In a response to the coronavirus pandemic, government-mandated lockdowns have – in some cases – resulted in absurd action being taken against ordinary citizens who are being punished for innocent behavior. At the same time, the state of California has decided to release many violent and dangerous criminals, including sex offenders, because they are worried that they might catch COVID-19 in jail.
These actions have caused many to question the judgment of government officials who believe that law-abiding citizens must be placed on house arrest while criminals can have their sentences ended or suspended.
Todd Spitzer told his jurisdiction that there were seven high-risk sex offenders released into the public as an alleged precaution related to the coronavirus spreading in jails. Spitzer claims that the offenders in question were incarcerated for only a few days, while they would normally be required to spend at least six months in jail, which is required by California state law for any criminal that is set to be registered as a sex offender. These high-risk men were charged with other crimes related to tampering with or destroying their tracking devices.
A court commissioner had ruled to release them on April 7th, and they have been at large ever since. The local district attorney confirmed that they classified as the most serious kind of criminals, and their potential for recidivism is very high. He disagreed with the decision to release them and said these men should not be given any kind of leniency by the government.
Don Barnes, Orange County Sheriff, confirmed that the prison population was nearly cut in half over the past month. The county’s district attorney said that he believes the court-appointed commission has no authority to release dangerous and violent criminals, and they are doing a disservice to the local population.
Others have also protested the state’s decision to reduce bail for most offenders to zero.
While criminals are being released, regular citizens are under fire from the police. Elsewhere in the state, California cops told a 93 year old couple on a beach in Oxnard to get out of their chairs. As expected, bystanders began to verbally attack the cops, especially considering this situation seems to have no relation to maintaining public safety.
Officers on horseback approached the couple and told them that the beaches are open, but current regulations prevent them from sitting in chairs. The police explained that they could remain if they got rid of the chairs. The nonsensical situation went viral on social media shortly afterward.
California Governor Gavin Newsom stated that people must adhere to social distancing guidelines if they want to go to beaches, parks, trails, and similar recreational areas. However, enforcement of social distancing seems to have caused problems all around the country, and it is notoriously difficult for police to enforce these guidelines without resorting to draconian measures.