One of the most infuriating things to many people today is the laxity and capriciousness of the court system. No one wants to see an innocent person unjustly jailed, but the government often fails to take the necessary steps to make sure that really dangerous criminals are kept locked up pending trial in order to ensure that they can’t continue their mayhem. The government will let murderers and rapists roam free pending trial, but if you fail to pay your taxes or fall afoul of some governmental environmental regulation you might find yourself locked up with the key thrown away.
That’s why the recent case of the alleged terrorist compound in New Mexico has been so infuriating to read about. Five adults were arrested in a raid on a compound in New Mexico after allegations of child abuse or neglect. Eleven children were found on the compound, malnourished and suffering from neglect. The remains of another child were also found on the site, after he had apparently been ritualistically murdered. The children told authorities that they had been trained to become school shooters.
Despite all of this, and the fact that the mastermind of the whole operation was a Haitian immigrant who was in the United States illegally, the judge at the initial hearing stated that prosecutors had failed to establish that the defendants had abused the malnourished children or that the five defendants were a threat to society. They were released on $20,000 bail as a result, with the judge receiving death threats for her inexplicable leniency.
In fact, prosecutors bungled the case so badly that the FBI finally stepped in last week to arrest the five, holding them on charges related to being in the country illegally, possession of firearms by an alien, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy. It turns out that the FBI had been surveilling the compound for several months, although the agency apparently didn’t see fit to step in when the young child was murdered. The raid from local authorities may have forced the FBI to speed up its investigation, resulting in last week’s arrest.
But regardless of who was investigating what, the fact that something that was clearly criminal occurred right under the noses of authorities and that the ensuing investigation was so badly bungled that the arrested criminals ended up free for weeks means that something is severely wrong with our criminal justice system.
If the prosecution really screwed up as badly as some claim, that doesn’t inspire confidence in the state’s ability to pursue actual criminals. And if the judge decided to disregard clear evidence of wrongdoing and danger in letting these people free on bail then it’s indicative that judges are more concerned with not offending minorities such as Muslims than they are with protecting the general public.