1800 inmates running free in California doesn’t exactly sound like a great way to keep the peace. Yet, a judge has ordered that they be released because of the inmates being “medically vulnerable” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umm, while no one wants the inmates to get COVID, simply releasing them and forgetting the remainder of their sentence isn’t the solution, either.
Don Barnes, the Orange County Sheriff has pushed back against the judge’s order. He has called it “absurd” and has identified it as a “serious threat” to the community.
Surely, the local Superior Court Judge doesn’t plan on releasing any of the felons who have committed serious crimes, right? Oh, this is California. Of course, that’s the plan.
Some of the inmates on the list to be released have been found guilty of child molestation and murder.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit with the courts in April because they wanted to protect the “disabled and medically vulnerable” people within the Orange County Jail.
Many of the COVID deaths are within the prison systems around the country. The poor circulation and large populations pose a serious health threat. However, the answer is not to suddenly release hundreds of murderers and child molesters back onto the streets.
Crime would most certainly surge. And, if the prisoners have already been exposed to COVID, it could result in a more violent outbreak than what the country is already seeing.
Barnes has explained that low-level offenders have already been released – 1400 have been released since March. The problem is that the only ones remaining are serious offenders. As he identifies, those that are identified as medically vulnerable include 94 who are in custody for child molestation and another 90 for either murder or attempted murder.
The last thing California needs right now is murderers out on the streets. And with felony rap sheets, how are they going to find housing and employment, particularly in the middle of the pandemic? They’re going to be a drain on the already crippled economy of the state. It’s also only a matter of time before they commit more crimes and are back into the system.
A pandemic is no reason to cut years off of criminals’ sentences.
Barnes is planning to appeal the decision that was made by Judge Peter Wilson. However, Wilson has his own things to say about Barnes, including having “deliberate indifference” to the risk of harm from a COVID-19 infection for those who are in his custody.
What is Barnes supposed to do with them, though? This isn’t an issue unique to Orange County. The issue is happening around the country. No matter what is done to try to minimize the spread of COVID through the prisons, it continues to circulate.
Releasing 1800 prisoners can’t possibly be the answer. Barnes is willing to fight for the safety of the community. He has responded to Judge Wilson’s order by explaining that everyone is at risk of COVID, but there’s an added risk to those in the community if hardened criminals are allowed to walk free from their prison sentences.
Barnes has also identified that the judge didn’t have all of his facts right. Inmates are being tested and they’ve been working to stay ahead of the curve. The judge, however, claims that there’s no testing being done and that there’s no safe environment being provided.
California continues to make bad decisions – and they wonder why more and more residents are choosing to leave. Governor Newsom wants to come up with ridiculous laws to keep businesses closed and he wonders why his economy is failing.
1800 inmates being released into just one county is sure to bring California to its knees – and many members of the community will suffer because of one judge’s bleeding heart.