If you think the problem of murderers being released only to commit more murder is limited to blue states like California and New York, think again. The latest case of a violent self-confessed murderer in Houston being released only to allegedly murder again five months later should serve as a wake-up call to state legislators in Texas and other supposedly red states. There is a dramatic need for criminal justice reform that is actually aimed at locking up violent criminals, not releasing them.
Homicides are up 44% this year in Houston. The reason likely has a lot to do with people like Edward O'Neal, who was released from jail this year. O'Neal is being charged with murder in Harris County for allegedly shooting 39-year-old Derrick Mike to death at an apartment complex on Nov. 28. Like most murders, this one was 100% preventable had our criminal system been functioning properly by focusing on public safety, not sensitivity for murderers.
KTRK-TV reported that O'Neal confessed to stabbing his friend Ryan Roberts to death almost five years ago. Yet somehow, five years later, he still hadn't been convicted and sentenced to prison because his lawyers kept using O'Neal's mental state as a means of gumming up the wheels of justice.
The dysfunction of our treatment of violent, mentally ill criminals lead to the next dysfunction of jailbreak policies. In June 2020, Felony Mental Health Court Judge Mark Kent Ellis lowered his original $50,000 bond to $25,000. O'Neal bonded out of custody. Again, this is a man who reportedly confessed three times to a brutal murder that is believed to be part of a devil-worshipping satanic ritual, yet he bonded out on just $25,000. This is not a college student picked up for possessing marijuana.
According to court records, even O'Neal's own mother told investigators she was afraid of his release. The mother of the original victim, Ryan Roberts, informed KTRK that she also warned against his release. "I told the DA he should not get out. He killed my son, he'll be killing again," said Christina Roberts.
This is a case that reveals the dark side of the criminal justice "twindemic" of the violent mentally ill not being locked up and the general jailbreak policies of Harris County.
President Ronald Reagan railed against the treatment of mentally ill criminals in the justice system for years and how it was so hard to keep them off the streets. It has only gotten worse since his time. It's one thing to say that the mentally ill should be confined separately from other criminals; it's quite another to suggest they be released. If anything, those who are mentally ill are the biggest danger to society if they have proven violent proclivities — you know, like satanic murder. Yet leftists are simultaneously pushing de-incarceration of lucid criminals and abolishing of mental asylums for the criminally insane. They desire every public safety threat to remain on the streets.
Harris County has become just as bad as New York with pretrial bond releases. Last year, a Harris County judge initially offered an accused cop killer relatively low bail, despite his history of being released on crimes and bragging about it. In February, Gerald Washington was accused of murdering a random man in Houston just hours after being released for another murder despite his prior criminal record.
In August, the Texan reported, according to Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers Houston, 57 victims have been murdered in Harris County over the past two years by defendants who had been released on multiple felony bonds and personal recognizance bonds. That doesn't account for all those who served light prison sentences or were let out of prison early and went on to murder. And the momentum toward more and more leniency is getting stronger in the system with each passing day.
The reality is that the spike in homicide throughout the nation is the direct result of known violent criminals simply not being locked up. From Nov. 21 through Dec. 4, Houston has experienced twice as many murders as last year over the same period of time.
The jailbreak is also mixing in with the mental health crisis induced by the panic policies from some of the very same Houston politicians who are pushing draconian lockdowns. The same politicians who decriminalize murder are now criminalizing living, and it has made people more violent. There has been a 65% rise in domestic violence calls to a hotline at the Houston Area Women's Center since September 2019. According to police, the number of strangulation incidents in Houston has nearly doubled this year.
Indeed, the mix of coronavirus panic-driven fascism together with release of criminals has made an entire civilization mentally ill — dangerously so.
Next month, the Texas legislature is set to reconvene. There is a Republican governor as well as Republican lieutenant governor and attorney general. Addressing the loopholes for violent criminally insane people in the justice system should be the first priority. They must also clamp down on the power of these judges to release all violent criminals. While they are at it, they should end the lockdowns.All those measures would go a long way in maintaining ordered liberty. If they fail to address these issues, they can't blame the fallout on Biden and Democrats. They control all of government, yet the state's policies increasingly look like those in California and New York. Who needs Democrats when you have compromised Republicans selling out our citizens with criminal justice deform?