May 13, 2020
We recently reported about a convicted murderer who was released from prison in an alleged attempt to keep the prison from turning into a hotbed of COVID-19, only to be arrested for another murder he committed just a day after being released.
The murder is just one of a long list of crimes committed by prisoners and inmates ostensibly released because of the global pandemic. And the most recent occurrence—this time in California—isn’t any less alarming.
Officials in Orange County, California, recently announced that one of the seven “high-risk” sex offenders released from prison in that county is already behind bars, arrested again for sex crimes. The man’s previous convictions include child molestation, indecent exposure, assault, battery, criminal threats and inflicting injury on an elder adult. And since 2017, he has violated his parole five times.
It’s almost unbelievable that anyone could in good faith release a prisoner with that kind of background. And the strategy by which he was released is highly questionable, anyway.
Consider that if sheltering in place and wearing a mask, as advised by nearly all levels of government, really makes people safer, shouldn’t doing so in a closed system like a prison be a much more effective way to guard against transmittal of COVID-19 than turning prisoners loose into general public?
Meanwhile, politicians who are responsible for making the bad decisions to release dangerous felons act the most outraged when those criminals do the supposedly unthinkable—commit another crime.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted that about 50 of the 1,400 inmates released from Rikers Island in an attempt to avoid widespread COVID-19 at the prison have been rearrested.
“I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “We’re going to just keep buckling down on it, making sure there’s close monitoring and supervision to the maximum step possible. And the NYPD is going to keep doing what they’re doing.”
At the same time released criminals prey on law-abiding citizens, gun-ban proponents deride Americans for purchasing firearms during a global pandemic, taunting them about whether they think zombies are coming next or if they think they can “shoot the virus.”
In fact, acquiring the means by which to protect yourself when dangerous felons are being released and police officers by the hundreds are off duty because of the coronavirus is not a laughable strategy. To many Americans, doing so is simply displaying good common sense.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: See these related articles: What's the Worst That Could Happen When Letting Prisoners Out During COVID-19? and You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet – Crime May Explode Soon Due to COVID-19 ]
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.