Money Changing Hands

You hear a lot from so-called “bail reformers” these days about how allowing virtually everyone walk free after being arrested is somehow going to create a safer world for you and me. It beggars belief that they actually find a few people who will drink that Kool-aid. But what’s happening from coast to coast in states where bail bonding has been abandoned in favor of catch-and-release should be enough to put the “safer world” fantasy to bed once and for all. New Hampshire is the latest example of a state whose lawmakers adopted catch-and-release in an attempt to seem “progressive” and is now paying the price. What are we talking about? Read on and find out.

Eliminating Bail Bonds is Eliminating Justice, Order and Safety

The bail reform movement is being driven by a small number of highly paid lobbyists working on behalf of an even smaller number of non-profit organizations trying to justify their non-profit status. The arguments for abandoning the bail system almost all embrace specious reasoning and emotional arguments meant to tug at the heartstrings.

One of those arguments is that people who get arrested are fine upstanding citizens who are being cruelly victimized by the bondsman. But let’s take a look at the kind of folks bail reform is allowing to walk the streets of New Hampshire’s cities and towns and see if that’s actually the case.

  • Christopher Holland - First up is a fine young man named Christopher Holland. Mr. Holland was picked up in a drug raid on a Concord rooming house. Turns out that this was his 4th arrest of 2019. Now, anyone with any common sense would conclude that it was time this guy cooled his heels in jail for a while. But because of New Hampshire’s new bail free approach he was released within hours. 11 days later he was re-arrested for injuring 3 police officers while high.
  • Jonathan Candilieri - Jonathan is one of the poor, misunderstood folks the reformers tearfully discuss when trying to sell their bail reform snake oil. Poor Jonathan had only been arrested 4 times so far this year on felony charges when he was picked up again in May. So, did the state finally do the right thing the 5th time around and impose bail or hold him pending his court appearance? Nope. The let him go again on the promise he’s show up on the appointed day.
  • Enrique Castro - Manchester resident Enrique Castro is accused of assaulting a child and threatening another one with a hammer. But according to bail reformers poor Enrique is just another fine upstanding, misunderstood citizen. Forcing him to post bail, they argue, would be a grave miscarriage of justice. Fortunately for Enrique New Hampshire legislators have sold the soul of their state down the river to the reformers and he was allowed to walk free after promising he’d show up to face the child abuse charges against him. I don’t know about you but I feel safer already.
  • Are you starting to see a pattern here? This litany of failure is symptomatic of what’s happening in New Hampshire and every other state that has ditched bail bonding. You might not notice the difference now as you drive down the streets of Manchester or Nashua or North Conway. After all the program in the Granite State has just started. But give it a little time. You will.

Lawmakers Leaving Law Enforcement Out to Dry

If you’re not happy about the way elected officials have shirked their responsibilities you’re not alone. Concord Police Lt. Sean Ford spoke for most members of New Hampshire’s law enforcement community when he recently said: “We can’t keep letting people out with no accountability for repeat crimes.”

In an ironic twist Ford noted that, not only is it unfair to victims (who are the lost component in this judicial farce), but it’s actually not fair to the accused either. Since many of them are racking up lengthy criminal records in short amounts of time. A situation that is bound to haunt them in the long run.

Take Travis Demers for example. He was arrested a few months ago for secretly videotaping women in the bathrooms at the Mall of New Hampshire. He was quickly released only to be re-arrested a few weeks later for doing the same thing in a supermarket bathroom. Turns out he had also been arrested and released several months earlier on a burglary charge and then failed to keep his promise to show up in court to face the charges against him. According to bail reformers he’s a victim.

Don’t Buy the Bail Reform Snake Oil

While Colorado citizens wisely showed bail reform the door there is no doubt that the same cabal will return at some point to try again. They’ll try their best to convince the residents of Adams County, Broomfield County, Weld County and Denver that they’d be safer with child abusers, perverts and out of control drug addicts walking their streets instead of being held on bond. Don’t believe them.

The Bottom Line

Every day more people across the country are waking up to the grim reality created by so-called bail reform. They’re rising up, following the lead of Coloradans and kicking bail reformers to the curb where they belong. But the fight for a sane criminal justice system is not over. Because as long as these well-financed, self-serving lobbyists are still criss-crossing the country dispensing campaign contributions to politicians the threat of many more New Hampshire-style disasters remains.