(UnitedVoice.com) – At the pandemic’s beginning, many judges in Harris County, Texas, reportedly approved nominal bond amounts to keep prison populations low. While that might sound reasonable for certain misdemeanor offenses, it isn’t in the public’s best interest to apply the same logic to violent felons. According to Crime Stoppers of Houston, the judges were too liberal with the practice of setting cheap bonds, allegedly leading to the untimely death of 155 people in the county. In fact, the group reported that the judges granted at least 113 defendants facing capital murder charges bail and released them into society to await trial.
On December 27, KRIV-TV reporter Greg Googan stated on the show “What’s Your Point?” that over 50,000 accused felons were part of the catch and release practices by Democratic judges in the area. His guests alleged the justice system in Harris County doesn’t work because it’s letting dangerous people back on the street for a low price. Googan described the bail system as a revolving door for criminals to return to the public and further terrorize innocent people.
Show guest, Houston Attorney Charles Adams, stated the problem stems from past decisions by judges to set unreasonable bonds for misdemeanor offenses without considering the defendant’s ability to meet the dollar amount for release. He alleged that lawmakers responded by reforming the system too much, allowing Democratic judges the discretion to release people to await trial without considering the potential danger they pose to other residents. On the show, he called for reform of the reformed bond system in Harris County.
Other guests believe judges should look at the merits of each individual case, consider the impact on society, the offense, and whether they are repeat offenders.
Solving the Issue
In addition to bond reform focusing on protecting the people of Houston, experts say the real change will come from voters at the polls. While they encourage residents to educate themselves on who is running for governor and what they stand for, it’s just as important to know who they are voting into judicial positions.
Researching where judges stand on the issues, their track record, and how they’ll likely act once they’re in the court system will help voters make the best decisions. While talking with Googan on his show, some of the panelists said most people probably don’t know who they’re voting onto the courts, and it’s a problem.
By working to reform the system and using votes to elect the right people, Harris County may be able to resolve their bond issues and help residents feel safe once again.
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