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Horowitz: Chicago man wanted in double homicide was recently released on bail for reckless homicide, gun offenses
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Horowitz: Chicago man wanted in double homicide was recently released on bail for reckless homicide, gun offenses

Criminals on the streets. On purpose.

Jessica Beal and her brother, Damian Beal, are the latest black victims of the jailbreak "criminal justice reform" agenda promoted by Black Lives Matter, which ensures that dangerous criminals like Clarence Hebron are not behind bars.

While liberals living in suburbia enjoyed their Thanksgiving week vacation, people living in America's major urban areas experienced more violence at the hands of undeterred repeat violent offenders. On Nov. 27, Chicago police put out an AMBER alert after 1-year-old K'marion Hebron was abducted at his house, which was the scene of a double homicide that included his mother, Jessica Beal, and her brother, Damian, as the victims. Police believe that the boy's father, Clarence Hebron, who is Beal's ex-husband, was responsible for the homicides and the initial abduction. The baby was later dropped off at a Riverside police station and was unharmed.

Who is Clarence Hebron? CWB Chicago, which closely monitors crime in America's murder capital, noticed the picture of Hebron released by police was identical to a mug shot of him from April 2019.

After digging into his history, CWB Chicago discovered that Hebron, 32, had been in jail in 2019 for allegedly killing a woman while fleeing police and for two separate Class X felony armed habitual criminal gun crimes. So why was he out free? One of those notorious Cook County judges agreed to release him on just $15,000 bond in July!

Hebron was charged on April 18, 2019, for reportedly hitting a woman with his vehicle while fleeing police and driving with a suspended license. While Hebron had been released in the prior months after two separate gun charges, the judge finally decided to keep him locked up after he was charged with reckless homicide by motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing causing bodily injury, and driving on a revoked license resulting in injury or death.

However, the pressure to release criminals has been strong in recent months. Three days after Hebron's lawyers filed a motion to have his bail reduced, Cook County Judge Dennis Porter agreed to lower the bail to just $50,000 each for the three offenses, allowing him to go free on a $15,000 cash payment (10% of the total bail). As of this writing, police are still looking for him in connection to the double homicide on Nov. 27.

Hebron was out free while awaiting trial for two counts of Class X armed habitual criminal, five counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and four counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. This is the quintessential rap sheet of so many criminals who are released these days only to go on and commit homicide months later. This, at its core, is why homicide is skyrocketing in most major cities, with some of them approaching new records.

We often hear tear-jerking stories about incarceration taking fathers out of homes, but violent fathers should be outside the homes, as this 1-year-old child will tragically learn when he discovers he has no mother. Repeat violent offenders need to be locked up — plain and simple.

It's not clear if COVID was a consideration in Hebron's release four months ago, but criminals have been released because of the virus and for other reasons en masse. At the same time, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is threatening residents with jail time if they simply breathe free air or live their lives. "We will shut you down, we will cite you, and if we need to, we will arrest you," the mayor said back in May in a threat she is ratcheting up again during the holiday season.

When have you ever heard her speak this assertively and threateningly to violent criminals? Instead, she uses the same virus that is an excuse to suspend civil liberties and criminalize human life as a pretext to release legitimate career criminals.

Tragically, we saw another appalling example of jailbreak in St. Paul, Minnesota, another hotbed of criminality and coronavirus fascism. Antoine Lorenzo Powell, 34, was arrested for allegedly murdering a 41-year-old women in St. Paul on Sept. 3. According to eyewitnesses, a man who matched Powell's description shot Annamarie Wagener six times in the chest while she was at home and then stole her gun from her waistband. There is no known motive yet, but an informant told police that Powell had been part of a shooting just seven hours before in North Minneapolis, where detectives later discovered shell casings matching the gun used to murder Wagener.

Here's the twisted irony. According to the charging document, Powell stole Wagener's gun from her waistband after she was killed. She had recently obtained a carry permit "because the area where she lived wasn't safe."

Well, why wasn't the area safe? Because criminals weren't behind bars. It turns out that Powell was wearing an ankle bracelet because he was on parole, which is partially why they were able to place him at the scene of the crime and gather enough evidence to charge him for the murder two and a half months later. But as is always the case, ankle bracelets are worthless in prospectively deterring criminals from committing murder. It turns out, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, that Powell "has an extensive criminal record in Minnesota that includes convictions for firearms, assault, controlled substances, drunken driving and other offenses."

The bottom line is that the same people who push gun control on law-abiding citizens are also releasing gun felons en masse. We also see that career gun and drug felons are not "low-level, non-violent offenders," but the quintessential criminals who go on to commit murder.

Supporters of de-incarceration like to point out that prison fails to rehabilitate these sorts of criminals. But letting them out on the streets most certainly fails to rehabilitate them, while, unlike when they are confined, enabling them to act on their unrehabilitated instincts.

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