The local judicial process which permits police, lawyers and judges to grant low bail, probation, and early release for criminals and accused defendants puts the public in danger. Daily we read stories of people who are free on bail after allegedly committing gun crimes, assault, domestic violence and drunk driving. Repeat drunk drivers and people caught in possession of illegal guns are routinely granted bail or are released without bail. Even those who have been proven guilty continue to drive drunk, and commit domestic abuse and other violent crimes.
Heinous criminal behavior is plea bargained down to lesser charged crimes in the name of judicial expediency. Prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges need to be monitored closely, and their work reported more prominently.
Arrests are reported in the newspaper. Foreclosure notices are reported. Most of us skim over such reporting. Or ignore it completely.
The court system does not protect the public in the same way it strives to protect the accused and convicted. The police arrest criminals. The courts flush them through the system. The public has to face repeat criminals on the street. The courts are jammed. The judges and lawyers are busy. So are repeat criminal offenders.
Laws, both state and local, should be rewritten to focus greater attention on violent crimes against persons. The pros and cons of my argument should be the subject of feature articles on the front page of the newspaper in the space currently reserved for advertisements for funeral homes.
David Busse, Maryville