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Horowitz: Man charged with derailing NYC subway had been released without bail after arrest for similar incident

Criminals are creatures of habit. If they commit burglary and are released without punishment, they tend to return to break-ins. Well, likewise, if they have a penchant for sabotaging or damaging public transportation and they are released without bail, they tend to do it again. New York is now learning this basic lesson in criminology the hard way with Demetrius Harvard.

Early Sunday morning, a Manhattan subway car was derailed after hitting a metal pipe thrown on the tracks. It caused one of New York’s worst subway crashes in years, with hundreds of feet of electrified rail damaged or destroyed as well as the rail car. Fortunately, only three passengers sustained minor injuries. The good news is that there was no malfunction in the rail or on the tracks. The bad news is that it was caused by a saboteur who was caught by passengers while laughing about tossing the metal onto the tracks. He was held down until police arrived. So who is Demetrius Harvard?

Harvard, 30, is another career criminal who was allowed to remain on the streets despite his clear threat to public safety. According to the New York Post, Harvard had just been in court 15 days earlier for allegedly striking an MTA bus with a metal street barricade and shattering two windows. Despite this, prosecutors didn’t even ask that he be held on bail. He was released immediately.

Even worse, at the time of the initial incident, he had an open warrant for not showing up in court for another violent incident. Earlier this year, he was arrested for allegedly swinging a metal pipe at two Boost store employees and then throwing a metal trash can at the exterior of the store. According to court records, he also pleaded guilty to making terrorist threats in 2010 and had other arrests for assault and criminal mischief. Harvard, who is believed to be homeless and mentally ill, was clearly known as a public safety threat during the Sept. 5 hearing after the first public transit sabotage incident. How could such a man be released in a functioning criminal justice system?

The answer is that New York no longer has a functioning criminal justice system. Its “reforms” were never about first-time, nonviolent offenders. Even the most violent criminals seem to be released despite their past records.

Additionally, New York is clearly headed back to the 1970s era with violence on the subways. Several weeks ago, a woman was almost raped in broad daylight by a career criminal who was later released with relatively low bail.

According to new data from the NYPD, there were 110 major felonies reported on subways in August. While those numbers were lower than this time last year (crime was already rising then), those numbers are shocking because ridership is down 75% due to fears of the virus. Factoring in the reduced population traveling every day, that is a doubling of criminal incidents per capita. The culprit? According to the New York Daily News, “NYPD subway arrests fell by 80% and summonses dropped by 95% in August compared with the year before, data shows.”

And of course, even if they are arrested, they are released multiple times.

When deterrent goes down, crime goes up. Do we want to see the next scene in this horror movie?

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Horowitz: Plague of violence: Career criminals wreaking havoc on our country

Whether it’s a devastating arson in Oregon, a heinous physical attack caught on camera in New York City, or an ambush of cops throughout the country, you can bet the farm that it was committed by a career criminal who spent barely any time behind bars.

Henderson County Deputy Ryan Hendrix, a Marine veteran and father of two, was responding to a break-in complaint early in the morning last Thursday. According to Sheriff Lowell Griffin, the suspect, Robert Ray Doss Jr., was found in his car at the scene and initially appeared to comply with the order to show his hands. “But in one rapid movement, he retrieved the gun, firing one round, striking [Hendrix] in the face and critically wounding him,” the North Carolina sheriff at a press conference said.

The other two deputies returned fire and killed Doss, while Hendrix died of his wound.

This is how cops are confronted with deadly career criminals every day, and one second of hesitancy on their part can result in their deaths. As a nation, we count every cop shooting of a suspect when cops pull the trigger out of fear — justifiably or unjustifiably — but we have no tally of the number of cops who die every week from stifling the initial instinct to use force immediately.

Remember, for the most part, if cops are called down to the scene of a robbery or break-in, they are usually dealing with violent, repeat offenders, not choirboys. They have every reason to believe the suspect will react with deadly force when confronted by police. In this case, Doss had a record of offenses for drugs, multiple arson crimes, and felony thefts “with arrests in Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland and Virginia,” according to the sheriff. Arson is a very serious crime, as we saw with the devastation in Oregon this week, yet few arsonists serve time.

Liberals in both parties accuse our criminal justice system of being too punitive, but if that were true (if only), Hendrix would still be alive.

Then there is the case of the Oregon wildfires. We’ve all seen the devastation that looks eerily similar to the aftermath of the riots. Yet, sadly, they are actually both the result of career criminals going unincarcerated. While liberals were quick to blame the fires on global warming (because, you know, we never used to have wildfires), it turns out some were a man-made problem of jailbreak.

