Stop Houston Murders, a political action committee formed in Houston, Texas, to take on “soft-on-crime Democrat judges,” seeks to call attention to the skyrocketing violent crime and murder rate in the city and the judges who facilitate a criminal catch-and-release program.
“Our loved ones were taken away from us by criminals who should have been in jail, who were released on tragically insufficient bonds to murder again, to harm, and intimidate again,” the PAC’s website reads.
Calling the practice “judge violence,” the group seeks to “restore sanity and peace to Harris County” and “stop the horrific carnage of crime underway in our city by educating the public, removing those responsible from office, and restoring a functioning criminal justice system in Houston.”
The website also notes that by early 2022, Houston had a highest murder rate of any major American city, “even greater than Chicago.” The same web page lists cases and the names of judges who presided over them.
The group lists three contributing factors to how violent crime became such a huge problem in the city.
First, the website addresses the “catch and release” program in the city, saying, “Democrats took control of Harris County government and courts in 2018. They promptly installed a revolving door at the courthouse with catch-and-release policies that free hardened criminals to return to Houston area streets.”
“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 to end sentencing that is actually tough on crime,” the section continues. “They treat criminals as victims, rather than protecting the people who are actually terrorized and destroyed by those criminals.”
The second factor listed is “delayed justice,” in which the group points out that the county has over 135,000 untried criminal cases, 60,000 pending felony cases, and 450 untried capital murder cases.
“Judges are not holding trials,” the section says. “Accused criminals are allowed to roam the streets. They have no incentive to return to court when the time for trial finally arrives.”
“There is no excuse for these judges unleashing violent criminals to terrorize and murder us,” it exclaims.
Third, the group says there is a “shortage of law enforcement resources.”
“Only a dozen people in the sheriff’s office are looking for over 25,000 suspects,” the website states. “Area police departments are short-staffed by almost 2000 officers, and trials move forward at a snail’s pace, leaving accused criminals free to commit other crimes.” The site continues:
Resources necessary for law enforcement have been diverted to things like bicycle trails and salaries rather than hiring desperately-needed new officers. Police are demoralized by arresting offenders at great personal risk, only to watch them immediately reappear on the streets.
The group held a rally in Houston on July 27 where family members of victims told their stories.
“The Harris County justice system is broken,” Aimee Castillo, whose brother was murdered by a person out on bond, said at the rally. “Josh [her brother] had a right to be out in public and not targeted by violent criminals that Harris County judges keep allowing back on the street.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.