Zero Bail in California has Backfired Tremendously

During this time of public safety concerns and economic crisis, many states have taken measures to ensure that everyone stays as healthy as possible. For most, this means stay at home orders and heavy social distancing. But for some, more extreme policies have also taken effect.

Take the state of California, for example.

While Governor Gavin Newsom has implemented stay at home orders for the state, he has also allowed his judicial council to put some rather absurd laws into place concerning criminals.

And their “zero bail” policy takes the cake.

Last month, the council announced that those who commit misdemeanors and lower-level felonies such as theft, carjacking, and trespassing would be arrested but freed nearly immediately after processing to keep them safe and out of the court system as much as possible. Basically, it’s a get out of jail free card, literally, to all criminals in the entire state.

And according to state and local records, as well as law officials everywhere, those criminals are taking full advantage of it.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t afraid to point out one of those in particular.

The office wrote in a tweet on May 11, “Waseen Abuhwaidi has been arrested a record 7 times during SIP. Numerous assaults, stolen vehicles, thefts, trespassing, and now robbery and attempt carjacking. All in multiple cities.” They added, “200k bail will keep in custody for now. #Zerobail is a Fail.”

Indeed, it is.

This one man has been arrested a total of seven times, just in the last month. And yet every time, he is simply released to do whatever, whenever again.

I’m pretty sure the whole point of arresting people in the first place is to make them think twice about committing the same or a similar crime again. It is punishment for wrongs done.

And apparently, this man, as well as several others, aren’t learning a damn thing except that California doesn’t really care.

They don’t care that crimes are being committed every day. They don’t care that people are breaking federal laws coming into this country illegally. And they don’t care that their once respected and beloved cities are now facing ruin.

In addition, the zero bail policy is only making the jobs and lives of officers around the state more difficult. Think about Abuhwaidi’s case alone. According to Alameda County, he has been arrested seven times.

That’s seven times officers had to stop what they were working on and run out to try to find and apprehend him. Seven times they have filled out all the documents required for making such an arrest. Seven times that warrants have had to be applied for and received. Seven times that some law-abiding citizen has had their lives disrupted because this man chose to ignore the law, knowing that there would be no consequences.

It’s a complete waste of time and department resources.

And you will notice, based on the tweet given above, that his crimes have slowly escalated. They have started with simple trespassing and theft, but now he is being charged with full-on robbery and carjacking. If he is released again, do you think he will think twice about doing it again, or maybe even something worse?

Not according to known criminal statistics. In fact, nearly 56.7 percent of all felons are rearrested within a year from their release. And many more within five years.

Note these are statistics of ordinary years, not ones where governments have given out free take-what-you-want cards. So can you imagine what rate of recidivism when criminals know that they’ll get zero time behind bars, zero fines, and zero accountability?

Meanwhile, the rest of the state is shut down for honest business ventures. And law-abiding citizens are getting arrested for doing nothing more than sitting on a beach all by themselves. Sure, they’ll be released almost immediately, but so too will the guy who stole their car last week or the man who ran off with their identity just days before.

Where is the justice in that? And for what? So can criminals might have a lesser chance of getting the coronavirus?

It sounds like someone needs a lesson on priorities.