“I’ve never asked for anything my entire life – no welfare, no unemployment benefits. I just want to open my barber shop; I’ll abide by any restriction they make.”
Those were the words of my local barber in Baltimore County, who teared up when I asked him if he was open. He sorrowfully told me he had to close due to the dictatorial and illegal mandates of the governor of Maryland and county executives. “Just open up your shop and if the police come around, tell them you are not the owner; you are simply looting the cash register and you are even wearing a mask,” I suggested to the man, who has cut my hair for 20 years. He thought I was joking. I had to explain to him that I was dead serious.
We are now living in times when even hyperbole, parody, and absurdity don’t fully capture the illogical, illegal, and immoral actions taken by our government. Baltimore County has released 400 criminals from jail, the city has released many more, and both are easing off arresting dangerous criminals after a year of record murders in both jurisdictions.
In March, Albert Peal, 52, was accused of raping two women in Baltimore County. Police had multiple videos of him committing the acts and were in the process of searching for more potential victims. Yet the judge released him under the false premise of stopping the spread of the virus in jail because he felt he was no threat to the community!
Men like this are under the same degree of house arrest as the rest of us, and in fact, if my barber were to get caught simply opening his shop with one customer at a time (while hundreds are streaming into local Home Depots and Walmarts), he could get sent to jail! Where is the U.N. Human Rights Council?
The same trashy politicians who wrongly assert that too many people will die in prisons, thereby justifying release of dangerous criminals, are wrongly asserting that small businesses are a threat of spreading the virus, thereby justifying the arrest and imprisonment of business owners. Somehow, if you are a peaceful and productive citizen, they are not concerned about you getting killed by the virus in jail.
Baltimore isn’t the only place where sex offenders are being let off the hook. Oakland, California, police have closed their sex offender registry unit, where those on the list are required to check in. Naturally, they are now focusing their surveillance on you and me instead.
There is no bottom to the decayed values driving the release of criminals at all costs. Tens of thousands of criminals have been released early or pardoned, and we will be feeling the effects of it for years to come, as we will feel the effects of so many other unfathomable and impetuous decisions made without any democratic input.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 79% of criminals released from state prison reoffend within six years and 83% recidivate within nine years. Yet many of them don’t wait a single day. Daniel Orozco, 28, was released from the Monterey County, California, jail despite being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and driving the wrong way. No, of course a man like this was not a danger to the public, according to the judge. Well, just 10 minutes after his release, Orozco was accused of carjacking a woman and chocking her 11-year-old son in order to convince her to hand over the keys.
In California, roughly 700 inmates are being released every week for the past two months. Six of the seven high-risk sex offenders released from Orange County jail have already been rearrested. In Fresno County, 12.5% of all criminals released under coronavirus jailbreak have been rearrested. The sheriff warned that they typically see a 70% recidivism rate within three years statewide. And how many criminals are not being caught because Gov. Gavin Newsom is too busy using the police to spy on and arrest people going to the beach?
As if that weren’t enough of a stab in the back to the average citizen, Newsom is now proposing cutting prisons even more in order to alleviate the budget crisis stemming from the shutdown. So, this man shuts down everyone’s business and then complains about the revenue loss. His solution? Abolish incarceration!
In fact, the joining of the immoral and perverse policies of placing peaceful Americans in bondage while setting criminals free has come full-circle in California, with criminals now taking advantage of the mandate to wear masks. Police in Santa Ana, California, say robberies in the city have risen by 50%. Not only are there more criminals on the street, but they can now use the universal mask mandate as the perfect cover to commit crimes before people know what hit them. “We’re seeing more and more suspects wearing the mask and using that to their benefit,” said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Except the difference is if you are wearing a mask while opening your business, you will be deemed a criminal, whereas if you are looting the business … well, it’s just another “low-level” theft.
This would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic. Last week, Heather Perry, a 21-year-old Denver woman, was allegedly murdered by Cornelius Haney, a man previously convicted of armed robbery who was released thanks to a coronavirus jailbreak order promulgated by Gov. Jared Polis.
Federal law (18 U.S.C. §242) states, “Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.”
Perhaps it’s time to use the empty space in the jails to house the politicians who are breaking the supreme law of the land.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.