Image Source: KRIV-TV screenshot
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Suspects released on bond pending trial have killed 155 people in Harris County, Texas, according to data gathered by Crime Stoppers of Houston.
KRIV-TV reporter Greg Googan publicized the shocking data during a panel segment titled, "What's Your Point?" that aired Monday.
In addition, he shared that "in Harris County, no fewer than 113 defendants charged with capital murder have been inexplicably granted bond and released back onto our streets pending trial."
"We are talking about capital murder — the most egregious offense in the criminal code — a conviction for which carries either life imprisonment or the death penalty," Googan noted.
"In all, more than 50,000 accused felons have benefited from the catch-and-release philosophy of criminal justice perpetrated by the current crop of Democratic reform judges," he added.
During the segment, Houston attorney Charles Adams argued that the troubling new bond policies were an overreaction to past stringent bond policies that often resulted in nonviolent offenders sitting in jail for excessive periods of time as their trial dates loomed.
But now, he argued, the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, as Democratic judges advance bail reform with no regard to the safety of the community and are "making decisions that sound better to movements as opposed to citizens."
The revelation from Harris County comes as progressive jurisdictions around the country enact low cash bail or zero-bail measures in an effort to provide justice for the accused. The policies have, in turn, endangered communities.
Just last month in Waukesha, Wisconsin, an accused criminal released on bond reportedly went on to drive his vehicle into a crowd of people gathered for a Christmas parade, killing five and injuring at least 40 more. The district attorney later acknowledged that the suspect, Darrell Brooks Jr., had been released on "inappropriately low" bail.
The problem has been particularly pronounced in Harris County, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when judges began approving extremely low bonds to reduce the prison population. But even as the pandemic waned, the practice continued, alongside soaring crime.
Last January, Crime Stoppers of Houston announced its full support for Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's push to make bail reform a major priority for the upcoming legislative session.
“The ramifications of bail reform have taken its toll on the citizens of Harris County, many who have paid the ultimate price with the loss of their life," Crime Stoppers of Houston director of victim services Andy Kahan said at the time.
“Crime Stoppers of Houston wants to make it perfectly clear: We support Misdemeanor Bond Reform. What we don’t support is when public safety is placed at a higher risk when career habitual offenders are continuously released back to the community only to re-offend time after time again," Kahan added.
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