Michael Jarrod Bakkela was arrested on suspicion of setting the devastating fire in Phoenix, Oregon. According to KDRV, “Bakkela has an extensive criminal history in Jackson County alone — including a mix of misdemeanor drug charges and more serious felonies.” Court records show he has criminal arrests dating back to 1998 and has never served more than short periods of time behind bars.

Another man, Domingo Lopez, Jr., was arrested in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday for using a Molotov cocktail to start a fire, then was released, then arrested again and charged with starting six more fires!

Then of course there is Ricardo Miguel Munoz, 25, the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, man police were forced to shoot when he charged at them with a knife while he was suspected in a domestic violence case. He was charged with stabbing four people last year and had an extensive record. Why wasn’t he locked up?

Then, even if they wind up being locked up, these criminals always seem to receive parole. This week, New York prosecutors announced that Charles Hernandez was charged with a third homicide in relation to a July shooting spree for which he was already charged with two murders. The New York Post revealed that he was released on parole in 2018.

Chicago is perhaps the worst repeat offender of releasing repeat offenders. On Saturday, Timmy Jordan was arrested for killing two and wounding three others. Despite seven felonies, including a weapons charge from just last year, he was out of jail on electronic monitoring. These devices are a complete joke.

Yet both parties continue to push for more jailbreak, more parole, and more leniencies. Kamala Harris is promising to end cash bail. Houston’s government is already working on a “cite-and-release” policy, which would end arrests for certain crimes, thereby allowing career criminals to build up criminal records but stay free.

What is becoming abundantly clear is that we need to toughen mandatory minimums for repeat offenders, tighten — not loosen — bail laws, and create a much stronger three-strikes-and-you’re-out law than we did in the 1990s.

The reality is that most violent criminals don’t come out of nowhere. They are known wolves. One study in Sweden in 2014 found that 1% of the criminals were responsible for 63% of all violent crime convictions. Researchers found that if all violent criminals were locked up after a third conviction, “more than 50% of all convictions for violent crime in the total population would be prevented.”

Yesterday, President Trump hosted a historic peace accord between Israel and two Arab neighbors. Peace in the Middle East is great, but now he must work toward peace in Middle America amid the wave of crime and anarchy. According to a new poll, 65% of Americans are concerned about law and order here at home. That needs to be Trump’s primary concern headed into the election. And it begins by calling for measures that lock up the destructive force of career criminals.

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Horowitz: Man caught on camera attempting to rape woman on NYC subway platform held on just $75K bail, despite 14 prior arrests

Still think we have an over-incarceration problem in this country, as the elites in both parties believe? Let me introduce you to Jose Reyes.

Over the weekend, Americans watched in shock and horror as images of a man throwing a 25-year-old woman on the ground on a Manhattan subway platform went viral over the internet. In a city that had been safe for a generation thanks to tough-on-crime policies, a criminal was undeterred from attempting to rape her in broad daylight on Saturday morning in one of the most public places in the city. On Sunday, police used the video to identify Jose Reyes, 31, as the suspect and issued an arrest because they recognized him from just a few months ago when he was caught and released after being charged with criminal mischief.

Even with national discussion centered around the lack of deterrent to such heinous crimes in the once safe subway system, it was still completely unexpected that this man would be offered just $75,000 bail and released after having been caught on camera attempting to commit such a violent crime. Even in New York, someone this bad would remain in jail pending the trial, right?

Well, bright and early Monday morning, Reyes was offered the option of release on just $75,000 cash bail at his arraignment. According to police, he had 14 prior arrests, including for robbery and assault on a police officer, and was caught with drugs on him. He confessed to knocking the victim down and forcing himself on top of her. But if he comes up with this relatively low sum, he could be free again. I guess we should count our blessings that this man wasn’t automatically released without having to post any bond, like so many other criminals.

Liberal cities are trying to bar police from using the facial recognition technology that was so instrumental in catching this suspect. It’s one of the many spheres of the criminal justice jailbreak agenda that is increasingly being adopted by both parties.

This is the America in which we now live. Even at the Republican convention, one speaker after another, many of whom sit at the highest positions of power within the administration, kept extolling the virtues of “criminal justice reform,” aka jailbreak of criminals – as if there are too many people incarcerated. Yet we’ve reached a point in this country where it is almost impossible to lock up violent criminals, no matter the seriousness of their crime, no matter the body of evidence, and regardless of their prior record.

