Texas Criminal Suspects Released Since 2018 Killed 156 People – Is Bail Reform Actually Working?

Criminal suspects released on multiple felony bonds in Texas‘ most populous county have killed 156 people since 2018, according to victim advocates, who have criticized bail reform efforts that have seen some people charged with violent crimes and released back onto the streets only to violently re-offend.

In Harris County, home to Houston, the largest city in the state, there are 113 defendants charged with capital murder that been granted bond, Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, told Fox News. The group has been tracking statistics in the midst of a change in bond policies.

Specifically, the public safety institution tracks cases for suspects out on multiple felony bonds, including bond forfeiture and bonds for those released on their own personal recognizance (PR). PR bonds don’t require cash to get out of jail but include restrictions such as GPS monitoring or drug testing. 

“We were seeing really violent, violent habitual offenders being released on either no bond or ridiculously low bonds, and we said, ‘This is going to wreak havoc,’” Mankarious said. “It’s the epicenter for bail reform run amok.”

Harris County’s bail practices underwent a change after officials settled a lawsuit that stopped requiring most people accused of misdemeanor crimes from having to put up cash or large sums to get out of jail. However, some judges have applied such policies in felony cases, said Mankarious.

One suspect released while charged with violent crimes is Andrew Williams. He stands accused of killing Martha Medina, 71, on Sept. 23, 2021, a during a robbery outside a McDonald’s in Houston. Williams allegedly stole Medina’s purse and struck her with his car as he was taking off. 

He was out on bond for a 2019 capital murder charge and for aggravated assault in Harris County at the time. 

“If one capital murder case isn’t enough to keep somebody behind bars, then what is?” Medina’s son, Adrian Medina, told Fox News. “You left a wolf back out and a wolf is going to do what a wolf does and that’s not OK.”

He is still seeking justice for the grandmother of four. 

On Dec. 20, police in the Houston suburb of League City announced that a murder suspect out on Harris County bonds had been arrested for another killing. Devan Jordon, 21, allegedly followed Jeffrey Johnson and his wife home from a Galleria-area restaurant on June 11 and shot and killed him during a robbery. 

He had been out on bond for Harris County charges, including capital murder, in a different case. He is currently being held in Galveston County jail on a $1 million bond. 

Rosalie Cook, 80, a grandmother of six, died in 2020 when she was stabbed in a Walgreens parking lot after purchasing a greeting card. The suspect in her death, Randy Lewis, 38, was shot and killed by police. 

He had been arrested 67 times and was out on two personal recognizance bonds at the time of the murder.

“Randy Lewis should never have been free. Now an innocent woman has been murdered. Everyone deserves better. This is absolutely shameful,” the Houston Police Officers’ Union tweeted at the time. 

In Houston, the city finished 2021 with 473 homicides, a nearly 20% increase from the year before. 

State Sen. Joan Huffman, a Republican and former Harris County prosecutor, introduced legislation early last year that would require defendants accused or previously convicted of violent crimes to post cash bonds to get out of jail before trial. 

Fox News has reached out to her office, the office of Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, and several groups in favor of bail reform. 

In September, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that requires those accused of violent crimes to put up cash in order to get a PR bond, effectively getting rid of cashless release. 

Some advocates see bail reform as a way to prevent discrimination against poor defendants, who can sometimes be left languishing in jail for low-level crimes because they are unable to post bond. 

“Some see criminal justice reform as simply everybody’s innocent until proven guilty and therefore no one should be held,” Mankarious said. “We just want the nonsense to end and us to restore some type of criminal justice that makes sense and puts the victim first and the community first.”

In an effort to curb violent crime in Harris County, Judge Linda Hidalgo has proposed a $50 million initiative to improve public safety through infrastructure improvements.  The “Clean Streets Safe Neighborhoods Initiative” would revitalize neighborhoods through the removal of blighted buildings, adding streetlights and other investments in areas hardest hit by crime. 

“Too often, blighted buildings, dark streets, unsafe and abandoned structures serve as incubators of crime and of gun violence,” Hildalgo said at the time of her October announcement. 

Original Article: https://www.foxnews.com/us/150-killed-bonds-texas-victims

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6 comments

  1. In a word: NO, it’s not working & it won’t; evil people do not stop being evil just because someone is nice to them. In fact, all that does is encourage an escalation of the evil behaviors. If you want people to change their ways, there must be a powerful incentive to do so; maybe going back to the imprisonment methods of the “good old days”; NO TV, NO weight rooms, NO special meals or unearned privileges, NO comfy cells with all the amenities, NO gatherings even in the “yard” when they’re outside, etc. Oh, & PUBLIC executions so those contemplating starting a life of crime get the message that it really doesn’t pay…

  2. Wow it just proves that Money talks and you are only as good or safe as the amount of MONEY (THE LIBERAL KEY TO LIFE) you can come up with. When did the legal system start caring about your financial status???. If you commit murder you should ROT in jail with no parole or bail and if the crime FITS that should be the determining factor of release and fine not some BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL yelling how bad the system is. Guarantee if you kill the Bleeding hart liberals parents Liberal would be first li line to loose the key to killers cell. To many rules for THEE & not for ME. If a law is broken fix it don’t adjust it to suet yourself and your image Look at California letting everyone out if it is not a felony so that tells the crook to do what ever they want as long as it isn’t a felony

  3. Another ridiculous concept. Claiming that empty buildings are the cause of violent crimes. More foolish ideology from the idiots that claim men can menstruation. What we have failed to address is the hopelessness of generational welfare and lack of opportunity in inner cities. Abandoned by big money investors economically destitute inner cities bteed criminal behavior. Many if not most of us utilize the legal system to air our grievances but underground economies don’t have that system available to them so inevitably they resort to street justice. This almost always means guns and that in itself creates more gun violence in retaliation. Until we have the honest conversation about welfare inner city blight and economic opportunity we will continue to see more and more of this nonsense. The liberal left continues to chase a policy that has done nothing to improve the situation. Hand outs do not work. People don’t appreciate what they haven’t worked for so both the recipients of welfare and those who pay taxes to pay for welfare are unhappy with the entire system. Not one single welfare recipient will say they are satisfied and the same goes for those who work to support them. The time for realistic change is upon us yet we hear not one single politician on either side of the aisle is saying what needs to be said. Fear of being labeled or even canceled keeps the truth buried and until we have the honest conversation all of this will continue. The people of the suburbs can’t understand violent crime and the people of economic stagnate inner cities can’t understand the people of suburbia. Forcing the two without changing the circumstances to live together is not the answer. Improving the community that people abandon is a better solution. Then we have a society that understands each other. Otherwise the crimes follow the criminals and again the tax base abandons the community only creating another blighted economically stunted area. We suburban whites don’t hate anyone based on skin color but we will not accept criminal behavior in our neighborhoods. My guess is most of those who live in the depressed areas feel the same but can’t support law enforcement because their family friends or neighbors are the ones who are involved in criminal behavior. People won’t sit back and accept extreme poverty and I don’t blame them but people who have something to protect won’t allow criminal behavior in their lives. So until we fix the root of the problems we are just spinning our wheels. Stop putting the horse before the cart and address the real causes of most criminal behavior.
    God Bless America

  4. Crime happens because there are crappy humans in the world. They are dangerous and twisted and greedy. It doesn’t matter if you give them more money. They will still rape, murder and steal. They need to be kept away from vulnerable citizens at all cost.

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