Stathos Hugunnie was wanted in connection with two stabbings in a housing project in Long Island City one day in April 1997. When police showed up, Hugunnie fired eight shots, striking NYPD officer Peter Bueti three times in the chest, which would have killed him if not for his protective vest. After being released from prison two years ago, he was picked up again on drugs and firearms charges. Yet he was released on just $5,000 bond. This, folks, is the real criminal justice dysfunction that needs “reform,” but victims and law enforcement don’t have the same lobbying power criminals do.
Although New York’s new law abolishing cash bail won’t be enacted until January 1, judges are already getting a head start by either applying it now or setting bail at a very low rate, even for repeat violent felons. Hugunnie was charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal weapons possession, and criminal use of a firearm for the 1997 incident. Back then, criminals were actually locked up, so he served 20 years in prison.
According to the New York Post, “On Nov. 7 at 6 a.m., detectives from Queens North carried out a search warrant and found the would-be cop killer in another apartment in the Queensbridge Houses, loaded down with multiple firearms, ammunition, and grams of both heroin and crack cocaine.”
Liberals always say they want to combat gun violence, but they love to let out the most violent gun felons of all on the streets. Consequently, someone like this, who almost killed a cop and was then caught illegally possessing firearms, was let back out on just $5,000 bond. “This is the type of person New Yorkers are going to be encountering on our streets in increasing numbers: vicious criminals who are being spit back out by our criminal justice system,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, as quoted by the Post. “We must fix our broken parole system before perps like Hugunnie create more victims.”
This is the sort of “criminal justice reform” the public wants, but the political class, including so-called conservatives, think even the current weakened system is not weak enough on criminals. Two weeks ago, the American Conservative Union, the same organization that hosts the supposed annual conservative conference of record, held a jailbreak conference where 100 percent of the focus was on the needs of the criminal and not on all the victims needlessly harmed by repeat offenders let out of prison.
Who needs Soros electing anti-prison prosecutors in San Francisco and northern Virginia, when “conservatives” seem to agree? We see how harmful the Soros prosecutors have been in their quest to decriminalize public order laws, a big project of AOC’s “squad.” How much more so the release of drug traffickers and gang-bangers?
Many so-called conservatives are motivated, in part, by the assumption that they will somehow pick up new voters from the felons who are released. Jared Kushner reportedly told a group of donors as much at a GOP summer fundraiser in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It’s akin to their suicidal and circular logic that if Republicans out-left the Democrats on amnesty for illegal aliens, they will somehow pick up more votes. A recent jailbreak story from New York demonstrates the laughableness of this view.
José “Catano” Jorge was originally held without bond after he was charged with killing someone by distributing fentanyl-laced heroin in NYC. Last week, though, he was released without any bond pursuant to the new bail law, and according to the NY Post, he announced in Spanish as he left the courthouse, “Cuomo for president!” According to the New York Daily News, when Jorge’s lawyer tried to hush him up, Jorge said, “It’s in my heart, man. It’s in my heart, bro.”
Yes, indeed, there are a lot of vices incorrigibly embedded in the hearts of violent career criminals. Voting Republican is not one of them. This is the army of violent punks that “conservative” criminal justice deform will unleash on our streets.
Ironically, people who actually understand crime, even Democrats, comprehend the consequences of jailbreak more than supposed conservative organizations. A pair of law-and-order Democrat prosecutors in northern Virginia who were defeated by Soros candidates in primaries were recently profiled by the Daily Caller Foundation about their concern with this growing anti-prison movement and their shock that even Republican politicos don’t seem to care or understand what’s happening.
“The weird thing is, as a result of Soros pouring money into low-turnout primaries, center-left voters are unquestionably more closely aligned to the Republican candidates than they are to these radical challengers,” said Jonathan Fahey, the independent who was defeated by Soros accolyte Steve Descano in the Fairfax County DA race. “If the citizens were informed they’d never vote for this.”
The longtime incumbent Democrat prosecutor who was defeated by Descano, Ray Morrogh, endorsed the independent Fahey, but voters upset with Trump simply voted party line up and down the ballot.
Descano “is completely unqualified for the office of commonwealth attorney,” Morrogh said in a video. “The only case he tried, he disgraced himself when the judge reversed the conviction because [he] lied in closing argument. This man is not fit to hold office in Fairfax County.”
Unfortunately, citizens are not being informed of what is quietly happening on all aspects of criminal justice because all of the monied GOP interests agree with the false Soros premise about race and incarceration. Thus, rather than running endless soft-on-crime ads against the Left, which would appeal even to center-left voters disenchanted with Trump’s personality but who still want stable and safe suburbs, the host of CPAC joins with the Soros agenda. We now have a radicalized Democrat Party and a compromised Republican Party. Where does that leave the average citizen?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.