In Harris County, at least 113 defendants, who have been charged with capital murder, have been granted bond and released back onto the streets while awaiting trial. The release of the suspects came with no explanation.
According to data collected by Crime Stoppers of Houston, those released on bond waiting for trial have killed 155 people in the Texas county. The data was publicized by reporter Greg Googan during a segment titled, “What’s Your Point?” which aired on Monday.
“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 said.
Overall, Googan noted, more than 50,000 accused felons have benefited from the criminal justice philosophy called “catch and release,” which has been pushed forward by judges looking to reform the system.
Houston attorney Charles Adams argued during the segment that the new bond policies resulted from an overreaction to historic stringent bond policies that caused nonviolent offenders to sit in jail for extensive periods of time while awaiting trial. Now, Adams said, the pendulum has gone too far in the other direction
The information from Harris County comes as many jurisdictions are enacting low cash bail or no-bail measures in an attempt to provide justice for accused criminals.
Adams argued that the judges advancing bail reform are not considering the safety of the community as well as “making decisions that sound better to movements as opposed to citizens.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC-BAILBONDS.COM
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