breed named Brooke Jenkins to succeed the son of convicted terrorists.
The San Francisco Gate is reporting that since taking over, Jenkins has removed 15 people from their roles in the DA’s office. The move came on Friday, at the end of her first week.
The fact that she only fired 15 led the Washington Examiner to pose a question.
Why didn’t Jenkins “fire every single one of them, fumigate the building, and start over?”
I am thrilled to announce new members of my management team of experienced prosecutors that will help our office deliver on my promise to improve public safety, hold offenders accountable, advocate for victims, and enact smart criminal justice reforms. https://t.co/QgSgFtzSWW
— Brooke Jenkins 謝安宜 (@BrookeJenkinsSF) July 15, 2022
There is no doubt that the woman leading the effort in San Francisco means business.
“Today, I made difficult, but important changes to my management team and staff that will help advance my vision to restore a sense of safety in San Francisco by holding serious and repeat offenders accountable and implementing smart criminal justice reforms,” Jenkins said in a statement.
The Gate’s piece focused on the audacity of Jenkins firing Boudin holdovers, rather than the fact that the new DA wanting to actually do something about crime in the city.
They spoke to numerous individuals that were critical of the firings and the direction that she seems to be moving the office and its approach.
The Examiner said:
“…it’s one thing to get their reactions, but just think about this for one second: A majority of San Francisco voters just voted down these people’s idiotic vision of criminal justice reform, the kind that’s soft on violent and career criminals — yet a reporter at SFGate cannot find one single person to quote who will say something positive about the firings.”
They aren’t wrong in their take on the Gate’s approach.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the people that were terminated.
Arcelia Hurtado was the first to go. She was the office’s representative within the Innocence Commission. Their existence was to investigate potential “wrongful” convictions.
The Gate’s Eric Ting spoke with someone about the removal of Hurtado.
“The decision by Brooke Jenkins to fire Arcelia Hurtado is deeply concerning, especially given the promise she made just yesterday to allow the Innocence Commission to continue to function,” said University of San Francisco law professor Lara Bazelon, the chair of the commission.
“Arcelia was critical to the commission’s function. It is also concerning because Arcelia was the head of the DA’s post-conviction review unit, which, among other things, is currently considering the petition by Mayor London Breed’s brother Napoleon Brown to be granted leniency and released from prison following his conviction for carjacking and manslaughter.
I can see no legitimate reason for firing an attorney as rigorous, competent and ethical as Arcelia.”
For the record, Breed was fined $23,000 for ethics violations. One of those violations involved asking California’s governor to release her brother from prison.
Apparently, the fine wasn’t enough to dissuade Breed from finding a way to get her brother out of prison after he was convicted and sentenced to 44 years.
Jenkins has asked the state’s Attorney General to oversee the hearing for Brown in August, removing her office from the process.
According to the article, other members of the office who are seeking new jobs include:
- Kate Chatfield, Boudin’s chief of staff;
- Tal Klement, assistant chief of general crimes;
- Rachel Marshall, Boudin’s communications director and policy advisor;
- Mikaela Rabinowitz, director of data, analytics and research; and
- Lateef Gray, managing attorney of the independent investigation’s bureau, the department that oversees investigations into police officers.
Chatfield took to Twitter to discuss the releases.
The resentencing/innocence commission unit: gone. Police accountability: gone. Data and transparency: gone. Political corruption investigation: gone. Champion for victims and children: demoted. https://t.co/PW7vWhKgnQ
— Kate Chatfield (@ChatfieldKate) July 15, 2022
Pointing to all of the convicts that were released during Boudin’s “reign of lawlessness,” and a reduction of crime that was actually an increase in numerous categories, she highlighted all the “good” done during the previous DA’s tenure.
Cat Brooks, co-founder of the progressive Anti Police-Terror Project, had this to say about Jenkins.
“San Francisco has taken 10 giant steps backwards,” she said. “Jenkins was dangled in front of us because she’s a Black woman, which was supposed to make us feel better, but the firings are terrifying.