If Reyes ultimately posts bond, how likely is it that the victim will be willing to press forward on this case? Aside from creating a lack of deterrent, easy-release policies pretrial make it harder to land a conviction because so many witnesses and victims are too scared to testify. As one New York state prosecutor told me last year, with these leniencies, “You’re gonna have more cases not getting resolved … more plea bargaining, if you will, and more people out of custody to continue to commit crime.” Someone with the history of Reyes, especially given the sensitivity of this case, should be held on much higher bond.

In addition, New York’s new bail law forces the prosecution to immediately turn over the addresses of witnesses and victims to the defense. Earlier this year, one MS-13 murder suspect who was released from jail was accused of murdering a witness in the trial.

These stories are not the rare exceptions; they are the rule. On Sunday, NYPD announced that Kariym Jackson, 39, a career criminal who is homeless, was charged for kicking a man down a flight of steps right at Penn Station. The victim died of his injuries. How could this man think he could get away with this crime at such a public place? Because he was already on parole despite his criminal record. The trend of parole over prison and pretrial release over jail time is turning this country into a violent third-world country.

These daytime attacks in New York City have become rampant.

People who survived the great crime wave of the 1970s are now moving out. Moving trucks are becoming a common sight in Manhattan’s once-safe upper west side.

What is going on in New York is a microcosm of the rioting and rampant crime across the country, where, so long as you are committing a politically correct crime in the eyes of our system, there is simply no deterrent against the act. While the rioting has certainly roped in thousands of people, the ones who commit the most heinous acts are almost always repeat violent offenders. Andy Ngo, who has covered Antifa violence as an on-the-ground journalist for years, reports that the man being investigated in the shocking murder of Trump supporter Aaron “Jay” Danielson caught on camera in Portland, Oregon, Saturday night was arrested for illegally carrying a loaded gun at a riot in July. He was released and charges were never pursued.

In other words, if you are defending yourself against the mob, you will be prosecuted, or if you are caught carrying in a state that unconstitutionally bans the right to carry, you will be charged so long as you are of a certain identity. But if you are a career criminal or part of BLM, there is a universal right to carry.

Where are the Republican demands for locking up repeat offenders? Where are the criminal justice reform bills for victims of crime? Where is the effort to defund pro-criminal cities? When is it our turn to fight back?

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President Trump pardons Alice Marie Johnson, an inspiration and advocate for criminal justice reform

President Donald Trump granted a full pardon Friday to Alice Marie Johnson, a woman who served over 21 years in prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense, NBC News reported.

Johnson, whose sentence President Trump commuted in 2018, spoke during the Republican National Convention on Thursday night about how the president’s decision to give her a second chance at freedom changed her life.

“You have been fully pardoned,” President Trump told Johnson on Friday at the White House, as Johnson wiped away tears of joy. “That’s the ultimate thing that can happen. It means you can do whatever you want in life. Just keep doing the great job you’re doing. We’re very proud of Alice and the job you’ve done.”

Johnson’s story was one of the driving forces leading President Trump to advocate for passage of the First Step Act, the bipartisan criminal justice reform law that eased some of the harsh sentencing guidelines. Johnson’s own harsh sentence was made possible by a 1986 drug law, which was co-authored by then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.).

Johnson was convicted of attempted possession of cocaine, conspiracy to possess cocaine, and money laundering for her role in a cocaine trafficking operation in Memphis. In 1997, she was given a life sentence without parole, and an additional 25 years.

During her prison sentence, she was a model citizen and grew into a mentor for other women. She was granted the opportunity to speak by video from prison to Ivy League students and corporate executives, bringing her story to the public eye.

Kim Kardashian West saw video of Johnson’s story and began advocating for Johnson’s release through her own lawyer and White House adviser Jared Kushner. Former President Barack Obama rejected Johnson’s request for clemency three times.

Johnson has said that she got involved with drug dealing because she lost her job and needed to provide for her children, and regrets it as the “worst decision of her life.”

“Free in body thanks to President Trump, but free in mind thanks to the Almighty God,” Johnson said Thursday night. “I couldn’t believe it. I always remembered that God knew my name even in my darkest hour, but I never thought a president would.”

With the pardon, Johnson regains her right to vote ahead of the 2020 election.

