Last year, around this time, I predicted that the approach my Democrat friends have with respect to dealing with criminals would have serious repercussions. Their “soft of crime”/rehabilitate the criminal attitude has claimed its first high profile horrific outcome, the killing of 4 people in Northridge by someone who should have been in prison at the time he committed the murders. Four innocents were killed by criminal justice policies of political leaders who think they are enlightened and compassionate.
Ka Pasasouk is a bad guy. I have read of at least two serious or violent felonies he has committed in the past, an armed robbery and an assault with a deadly weapon. Most recently he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, a nonserious felony. Despite his ugly past, in and out of prison, he was released from prison, put in the county probation system, and allowed to live amongst an innocent civilian population. He should have been in prison for the rest of his life last year. Four people died this month because those in government charged with protecting us let him walk around free.
I’m not just blaming the line workers in the criminal justice system, the state parole workers who sent him to the county, and the county workers who failed to issue the warrants in time to stop this guy from killing. Their screw ups will be hashed out in the media, and they will be forced to explain themselves over and over again.
As bad as the decisions of those line workers were, however, there are more culpable participants, higher up in the system, who deserve more severe criticism.
Governor Brown’s culpability is only the latest event in the chain of causation that led to the deaths of these four innocents. His decision to push for the realignment program that put Pasasouk in an already overtaxed county system is the same as Governor Brown putting the gun in the hands of this ugly criminal. But Brown is not the only co-conspirator.
The Democrats in the Legislature who have for the last 15 years refused to build a single prison are culpable as well. In addition, the federal judge that ruled that the prisoners had to go free, and the state judge that released him into some half baked drug diversion programs are, in my opinion, the same as co-conspirators in the murders that occurred in Northridge, too. That the Democrats in the Legislature purposefully refused to build the prisons, in order to create the overcrowding so that the state would be forced to release criminals like Pasasouk is reprehensible, but as reprehensible is the fact that federal judges have intervened in our criminal justice system to put these bad guys back on the street by their rulings, and the state court judges just go along with it.
There is also, however, a more subtle question that needs to be asked. According to news reports that I have read and heard, this evil guy had two serious or violent felonies prior to his methamphetamine conviction in 2011, a third felony that would have put him in prison for life under the old three strikes law. However, the Los Angeles District Attorney didn’t like that law, and actually got it changed, so that a third serious or violent felony would be necessary to put a felon such as Pasasouk in prison for life. Was Steve Cooley’s opposition to the old three strikes law why Pasasouk wasn’t charged with a third strike felony when he was arrested for methamphetamine possession in 2011? If Pasasouk had been charged with a third strike, he would have been in prison this year, not Northridge. Four people would be alive right now, and we wouldn’t be wondering how the system failed so miserably to protect them.
There is plenty of blame to go around here, but the foolish decisions of the state and federal policy makers in our criminal justice system have dire and horrific consequences. Governor Brown, the Democrats in the Legislature, the federal and state judges and Steve Cooley might as well have pulled the trigger in this case. They all conspired to put Pasasouk on the street by pushing their soft on crime policies, and four people are dead now because of their dangerous ideas about crime and punishment.
The stories are accumulating. This is only the most publicized damage from the policies enacted by the leadership of this state. I only hope that the families of these leaders (and mine) are spared from the harm that will result from the seriously misguided policies that these alleged protectors of civil society have enacted.