(Chuck Muth) – Rodrigo Cruz, 22, was driving his mini-van in the bike lane on Hollywood Boulevard in east Las Vegas at a high rate of speed last weekend. His dumbass buddy in the passenger seat leaned out the window and struck an innocent 56-year-old woman cyclist, killing her.
The dumbass, however, fell out the window and slid into a light pole, killing himself. Karma.
Cruz, a career criminal, fled the scene of the murder and was later apprehended at his home. But what was he doing out of jail in the first place? According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal…
“Cruz was arrested in July 2016 after police said he was one of two men who beat and robbed a pair of women and rammed a stolen vehicle into a police car.”
He was released just four months ago.
That same weekend, another career criminal, Angel Martinez, 29, stabbed to death a taco shop employee on Las Vegas Boulevard after he was asked to leave the restaurant.
Described in a Review-Journal story by police as “a continual problem in the area,” Martinez has a rap sheet of 11 criminal cases, including possession of drug paraphernalia, domestic battery, resisting arrest and trespassing.
So why was this guy still on the street? Because he was constantly released, over and over again, on his own recognizance and/or had the charges dismissed.
And these are not isolated cases. Catch-and-release is happening on an almost daily basis.
As the saying goes, prison should be for people we’re afraid of, not mad at. And there was every reason in the world to be afraid of Rodrigo Cruz and Angel Martinez. Just ask the relatives and friends of those they killed.
Social justice warriors continue to crusade for keeping violent criminals on our streets. They want to eliminate the requirement that many post bail before their trial. And a number of soft-on-crime judges are doing just that by extending get-out-of-jail-free cards.
In addition, it appears the district attorney’s office is choosing to cut plea deals that allow demonstrably violent criminals to run free and reoffend.
In Nevada, we elect our judges and our district attorneys. So what we need is greater attention to this clearly broken revolving-door system that is allowing such “predators” to continue terrorizing our community.
For those who don’t want to spend time behind bars, the solution is easy. As Jim Carey’s character said in the movie Liar, Liar, “Stop breaking the law, a**hole!”
For those who pose a danger to innocent, law-abiding citizens and choose not to follow such simple advice, lock ‘em up and throw away the key.
For those who murder innocent, law-abiding citizens, an eternal dirt nap is warranted. And sooner, rather than later. Death row should be a short-term way station, not a decades-long three-hots-and-a-cot boarding house.
So let it be written; so let it be done.
Catch & Release Chronicle
* Investigators say Wade R. Remington, a two-time convicted felon, took his ex-girlfriend’s sister’s dog into the woods near his home and slit its throat with a utility knife. He was released on his own recognizance because the DA “could not find an avenue to give the judge discretion to set bail because of the bail reform laws.” Click here
* Twice-Imprisoned Morris County Ex-Con Nabbed with Gun Again, Paterson Police Say. Although his criminal history convinced them to send him to the Morris County Jail, a judge released Wendt pending further court action under New Jersey’s bail reform law. Click here
* Brandon Dubois, 23, was charged with possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, according to the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office. He was released on an appearance ticket per the New York State Bail Reform Law. Click here
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) has now taken to Twitter and Facebook, commending herself for running federal legislation to bribe states with $10 million in grant money to get rid of what she calls their ‘money bail systems’. The real question for Harris, however, is what is her solution to replace what she calls the evil ‘cash bail system’?” – American Bail Coalition
Mr. Muth is president Citizen Outreach a non-profit grassroots advocacy organization. You can get free updates and breaking news on this issue by going to: stopcatchandrelease.com