Thursday, August 23, 2007

N.J. bail laws under scrutiny

TRENTON — When Jose Carranza walked free from the Essex County Jail in May, it was about as easy as could be for a man charged with sexually assaulting a child.

His $150,000 bail was the lowest amount recommended for his alleged crime.

The illegal immigrant from Peru — who worked as a laborer — could have had to pay his bail in cash, but was allowed to have it done by a bail bondsman.

This came seven months after he paid $2,000 to get out of that same jail after being charged with assault and weapons possession following a bar fight.

Among questions surrounding the 28-year-old Carranza is how he was free on bail when four college students were shot execution-style in a Newark schoolyard on Aug. 4. Three of the victims were killed, and Carranza has been charged in the slayings along with two juveniles.

His status as an illegal immigrant quickly sparked questions about why Essex County authorities never contacted federal immigration officials. However, the ease with which he got of jail has raised additional questions.

"He should have been stopped a long time ago," said Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer.

Carranza has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bail.

Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker addressed the bail issue yesterday at a news conference announcing a new initiative to put more than 100 surveillance cameras in high-crime neighborhoods.

"I often see people back on our streets that I believe should not be back on our streets after they've committed serious crimes," Booker said. "I have a lot of frustration. My focus, first of all, is to take care of our house here in Newark. However I would be remiss if I wasn't calling for larger changes and larger reforms in the state of New Jersey and the United States."

This is not the first time bail laws have been questioned in New Jersey.

Last year, an Orange police detective was shot and killed by a man free on bail on robbery and weapons charges. And in 2001, a Mercer County pizza shop owner was killed by a suspect free on armed robbery charges.

"We need to put an end to this culture," said Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex.

Upon Codey's request, Attorney General Anne Milgram has agreed to investigate, but defense attorneys note federal and state constitutions guarantee the right to bail.

"The bail laws ought not come into question," said Dale Jones, an assistant state public defender.

According to court records, Carranza was arrested Oct. 1 after the fight in West Orange.

Though recommended state bail ranges meant he could have faced bail as high as $100,000, it was set at $50,000 and then lowered to $20,000. As is allowed, he posted 10 percent and was released Oct. 4.

He was arrested Jan. 16 on the aggravated sexual assault charges in Orange. His bail was then set at $200,000 and lowered to $150,000 on Jan. 29. The bail bondsman posted it on Feb. 6, and he released the next day.

He was arrested again on more sexual assault charges on May 3, and his bail was set at $300,000, but Judge Thomas Vena lowered it to $150,000 on May 17. Since Carranza had already posted that amount, he walked free on May 22.

Under the ranges set in 2005 by a special state judicial panel, $150,000 to $300,000 is recommended for aggravated sexual assault.

Vena's office referred calls to Essex County Assignment Judge Patricia Costello, whose office released information stating Vena lowered the bail with consent from an Essex County assistant prosecutor. But Charlotte Smith, executive assistant Essex County prosecutor, said the assistant didn't agree to lower the amount below $300,000.

Smith declined further comment.

Turner said she's disappointed Vena did not use a state law she sponsored that allows judges to require people to pay their bail in cash if they're facing at least two indictable offenses when arrested.

1 comment:

Diana Wilson said...

Bail Bond Agents Should Arrest Illegal Aliens

Friday, August 24, 2007
Bail Bond Agents Arrest Illegal Aliens


An argument for not arresting and deporting illegal aliens is that there are too many illegal aliens in the United States, and therefore, statistically there is not enough police enforcement personnel to find, catch, arrest and deport them. Police complain that they don't have enough manpower, or the time to find and arrest illegal aliens because their local crime rates are high. The result is that illegal aliens are being spotlighted for the crimes they are committing while illegally in the US.

The result is that the United States has become nearly an open border country resulting in high numbers of criminal activities among illegal aliens. Furthermore, in many border states, as many as 30% of the prison and arrest populations are illegal aliens. And, it must not be forgotten that just being inside the United States without permission, or over staying a a crime.

To solve the problem of not enough human police power to find, arrest and deport illegal aliens, this writer is suggesting that a "bounty" be placed on illegal aliens at the cost of $1000 per arrest to be paid by the Federal Government. It can be strongly argued that Bail Bond Agents are already in the "business" of arresting individuals who don't show up for court. Why not therefore, commission the 60,000 Bail Bond Agents in the United States to assist in apprehending, arresting, and deporting illegal aliens?

Considering that there are at a minimum 12 million illegal aliens or more in the US, it would take only one year for a single Bail Bond Agent to find, arrest, and assist in the deportation of 200 illegal aliens. On a monthly basis, a single Bail Bond Agent could potentially arrest approximately 16.6 illegal aliens a month. It does not take brain surgery to see the value of Bail Bond Agents who could facilitate in removing those who should not be here according to the law.

Because the United States cannot move fast enough to build a border fence to protect our borders...the only other answer is to use trained and licensed "officers of the court" i.e. Bail Bond Agents to find, arrest, and deport illegal aliens. The public is becoming aware that to not remove illegal aliens from our country will soon result in the US being awash in crime, and our medical, educational, social welfare and court systems becoming overwhelmed to the point that this country will fail to provide even the most basic services for the Americans who are legally here.

