California Dreamin’ – A Criminal’s Paradise
By: Rafael Dagnesses
California lawmakers from Oakland and Los Angeles want to continue where the early release of prisoners left off: Ending California’s bail system so that those charged with a crime don’t have any incentive to appear in court.
Under the banner of justice, poverty, equality and delusion, Oakland Assemblyman Rob Bonta (Democrat) and Los Angeles State Senator Robert Hertzberg (Democrat) introduced legislation (Assembly Bill 42 and Senate Bill 10) to end the bail bonds industry in California and create a point system where a county “pretrial service agency” will determine the conditions to release a defendant.
Bonta and Hertzberg say they can point to successful reforms in New Jersey as a model for what they want for California. Here is how the Los Angeles Times reported Bonta and Hertzberg’s comments: “And they have studied jurisdictions within the state that have developed ‘risk-assessment’ models, which allow court and pretrial staff to use data and other evidence to determine whether a person should be released.”
With just 4-months into this new “risk assessment” program in New Jersey, the elimination of a bail system is already causing a lot of unexpected cost hikes and more importantly a rise in crime.
Fugitive Charged in Shooting Released Under Bail Reform: “A township man who was a fugitive for nearly two months before surrendering to authorities was released on the new government run pre-trial release program according to court documents obtained by NJ Advance Media Tuesday.”
Prosecutors Cry Foul After Child Sex Offender Released Under New Bail Reform System: “The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is fighting to put a convicted sex offender accused of trying to solicit sexual favors from a 12-year-old girl back behind bars after he was released under the state’s new bail system.”
Bail Reform Again Takes Heat From Cops After Alleged Repeat Burglar Arrest: “After police caught a man breaking into a second Middlesex County businesses in three days, the accused burglar expressed disbelief that he was released on bail so quickly after his first arrest, police said.”
New Jersey radio station, 101.5, also looked at jail records and found several cases involving individuals released from custody without having to post bail that might be considered questionable, including:
- Two Paterson men who led police on a high-speed chase through three highways before slamming into a police car on Route 80.
- An accused drug dealer who Toms River police say was in possession of about 1,850 doses of heroin.
- A former military police officer at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst who moved to Connecticut after a 2015 road rage allegation. She was indicted on two counts of second-degree manslaughter for allegedly running Nicholas Cooper, 26, and Jocelyn Redding, 23, off the road.
This isn’t bail reform, it’s just a catch and release system with no incentive to appear in court.
Rafael Dagnesses joined the U.S. Marines upon graduating from high school. Over the course of 15 years he worked in positions including infantry, military police and military intelligence. He graduated from the Navy Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center and served at Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry as a combat instructor supervisor. After being honorably discharged, Dagnesses attended California State University Northridge and worked for the Los Angeles Police Department, where he did patrol and gangs, and served three tours as an undercover narcotics officer. In 1996, he left the LAPD and started a small business.