Fixing The Problem
To reduce crime in Texas’ most violent county, vote out “every single one of these Democratic judges that are sitting in Harris County, Texas.”
Ray Hunt, Executive Director
Houston Police Officers’ Union
Until 2018, Houston was among the safest major cities in the country, ranking 21 out of 25 major metro areas in crime. Today, Houston is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. In the first three months of 2022 alone, Houston led all cities in murders, beating even Chicago and Detroit. Hundreds of people were murdered in just the first few months of 2022 alone by career criminals who had been previously–and often repeatedly–arrested for violent crimes, then released back onto the streets on low or no-cost bonds, free to terrorize our community again. And the judges–all Democrats–take years to try serious cases, leaving the perpetrators free to commit other crimes. How did mostly peaceful Houston become murder city, USA in such a short time?
How Did This Happen?
CATCH AND RELEASE
In 2018, Democrats took control of Harris County government and courts. They promptly installed a revolving door at the courthouse with catch-and-release policies that free hardened criminals to return to Houston area streets:
- The number of offenders released by judges on multiple felony bonds has “skyrocketed” since 2018
- In three years after 2018, the number of offenders that judges repeatedly released on two to four felony bonds “almost tripled”
- After 2018, judges released over 3,200 suspects of violent crimes on no-cash bail
- There are over 27,000 suspected violent criminals on Houston streets because judges let them bail out of jail
- Judges have released nearly five times as many repeat offenders on felony bonds compared to ten years ago
- Hundreds have allegedly been murdered by repeat violent offenders that judges released on multiple bonds
Their radical polices are not required by law. Those policies have been put in place by choice—by Democrat judges and others following their Party’s stated goal to “transform” policing, to abolish cash bail, and–incredibly –to actually end tough-on-crime sentencing. They treat criminals as victims, instead of protecting the people who are actually terrorized and destroyed by those criminals.
With Democrat judges in control, the court backlog has grown enormously in Harris County, with more than:
Judges are not holding trials. Some conduct only a handful of trials a year. Cases languish on the docket. Trials move forward “at a snail’s pace,” leaving accused criminals free to commit other crimes. Accused criminals are allowed to roam the streets. They have no incentive to return to court when the time for trial finally arrives. At the current rate, it will take years for violent criminals to be tried, if ever, as witnesses die or move away.
Democrat judges have found many excuses for the lack of criminal trials, blaming flooding, COVID, or more while they delay trials and release violent offenders back on the street to rob, assault, shoot and murder again. But there is no excuse for these judges unleashing violent criminals to terrorize and murder us.
SHORTAGE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES
The Houston area is flooded with unsolved crime:
We need more resources devoted to real law enforcement. There are only a dozen people in the sheriff’s office looking for those 25,000-plus felony suspects. Fewer than 10% of people with warrants have been arrested each month. With 4,000 to 6,000 new warrants each month, the problem grows worse every day.
Area police departments are understaffed with a shortage of almost 2000 officers. Meanwhile, county officials have diverted resources needed for law enforcement to bicycle trails, lights, and trees that, while nice, do nothing to solve the current crime crisis. They have underfunded real law enforcement needs for new police officers, and disproportionately increased funding for public defenders of violent criminals–raising that budget eight times greater than the increase in the district attorney’s budget–resulting in too few prosecutors to keep up with the growing waves of crime. The revolving door of justice further demoralizes police who arrest offenders at great personal risk, only to watch them promptly return to the streets to commit more crimes.
Vote out every Democrat judge in Harris County in the November 2022 election as they are responsible for the crime crisis.
End catch-and-release bond policies.
Require judges to try all felony cases within a year of arrest, absent extraordinary circumstances.
Prohibit releases on bond when a firearm is used in a crime or possessed by a felon.
Restore law enforcement resources to prevent, apprehend, and prosecute criminals.