This Is Not Bail Reform, This Is Insanity

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By Invoice King for RealClearPolitics

Final Wednesday, 37-year-old Omar Ursin went to choose up take-out for his household. Witnesses reported that as Ursin was driving down Medera Run Parkway in northeast Harris County, Texas, one other automobile pulled alongside and fired a number of photographs into Ursin’s automobile.

When police arrived, they discovered Ursin had crashed right into a tree within the median and was lifeless. The district lawyer charged Ahsim Taylor and Jayland Womack, each 20, with Ursin’s homicide.

Sadly, this is able to be all too frequent a narrative in Harris County as of late. During the last two years, we’ve got been averaging nearly two murders per day in Harris County. However there are two particulars which make this crime stand out.

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First, Ursin was a Precinct 3 constable deputy. He was off responsibility on the time. At this level, we have no idea if his homicide was associated to him being a regulation enforcement officer.

Second, each Taylor and Womack had been out on bail, pending trials for different felonies. Homicide, to be particular. Taylor had been charged with capital homicide as a result of he killed somebody throughout a theft. Womack was charged with a killing that occurred throughout a drug deal.

Taylor’s bond was initially set at $220,000 by a Justice of the Peace, however Decide Amy Martin lowered it to $95,000. Womack’s preliminary bond was set by Decide Greg Glass at $35,000 however later elevated to $75,000 due to violations of this pre-trial launch. These bonds had been granted by every of the judges, however the substantial proof towards the accused.

Each defendants had been capable of make bond and had been launched from custody. Historically, bail bondsmen have required 10% to supply a bond. Due to elevated competitors, many bond firms have been discounting their charges. So, these two alleged murderers had been capable of safe their freedom for not more than about $18,000, and doubtless considerably much less.

On account of them being out on bond as a substitute of inside Harris County’s jail, Ursin’s 7-year-old daughter not has a dad.

I’ve lengthy thought the money bail bond system utilized in many of the U.S is an anachronistic abomination that ought to no less than be dramatically reformed, or scrapped altogether. The federal courts did so practically 4 a long time in the past. And I’ve supported the efforts to scale back the reliance on the money bonds for misdemeanor expenses or non-violent offenses.

Having somebody sit in jail for a scorching examine or marijuana cost as a result of they can’t afford the bail bond charge is ridiculous and counterproductive on many ranges.

However granting any bond to defendants credibly accused of a majority of these murders is pure madness. In line with Houston Crime Stoppers, 180 people in Harris County have been killed by an individual launched on a felony bond since 2018. And the “bail reform” motion is lively in each state within the nation.

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Definitely, judges have an obligation to make sure that the rights of defendants of their courts are protected. However in addition they have an obligation to guard the general public from people who’ve demonstrated their violent proclivities.

I don’t know what was going by means of the minds of Decide Martin and Decide Glass after they set these bonds. It’s simply exhausting to think about what would make any rational jurist conclude that releasing defendants like these two younger males again onto the streets would finish in something one other than tragedy. It both represents some blind allegiance to a warped ideology or a callous indifference to the general public’s security. Or each.

By the best way, Democratic Celebration voters had the nice sense to point out each Martin and Glass the door within the main earlier this yr. Solely time will inform if their replacements shall be any higher.

Past the person tragedies the insane determination to launch violent criminals has resulted in, these ideologues additionally appear to have no appreciation that they’re prone to set off a backlash that would wipe out the progress made up to now on professional misdemeanor bond reform. How ironic that will be.

People, this isn’t rocket science. Our system ought to decide who ought to be launched pending a trial based mostly on two components: if the individual is prone to present up for his or her trial, and if they’re a hazard to the general public. It ought to don’t have anything to do with whether or not they’re financially capable of pay a bondsman.

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Till we get the cash out of the equation and begin electing judges which might be devoted to basing their selections on this standards, there shall be extra youngsters like Ursin’s daughter rising up with no father or mother. There can even be extra lives destroyed by merciless and pointless incarceration for trivial offenses.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

Invoice King is a businessman and lawyer, and is a former contributor on the Houston Chronicle. He has served as a metropolis councilman and has a robust curiosity in a variety of social, environmental, and political points. Invoice is the writer of “Saving Face” and “Unapologetically Average.”

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content material companions are their very own and don’t essentially replicate the views of The Political Insider.

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