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Left-wing groups pushing for jailbreak, immigration reform amid the coronavirus outbreak

Left-wing reform groups are pushing for the mass release of prisoners, a reduction in arrests, and limits on enforcement of immigration law as ways to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, according to a Washington Free Beacon report.

The initiative comes in response to warnings from experts that the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, could “wreak havoc” on U.S. jails because the facilities, often deficient in basic elements of infection control such as clean sinks and an abundance of soap and paper towels, would be less equipped to handle an outbreak should the virus breach the prison walls.

Instead of calling for increased sanitization standards in prisons, however, several of the groups appear to be using the outbreak to push criminal justice reform measures.

Here’s more from the Free Beacon:

The Sentencing Project, a pro-reform advocacy organization, called on public officials on Wednesday to “also prioritize the health and well-being of incarcerated people” in their responses to the virus. Nazgol Ghandnoosh, a senior research analyst with the project, said specifically that state and local governments should “release individuals who do not pose a public safety risk,” including elderly prisoners, “rehabilitated individuals in prison,” and those in pretrial detention—this latter population accounting for almost 500,000 people on an average day.

The Prison Policy Initiative on Friday published recommendations for how to aid the “justice-involved population” during the outbreak. It also called for the release of “medically fragile and older adults,” citing higher rates of chronic illness among prisoners.

In addition to the release of certain individuals, the Prison Policy Initiative recommendations also include taking steps to reduce the intake of prisoners. The group suggested law enforcement and sentencing institutions should start reclassifying misdemeanor offenses, using citations for lesser crimes, and diverting criminals away from jails and toward mental health and substance abuse programs in their communities.

But criminal justice reform isn’t the only issue being pushed as the pandemic grows in America.

Major liberal think tank the Center for American Progress called on the Department of Homeland Security earlier this week to “suspend certain immigration enforcement practices during the coronavirus outbreak.”

Specifically, CAP suggested that the Trump administration “issue a formal statement assuring the public that health care facilities will be ‘immigration enforcement-free zones’ for the duration of the outbreak.” The group characterized its suggestion as an “important step” “to ensure that all people in the United States have the ability to seek necessary medical care — regardless of immigration status.”

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Kim Kardashian West shares pro-Trump story buried by the media

Celebrity and criminal justice reform advocate Kim Kardashian West was at the White House on Wednesday to celebrate actions that President Donald Trump took last month, and she decided to share the story to her tens of millions of social media followers since she “didn’t hear much about it in the news.”

What are the details?

Kardashian West wrote on Twitter, “President Trump commuted the sentences of three really deserving women. I didn’t hear much about it in the news so I wanted to share with you their stories! I have the pleasure of spending the day with these women today along with @AliceMarieFree who helped to pick these women.”

The women Kardashian West was referring to are Judith Negron, Crystal Munoz, and Tynice Nichole Hall, all nonviolent offenders who were granted clemency by the president on Feb. 18 — the same day President Trump issued a number of high-profile pardons and commutations of sentences, including that of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Mrs. West went on to detail each of the women’s stories on her timeline in order to highlight their cases, which were largely buried by the media in light of the big names and more controversial pardons issued at the same time.

“Tynice Hall was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a first time non violent drug conspiracy,” Kardashian West wrote. “Her boyfriend at the time used her house for his illegal drug activities. She was only 22 years old when she went to prison and left behind a 3 year old son.”

Kardashian West wrote that “Judith Negron was sentenced to 35 years in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. After trial she received the longest sentence ever given to a female for a white collar crime. A mother, she left behind two young sons. This was Judith’s first ever offense.”

“Crystal Munoz,” Kardashian West wrote, “was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to possess & distribute marijuana. She left behind a five month old baby & was pregnant. Crystal was shackled by prison guards during the birth of her second daughter. Her case was highlighted in the First Step Act,” she added, referring to the criminal justice reform law signed by President Trump.

Kardashian West noted that she was also joined on her trip to the White House on Wednesday by Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old nonviolent drug offender whose life sentence was commuted by President Trump in 2018.

Anything else?

White House advisor and First Daughter Ivanka Trump also recognized the women whose sentences were commuted by her father, and posted a photo of the group gathered at the White House with the message, “Meet Judith Negron, Crystal Munoz and Tynice Nichole Hall,” noting, “these three mothers were granted clemency by @realDonaldTrump last month and are already using their second chance to pay it forward!”

The White House acknowledged the gathering on Twitter, too, saying that Negron, Munoz, and Hall “met with the President in the Oval Office along with @AliceMarieFree and @KimKardashian.”