Monday, January 02, 2017

Tricia McCauley murder referenced in 12-30-2016 Washington Post editorial

Click on the link to read the entire Washington Post editorial:.

D.C.’s ‘beyond broken’ criminal-justice system is an outrage


Defenders of the system are quick to point out that its successes have been overlooked. We don’t doubt the worth of innovative programs such as the District’s no-bail pre-trial release system, or that it is right to avoid the lock-em-up thinking that has lead to mass incarceration, especially of young black men. But in refusing to acknowledge the problems — indeed, even to collect the data needed to properly assess the system — advocates end up treating the victims of crime like so much collateral damage. Indeed, that point was tragically brought home with the Christmas week murder of a local actress, allegedly by a released offender who had failed to get his required fitting with a locator bracelet.


  1. Having a problem with the Post's position on recognizing "the worth of no-bail pretrial release" as a positive thing in order to avoid "mass incarceration of young black men! Maybe if this process was not so abused by the courts there would not be the escalation in crime that resulted in the death of a beautiful innocent soul like Tricia! Everyone and anyone in this city who values the City and a real justice system should be sending a strong message to our council and the Mayor's office and the Congress that we are all voters and their actions or inaction will not go unnoticed in the next election.

    1. Disagree - there's absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing the worth of the no bail pretrial release system. It prevents people who are accused of a crime but not actually convicted from being punished by being placed in jail, just because they can't afford it. Just because one is able to post bail doesn't stop them from committing a violent crime between the time they're released and the trial date.
      The system has value. In the past five years, 90 percent of defendants released were not arrested again before their cases were resolved at trial.

      Agree, however, that the system requires reform and tightening and things could've been done that might've prevented Tricia's death, i.e. the systemic failure that allowed the man to be released without a GPS monitoring tracker (why do they have to show up again separate from the courthouse for the tracker? If the court orders that, the person should be escorted immediately for that fitting). We should also reconsider the standards for whether a person is granted pretrial release at all, if they appear to pose a threat for further violent crime.