Listen carefully when you hear Republican and Democrat liberal politicians speak about criminal justice, and you will notice the term “bail reform.” Those who live in the real world probably think this means ensuring that dangerous criminals are not let out on the streets for years pending the disposition of their trials. However, it means the exact opposite. Sadly, such “reform” is already the norm in places like New York. The latest example you will never hear from the “criminal justice reform” politicians is the case of Tony Johnson of Brooklyn.
According to the New York Post, one of the few outlets covering the outrageous jailbreak cases in the city that once led the nation in reducing crime, Tony Johnson, a reputed member of the Folk Nation gang, was arrested in Brooklyn on 34 criminal charges earlier this year, including armed robbery and assault. The prosecutors asked for $225,000 bail at the March 5 arraignment, but Judge Craig Walker agreed to release him on just $6,000 bail.
After his release, according to court documents, he is accused of robbing a female on September 15, robbing a male and severely beating a female victim the following day in separate incidents, and finally kidnapping and raping a 12-year-old girl on October 8. He was arrested two days later on first-degree sexual assault and two counts of robbery. Even now, his bail is set at $105,000, not terribly high given his record and the current accusations.
The Post quotes a local detective lamenting how the politicians only seem to care about the perpetrators and springing them from jail, not the victims. “Nobody ever talks about the victims. This poor girl’s life has been ruined because they gave this guy another chance he didn’t deserve.”
Sadly, the voices of law enforcement, victims of crime, and law-abiding citizens are never heard any more. Now it’s the criminals who are the protected class. New York has enacted a new law effective this coming January that will essentially abolish bail for juveniles and for crimes that they dubiously label as “low-level,” meaning the accused will be released immediately on their own recognizance.
In addition, the bill will create numerous legal loopholes for defendants to block convictions by asking for more access to evidence and information about witnesses, as well as the right to return to the scene of the crime, which would mean the private home of a woman in the case of a rape that was alleged to have happened in the victim’s residence. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley fears this new law will be a “total overhaul of our criminal justice system as we know it.”
The New York Post has covered a rash of recent cases where career violent criminals either were let out of prison early, violated parole and were not reincarcerated, or were never locked up to begin with. Rodriguez “Randy” Santos was arrested last week for brutally murdering four homeless men. He had 14 prior arrests, including four very violent charges this year, but was out on the streets. Joshua Henderson was rearrested three times over the past year for violating his parole but was out on the streets to allegedly rape a woman in Queens, forcing on her a horrific choice between engaging in incest or being raped.
The same weekend Santos is accused of killing four homeless men in NYC, two repeat violent felons are accused of shooting up a bar in Kansas City, resulting in four fatalities. It was a mass shooting you won’t hear about in the media. In turns out that both suspects, one of whom is still at large, had lengthy rap sheets and were released with pending charges just a few weeks ago despite violating their parole.
The increase in violent crimes by repeat offenders begins with the hands-off approach toward policing against misdemeanors, the exact opposite of the “broken windows” policing in the Giuliani era that so effectively dropped crime in the nation’s largest city. Jacob Gershman reports in the Wall Street Journal that there has been a 50 percent drop in misdemeanor arrests in New York City since 2010. That is the lowest point since 1990, the days of the Mayor Dinkins crime wave. As U.C. Irvine professor Alexandra Natapoff is quoted as saying, “Misdemeanor enforcement is much less sensitive to actual crime rates and influenced by changing political and cultural winds.” Those winds are all in the direction of jailbreak.
Conservatives need to wake up before it’s too late and realize that the Left has already quietly succeeded in getting Republicans to support a worse form of jailbreak than anything we feared from the Dukakis Democrats. And most people don’t even know it’s happening.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.