On Tuesday, we wrote about how a prisoner released from a New York prison committed a violent assault. That was a very serious crime, to be sure. However, it’s also important to remember that New York wasn’t the only state to release prisoners over concerns of the virus. A lot of them did.
And, to be sure, a lot of those released prisoners are seemingly keeping their noses fairly clean right now. That’s good.
The problem is, though, a lot of these violent criminals won’t do that indefinitely. It’s only a matter of time before many of them kill someone, like this released prisoner in Florida.
An inmate who was released from the Hillsborough County Jail in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus is back behind bars and accused of committing second-degree murder the day after he got out of jail, deputies say.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirms 26-year-old Joseph Edwards Williams was arrested on a warrant Monday night in Gibsonton.
They say he is connected to a March 20 shooting homicide in the Progress Village area. Deputies responded at 10:40 that night to several 911 calls about gunshots fired near 81st Street South and Ash Avenue. A man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Online jail records show Williams had been released from custody at 8:02 a.m. on Thursday, March 19 per an administrative order aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the county jails. The sheriff’s office says he was one of more than 100 inmates released from custody until trial.
“There is no question Joseph Williams took advantage of this health emergency to commit crimes while he was out of jail awaiting resolution of a low-level, non-violent offense,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “As a result, I call on the State Attorney to prosecute this defendant to the fullest extent of the law.”
Williams, it seemed, had a non-violent charge and probably would have been one that probably would have been released under most any form of scrutiny you wanted to apply prisoners prior to release. There’s no indication he had a prior criminal record.
The problem, though, was that he’d been arrested for possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. That suggests he was either a dealer or a habitual drug user (heroin usually isn’t for the recreational user, after all). That suggests he was part of a violent subculture, either to protect his business or to score drugs. Just because he hadn’t been caught before doesn’t mean he was a saint.
Look, when you put predators back out on the street in and amongst their prey, guess what’s going to happen? You’re going to get stuff like this. People will die at the ends of these predators.
Is it any wonder that more and more people bought firearms? Sure, the anti-gunner can claim it’s NRA fearmongering, but the truth is that a lot of people are looking at all these prisoners being released and knowing where it will end.
Now, no, not all released prisoners are going to do this kind of thing. But the question is, just how many have to before you understand this might not have been the best idea?