Why aren’t Republicans pounding the lectern with righteous indignation about violent gun felons being let off easy by the judicial system the same way Democrats engage in cerebral gyrations over guns? Democrats have sob stories for their gun control agenda. Republicans need to look no farther than Chicago as the poster child for criminal control.
On June 23, 2017, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stood beside then-Gov. Bruce Rauner and celebrated the passage of a bill stiffening sentences on gun felons. "1,400 individuals, who are repeat gun offenders, just imagine if we took 50 percent of them off the street where our gun violence would go in the city of Chicago," declared Johnson at the signing ceremony. "Gun offenders get slaps on the wrist in this city — and it has to stop. I need our judicial partners and our state legislators to help me close this gap."
Well, thanks to the goal among both parties to reduce the prison population at all costs, things have only gotten worse over the past two years. You see, while politicians tell the public they want to keep people safe, Gov. Rauner also made it his goal to cut the prison population by 25 percent.
According to CWB Chicago, a local crime watchdog, a Cook County judge granted a repeat violent gun felon a special deal on bail that allowed him to walk straight out of the courthouse without posting a dime of bond. Joaquin Urcino is a career criminal with a record dating back to 1991 for everything from homicide and drugs to stolen vehicles, aggravated battery with a firearm, and assault. On July 12, police arrested Urcino, a Two Six gang member, for firing four shots out of his apartment window. He was charged with felony use of a firearm by a felon while on parole, felony reckless discharge of a firearm, and felony possession of a controlled substance.
One would expect someone like this, who served (brief) time for homicide and for shooting another person, to be locked up without bail when caught illegally possessing and discharging a firearm, right? This is especially true given that he was out on parole at the time of his arrest and such an egregious violation should have triggered an automatic re-incarceration. Well, on August 22, Judge Carol Howard let him walk on $100,000 bail, but rather than making him give the customary $10,000 deposit, she let him go for free.
This is all the result of the aggressive and obsessive bipartisan push to let people out without bond and replace incarceration with probation, then avoid enforcing violations of probations so as not to increase the prison population. The goal is 100 percent focused on reducing the prison population without reducing crime with a stronger deterrent, all the while lying to the public that these are just first-time, low-level offenders.