Unexpectedly! Bail 'Reform' Turns Into a Bonanza for Repeat Offenders

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says, "We can hold them for this long but that's it." (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The gameshow in my mind goes like this today:

Contestant: “Alex, I’ll take ‘Least Unexpected Things to Happen in Democrat-Run Places’ for $400, please.”

Alex Trebek: “And the answer is: ‘Catch and release and catch and release and catch and release.'”

Contestant: “What happens when you eliminate bail for most suspected criminals?”

Trebek: “Correct, and that’s another $400 to your total.”

The latest story of the Big Fail known as bail reform comes from New York. There, 21-year-old MS-13 gang member Eusebio Jax-Mejia was arrested on January 1, then released two days ago — only to be arrested the very same day for the very same crime.

My friend Ashe Schow reports that Jax-Mejia was arrested the first time “after stealing a vehicle from Dutchess County and then giving Walton police a fake name.” The charges were pretty serious according to WBNG, including “criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree, a class D felony and false impersonation, a class B misdemeanor.”

It sure seems like somebody knew how to ring in the new year in a big way, but Jax-Mejia wasn’t quite done. Mere hours after his bail-free release, Jax-Mejia was in police custody once more for stealing yet another car, this time from right outside the Delaware County Public Safety building. The new charge, filed it seems while the old charges were still warm, was for class-D felony “grand larceny in the 3rd degree.”

The Democrat-dominated New York State Assembly passed the reform last year as part of the state’s annual budget, and it was signed into law by reform proponent Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new law eliminated “cash bail and pretrial detention for most low-level offenses.” What that means is, many accused criminals are now free to hit the streets before their arraignment or trial based on nothing more substantial than their signature.

When a law-abiding citizen attaches their signature to something, be it a check to the utility company, a mortgage, or a business loan, it’s supposed to mean something. But what does a signature mean to someone who steals cars (or worse) for a living?

Not much, which comes as zero surprise to anyone but progressive lawmakers.

On Saturday, the New York Post ran a crime story headlined: “Controversial bail reform springs serial robbery suspect — who then pulls off fifth heist.” Gerod Woodberry was under arrest for his suspected involvement in no fewer than four bank robberies. Released under the new law, Woodberry — you guessed it! — (allegedly) robbed another bank the day after his release. He’s still wanted by police, who will only have to release him again should they catch him again. According to a Fox News report by Talia Kaplan, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr. said that “one of the most concerning things” is that law enforcement wastes resources rearresting people on the catch-and-release system.

Or maybe police will just shrug their shoulders and ask “Why bother?” about catching known crooks who will be right back out on the street in a day or two?

Also in New York this week, Jonathan Flores-Maldonado was killed by a repeat drunk driver, Jordan Randolph (allegedly). Randolph had been released without bail following his arrest for tampering with a court-mandated ignition interlock device. The device was supposed to prevent him from driving drunk, for which he’d already been convicted three times. Keeping his ass in jail would have prevented him from driving at all.

Here’s yet another report from WLNY:

Eugene Webb, a 26-year-old homeless man, wasn’t smiling when cops arrested him for two separate unprovoked attacks on women within hours of each other, including a 23-year-old too terrified to show her face. The attack was so violent it knocked out a tooth.

“I got pushed from the side and then attacked again and I was punched in the head,” she said.

Webb might have been smiling today because under the new criminal justice reform laws, he was released without bail despite the fact that there was a warrant for his arrest for not showing up in court to face charges from a similar attack in September.

The situation has gotten so bad, so quickly, that Governor Cuomo is already backing away from the law he once supported, but hasn’t yet committed to anything in particular.

In Democrat-dominated California, they didn’t just eliminate most bail, under last year’s Prop 47 they reclassified stealing anything under $960 and other nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies.

Can you guess what happened next? Of course you can.

Luis Miguel reported for The New American:

Voters made Prop 47 a reality by a large margin. Its proponents told the public that it would free up resources so police officers and prosecutors could focus on violent offenders.

But in places such as San Francisco, the policy has resulted in the creation of well-organized crime rings that sell shoplifted goods on the black market.

In fact, among the nation’s 20 largest cities, San Francisco now has the highest rate of property crime, which encompasses theft, shoplifting, and vandalism.

And it isn’t just smalltime thieves taking advantage of lax laws. Miguel also spoke with Del Seymor from the non-profit group Code Tenderloin, who told him that “many of the criminal fences are internationally based, with fencers coming in from Mexico or Guatemala and smuggling stolen goods across the border.” And that “many of these retail heists take place in the light of day and in full view of City Hall.”

I used to live in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood way back when, and sure the streets had more than their fair share of homeless and hookers and pushers. But the little locally-owned stores and restaurants weren’t the constant victims of international shoplifting rings, either.

In San Diego, NBC-7’s Jackie Crea reported on a similar crime wave last November. Crea quoted a local 7-11 franchise owner complaining that shoplifting has become “unbearable. It’s out of control. You will have the same guy coming in five times a day, picking things out.” The owner, Jassi Dhillon, described it as “a lifestyle” because “we can’t do anything much except take the loss.” El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells told NBC-7 that on the off chance that a police officer actually does ticket a shoplifter, the ticket “usually ends up in the trashcan” because criminals know that they can’t be treated as criminals under Prop 47.

Rob, rinse, repeat.

Just another case of Blue State voters getting what they asked for, good and hard.