WASHINGTON: A New Bail Reform Tool Is Letting Violent Criminals Go Free

Stacy Washington Host, Stacy on the Right
Font Size:

San Francisco’s poop map and the homeless encampments known as tent cities cropping up in major metropolitan areas across the country are evidence that the degradation of our good societal order is on the rise.

A system of lawsuits meant to force local municipalities into eliminating vagrancy laws is responsible for the inexplicable rise in homeless mayhem.

Mothers are mourning the death of their sons at the hands of criminals out on “no bail” release orders. But what brought all of this on?

Well, billionaires on a mission to “solve something” of course! John Arnold is a name that sounds familiar. It might also enforce an involuntary nostril flare because Arnold helped Enron lose $60 billion dollars through the use of fraudulent accounting practices back in 2001.

Since failing big is Arnold’s thing, it’s no surprise that he is back with another stinker: a Public Safety Assessment (PSA) tool (provided free of charge) that purports to accurately predict the likelihood that a criminal suspect will flee the jurisdiction or reoffend before their court date.

Not one to push bad ideas on his lonesome, Arnold created the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in 2010 to lend credibility to his pungent ideas per his foundation’s mission statement: “improving lives through evidence based solutions.”

The Arnold Foundation starts where most reformers begin: by alleging that there is inequality due to socioeconomic conditions and/or race. From there it’s an easy leap to assert that the entire cash bail system is in need of an overhaul. When the race card is tossed by a foundation, many in government feel required to act to stamp out the offense. So far, 20 states have instituted some version of bail reform using the PSA tool.

Even in jurisdictions where the tool has not yet been implemented, laxity in pre-trial sentencing has wrought downright disastrous results. A Houston County Texas man assaulted his pregnant wife, and, after the judge ordered him released on a personal recognizance bond, went back and delivered 20 stab wounds — killing her and the unborn baby. He should have been remanded as a violent offender. Even without the flawed Arnold PSA the idea that violent offenders can be safely released without bail has infected judges tasked with keeping the public safe.

In 2017, San Francisco Judge Sharon Reardon released Lamonte Mims on the recommendation of the Arnold Foundation PSA scoring tool. Mims and Fantasy Decuir robbed photographer Edward French and shot him to death. Had Judge Reardon used her better judgment instead of the PSA tool, would this crime have been possible?

In January of 2019 the Arnolds saw fit to restructure their foundation into Arnold Ventures LLC. This reorganization’s goal was to “create a more integrated push for impact on the wide range of public policy issues that have long animated the couple.”

How fascinating, as the action came after the Arnolds were sued along with former Republican NJ Governor Chris Christie and the State of New Jersey by the family of Christian Rodgers. Rodgers was killed by Jules Black after the PSA tool deemed him worthy of no bail release.

Bail isn’t some new fangled idea. It is an essential part of our judicial system, with it’s very earliest forms dating back to 1066 when the Normans invaded Britain and eliminated wergeld payments as a punishment system. We should not toss out a system that has worked across the ages in favor of a billionaire’s pet project.

In the areas where bail reform has taken hold, crime is up. This is the natural consequence of allowing dishonest thugs the right to simply walk out of jail after law enforcement has undertaken the difficult task of arresting and hauling them in for arraignment for their crimes.

Arnold Ventures LLC has tried their “evidence-based solutions” that result in death and mayhem in 20 states. Instead of a kinder gentler American justice system, citizens deserve a return to the cash bail system that has worked for millennia.

Billionaires enjoy funding their pet projects without any accountability for the results. It’s important to note that victim advocacy campaigns in need of funding get not one thin dime from the Arnolds. Let’s end this poorly thought out experiment, the PSA tool has got to go.

Stacy Washington is a decorated Air Force Veteran, Emmy nominated TV personality and host of the podcast Stacy on the Right.