I hope this raises the ire of the left, and makes us realize we must fight or we will lose. We always say a shift to the right can’t happen in California, but it is happening right here in San Francisco.”
We spoke to a member of the law enforcement community in the San Francisco area, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He provided his translation of Brooks’ statement.
“This is California, and we don’t want criminals punished. The right is all about being tough on crime, and we are diametrically opposed to such tomfoolery.
The only reason that Jenkins is in this role is because she is a black woman, but she is obviously ill-equipped to maintain the failed policies of her predecessor.”
Given the recent recall it would appear Brooks, Chatfield and the others may not understand how to read the room.
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NSSF: The voters have spoken, and they’ve decided they’re done with these far-left pro-criminal District Attorneys.
Elections have consequences and San Francisco voters got exactly what they wanted. Twice.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was booted from office in a recall election that had everything to do with soft-on-crime policies, including a refusal to lock up criminals committing their crimes with firearms while at the same time denying law-abiding citizens their Second Amendment rights.
Blue state governors, attorneys general, mayors and district attorneys with the same policies of sneering at law-abiding gun owners while letting criminals walk might want to take note.
San Francisco is a city with strict gun control within a state that has among the nation’s strictest gun control laws. On top of that, the city cut $120 million from its law enforcement budget after caving to the “defund the police” movement.
San Francisco residents had already elected Chesa Boudin as District Attorney with a hair over 50 percent of the vote. Boudin was well-known as a “criminal justice reformer” who would bring a soft-on-crime approach to the office.
His father was a member of the Left-wing extremist group Weather Underground who spent 40 years in prison for second-degree murder. His mother was also a member and spent 20 years in prison.
The younger Boudin was raised by Weather Underground co-founder Bill Ayers and all of this was public. San Franciscans wanted it. That was until they didn’t.
Residents saw immediate change with Boudin’s radical justice vision. While his diehard supporters praised his elimination of cash bail for criminals and putting fewer people behind bars, the murder rate went up, as did violent crime, shoplifting and burglary.
Viral videos of San Francisco criminals running rampant became commonplace.
The situation was so bad early in Boudin’s tenure, the San Francisco police told people they were out of luck if certain crimes were committed. They announced, publicly, that they wouldn’t respond to certain calls for help. Voters had enough. Boudin was just given the pink slip after more than 60 percent of voters bounced him out.
In early 2020, California residents were becoming alarmed by the coronavirus shutdowns and crime spikes. Those spurred people who previously supported gun control to buy firearms.
Scott Kane explained California’s obstacles for lawful gun ownership, saying, “This has taken me, a law-abiding citizen with nary an unpaid parking ticket to my name, over a month. Meanwhile, Joe Bad Guy has probably purchased several fully automatic AK-47s out of the back of an El Camino in a shady part of town with zero background checks.”
Boudin’s soft-on-crime policies drove more Californians, like that of other district attorneys including Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, to take up lawful gun ownership and protection of their families, businesses and homes, into their own hands.
Even with all the hoops and strict gun control laws, nearly 4 million law-abiding Californians have purchased a firearm since 2020.
“My gun store has had a run like I’ve never seen before. It was just an avalanche of new gun buyers for the first time.,” said Todd Cotta, owner of Kings Gun Center. Geneva Solomon, owner of Redstone Firearms also in California, added buyers weren’t just buying firearms and leaving. They were signing up for training and practice.
“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in the class options we offer. Before they would never sell out. Now they sell out two days after we post them.”
The rejection of Boudin by San Francisco voters, one of the most progressive cities in the country, is telling. Voters want safety in their cities. That includes their fundamental right to lawfully own firearms for self-defense.
Support for more gun control remains low. Americans recognize not enough is being done to control crime. Support for enforcing current laws is high and voter support for a ban on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), is at an all-time low.
What’s clearly apparent is voters, even those in San Francisco, reject the soft-on-crime policies and approach of progressive prosecutors like Boudin. When it comes down to it – they’ll send them packing.
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