Editorial on bail reform gets something important right

(AP Photo/Mel Evans,File)

The subject of bail reform makes a lot of sense to the libertarian side of me. After all, there’s something to be said about treating people as innocent until proven guilty.

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, putting career violent felons back out onto the streets isn’t really conducive to good public order.

So, the editorial board at the Toledo Blade has thoughts on the subject.

Bail laws must be fair yet also protect citizens from the danger of potentially violent offenders on the streets. There’s a huge difference between an offender charged with minor and serious but nonviolent crimes and an individual accused of violent crimes.

If an accused has violent offenses on their record they must be kept off the streets pending trial.

All too often, we read of offenders with serious criminal records, charged once again with violent crime, let out on bail. Then, the obvious happens, they commit another crime.

That’s why Attorney General Dave Yost, State Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R., Huron), State Rep. D.J. Swearingen (R., Huron), and others are on target proposing changes in the law to protect the public in bail determinations.

The Ohio Supreme Court went overboard in the case of DuBose vs. McGuffey. That case made it difficult to keep those charged with violent offenses in jail.

The decision made it difficult, if not impossible, for judges to consider community safety in setting bail.

That is foolish and dangerous.

Yes, it is.

Look, as I said, I get the sentiment behind bail reform. The problem is that when you arrest career violent criminals for a violent crime only to release them back into the wild, they’re going to commit more violent crimes.

Someone with a history of violent crime is someone you need to treat like a violent criminal. We’ve seen far too many of these folks end up back on the streets without even a night in jail.

That’s dangerous.

It should be remembered that the surge in violent crime corresponds with the bail reform push throughout the nation. While correlation doesn’t equal causation, it does suggest that one might want to take a deeper look.

Unfortunately, as crime surges, we need to take action now. People are being killed. If it were just criminals killing criminals, I probably wouldn’t care that much. The trash taking itself out sounds pretty good to me, truth be told.

But it’s not just them. Innocent people are being killed as well, either as the intended victim of a violent crime or an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire. These are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, children. People who didn’t ask for any of it, yet they’re the ones being shot.

As such, something needs to be done. Rethinking bail reform efforts so that people with a history of violent offenses don’t walk right out and back onto the streets is a very good starting point.

From there, we can take a look and see what’s happening. However, since I’m pretty sure violent crime will start dropping, there probably isn’t a whole lot else that would need to be done at that point.