Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Brandon Campbell was accused in the shooting death of Randy Moore, the father of three young children, on April 9, 2020 in St. Louis. The case against Campbell was dismissed after prosecutors failed to appear three times for scheduled hearings. The assistant prosecutor assigned to the case didn’t know she was assigned. She was on maternity leave and was not expected to respond to anything for about three months. The office of St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner failed in its duty, said Circuit Judge Jason Sengheiser. “Why aren’t they doing their job?” asked the sister of the murder victim. Good question.
“In a case like this where the Circuit Attorney’s Office has essentially abandoned its duty to prosecute those it charges with crimes,” Judge Sengheiser said, “the court must impartially enforce the law and any resultant threat to public safety is the responsibility of the Circuit Attorney’s Office.”
The number of cases that have been dismissed during Gardner’s tenure as prosecutor is growing—33% of felony cases filed in St. Louis city’s circuit court get dismissed. Gardner was in the news for her prosecution of a St. Louis couple, the McCloskeys, whose sole offense was that they tried to defend themselves against a hostile mob that threatened to kill them. Gardner was eager to do her job in that travesty of justice, but not in a capital murder case.
The Campbell case is by no means unusual. The intention of many local law enforcement officials is to protect criminals at the expense of victims. We have evidence of violent crimes that are not prosecuted and violent criminals who are released from prison under the guise of COVID. In addition to murders that are never solved, there is a marked increase in the number of cases around the country where accused killers are simply released.
In a series of sensational Baltimore murder trials, the suspects walked out of court free men. Defendant Kenneth Davis joined a long list of acquitted Baltimore murder suspects after defense attorneys argued that police blunders raised doubts about their client’s guilt. “I hope that you don’t think this is something you have gotten away with,” said the frustrated judge to Mr. Davis. Sorry judge, Davis got away with it. “So many homicide cases are now lost in court,” the Baltimore Sun reported, “that the odds of getting away with murder in Baltimore are stacked decisively in favor of the killer.”
An accused killer in Florida was mistakenly freed from jail after the Broward Clerk of Courts did not produce a routine document telling the jail to keep him there. Eric Vail, accused of spraying a man’s car with an AR-15-style rifle, remained on the loose after he walked out of the jail. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, authorities have no idea where he is.
The suspect in a slaying was mistakenly set free in downtown Los Angeles. Steven Manzo was charged with fatally shooting 24-year-old Salvador Corrales. Manzo was inadvertently released from custody before a trial even started. According to ktla.com, it’s still unclear exactly how the mistake was made and why Manzo was able to walk free from jail.
Many suspects freed under new bail reforms are going on to commit major crimes. Darrius Sutton, A Brooklyn gang member, was set free without bail the same day of his arrest for attempted murder. Sutton participated in at least three drive-by shootings after he was freed. The New York Daily News reported that during the first two months of the year, 482 people charged with a felony in New York City were released without bail only to be rearrested for new crimes 846 times.
Rep. Tom Cotton, writing in National Review, described another serious problem plaguing the US justice system. “Radical left-wing lawyers, many supported by billionaire George Soros, have become district attorneys and state’s attorneys in many major American cities. These so-called Soros prosecutors have betrayed the public trust,” said Cotton, “and made our communities less safe. Instead of fighting crime, they are abetting it.”
These “progressive” prosecutors are gaining a reputation for coddling violent, career criminals, “often agreeing to sweetheart deals and routinely circumventing three-strikes laws.” In San Francisco, D.A. Chesa Boudin made a deal with Troy McAlister, who was facing a life sentence for a long and violent series of crimes. McAlister was released and went on to commit a new series of crimes leading to three separate arrests. “Boudin refused to charge him each time,” said Cotton.
When Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner reduced the city’s prison population by 30 percent through aggressive criminal leniency policies, murder skyrocketed over 40 percent, reaching the highest level in three decades. In Los Angeles, D.A. George Gascon announced his aversion to prosecuting criminal activity. Gascon will not enforce laws pertaining to trespassing, resisting arrest, and driving under the influence. “Hey criminals,” remarked Bill O’Reilly, “this is the best thing that’s ever happened to you.”
“On the rare occasions when criminals go to trial in jurisdictions with Soros prosecutors,” said Cotton, “they might as well have two advocates in the room, while the public and the victims have none. These renegade lawyers have turned the criminal justice system into the criminal’s justice system.”
No wonder our citizens have no confidence in the law. “If you murder someone in America,” according to vox.com, “there’s a nearly 40 percent chance you’ll get away with it.” Under Biden/Harris, the situation is likely to get a lot worse.
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