May 20, 2020
By Mark Chesnut
California continues to revel in the ridiculous, releasing dangerous felons into the general population under the guise of protecting them from the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time threatening to jail citizens who don’t stay inside like good government subjects.
Not surprisingly, some law enforcement officials are fed up with the situation. One such official is Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, who said she is too busy re-arresting criminals out of jail on the state’s “zero-dollar bail” policy enacted last year to enforce Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lockdown order.
That policy made California the only state to abolish bail for suspects awaiting trial, leading to problems for law enforcement agencies at many levels.
“We do not stop the public to find out what they’re doing when they’re not sheltering in place,” Mims said during an interview on the “Trevor Carey Show,” a Fresno-based radio program. “We don’t ask those questions, we don’t ask if they’re ‘essential.’
“We’ve got our hands full trying to re-arrest people that are released due to zero-dollar bail. So we’ve got other things that are on our mind that are more important than stopping normally law-abiding citizens.”
This announcement comes as the release of violent criminals under the guise of protecting prisoners from COVID-19 continues to further imperil California’s lawful residents. We reported last week how one of seven “high-risk” sex offenders released from prison in Orange County was already behind bars, arrested again for sex crimes. The man’s previous convictions included child molestation, indecent exposure, assault, battery, criminal threats and inflicting injury on an elder adult. And since 2017, he had violated his parole five times.
At the time the release was announced, Orange County DA Todd Spitzer was angry with the decision to release such “high-risk” sex offenders.
“These kinds of high-risk sex offenders are the most dangerous kind of criminal and the most likely to re-offend,” he said at the time “They are doing everything they can to avoid detection by the parole officers assigned to monitor them so they can potentially commit additional sex offenses. These are not the kind of people who should be getting a break.
“The residents of Orange County deserve to have the peace of mind that registered sex offenders are being held accountable and not just let out the front door of a jail by a court commissioner who refuses to follow the law.”
As it turns out, Spitzer was spot on. The most recent reports from the Golden State indicate that five more of those high-risk sex offenders have now been rearrested—an 86-percent reincarceration rate.
“It comes as no surprise that these high-risk sex offenders continue to violate the law and do everything they can to avoid being tracked by law enforcement,” DA Spitzer said in a statement released to the media. “There is a concerted effort here in California and across the nation to open up the jailhouse doors and let dangerous criminals back into our streets without regard for the safety of the public which we are sworn to protect.”
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.