At last, the public is fed up. The murders of three Newark, New Jersey college students a couple of weeks ago who were brutally executed against a wall, and the wounding of a fourth. The outrage against the six illegal aliens involved in this heinous crime have become a national cry for deportation...after a spate of crimes by illegal aliens. One of the female victims in the Newark case was nearly decapitated and her facial skin cut off by a machete before she was murdered... News reports tated that it took the mortuary almost three days to sew her face back on to the point that she could be seen by those mourning her. Enough is enough!

Also in the news have been illegal aliens who have been arrested for "driving under the influence" and instead of deporting them, they were allowed to get behind the wheel of a car and while drunk crash into other innocent people. Two young Virginia Beach women were killed by an illegal alien who had three previous arrests for driving drunk...and who was not deported. In fact, Virginia Beach is also another "sanctuary" city that allows illegal aliens to commit one crime after another without reporting them to ICE or Homeland Security...or deporting them.

One of the arguments for allowing illegal aliens to stay in the United States is that illegals take jobs that American citizens will not do. This is flatly not true. In fact, illegal aliens are taking jobs that our youths and teens would like to have as entry jobs, and putting American citizens in the unemployment lines. In a recent arrest and deportation of hundreds of illegal aliens who were employed in a Mid-Western chicken packing plant, the plant publically admitted that when they put an advertisment for employment in the local newspaper, some 5,000 American "citizens" showed up to apply for these jobs.

What is driving illegal aliens to be able to stay in this country is corporate "greed" in which many employers do not have to pay adequate salaries, provide health care, or pay attention to basic safety standards...which in the end will result in massive unemployment among American citizens. If an illegal alien protests, all the employer has to do is threaten to call ICE and have them deported. What the calculated hiring of illegal aliens in the United States of America results "slavery" a country which prides itself on guaranteeing human rights to all human beings.

If aliens are needed to fill jobs in the US, then they should enter the US legally through a "guest worker" program, in which we know who they are, where they are, and can arrest and deport them if they insist on overstaying their work visas. Instead, just this week we have more illegal aliens from the Middle East coming into this country, not for jobs but for possibly other nefarious reasons. Recently the FBI showed pictures of two Middle Eastern men on a ferry asking suspicious questions that might lead one to believe such persons were planning another 9-11 attack on this country.

The facts are...that there are between 12 and 20 million illegal aliens inside the United States who are flooding our nation's jails and prison populations. How do we know this? Because as Bail Bond Agents we are asked to arrange bail for many illegal aliens and by FBI statistics. In our over crowded American prisons, each inmate legal or not, costs the American taxpayer between $20,000 and $35,000 per year. The over burdened tax payer will inevitably be required to pay higher taxes if the flood of illegal aliens is not stopped.

In the border states, as many as 30% of the prison and jail populations are from illegal aliens. Surprisingly, it is not an automatic arrest and deportation by ICE or Homeland Security if an illegal alien falls into the criminal justice net. Instead, in many "sanctuary cities" illegals are treated with kid gloves and allowed to escape not only arrest and deportation, but indictment and jury trials. And worse, such as the case in New Jersey, if an illegal alien commits a heinous crime, there are direct "instructions" from mayors and sometimes govenors to "not" report either the crime or the illegal alien to ICE or any other crime-fighting organization such as the FBI. The results are that some illegal aliens are "rewarded" for being career criminals, including child molestors, rapists, driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs, and assault and burglarly. Furthermore, because the residency status of illegal aliens are "not" often reported after an arrest, it is believed that crimes and imprisonment by illegal aliens are "under reported" by 20% to 50% especially in such areas as Boston, New York, Miami, Los Angelos, and San Francisco.

By closing our borders and instituting a "guest worker" program, the employer and the worker is responsible for their own behaviors. They are not given a free pass to do as they will in our country. And most importantly, background checks and profiling information can be acquired to "not" allow guest workers into the US who have previous criminal records either in their own country or in the US. This makes sense and should be instituted immediately. Those most complaining about the need for illegal farm workers are giant agribusiness corporations who need to do as other European countries have done, which is to switch from labor intensive farming to technology-based farming.

Recent statistics indicate that 1 out of 6 Mexicans now live inside the United States. Besides the cultural implications (meaning that although I love to visit Mexico and have friends there) I do not want to become culturally a Mexican. I am very proud of being an American and want my country to stay that way.

Another consideration is to define exactly what a massive migration from not only Mexico, but other Central and South American countries into the US is doing to the local economies of those countries. What is occuring is a "brain drain" and a depletion in human resources from those countries, which can only make them poorer and more suspectible to the vagaries of poverty-driven and anti-American political and rebel movements such as socialiam, communism, and fascism. We are not doing either ourselves or foreign countries any good by draining foreign countries of their most valuable assets, i.e. human beings who can work and contribute to the development of their own country.

However, the tide is turning. The American public has basically had enough and finally see what the consequences will be in both the short and long term, if illegal aliens are not removed from this country. Bail Bond Agents are certified, trained, and allowed powers of arrests which could apply to illegals. All it would take is legislation either locally, or in the Congress of the United States to pass bills to allow Bail Bond Agents to arrest and deport illegal aliens, which would also allow the regular police forces in each community to remain in the capacity of fighting crime.

Therefore, I recommend that if you agree with this idea, please contact your local bail bond organization, your local and state law enforcement agencies, and your congress people, including the governor of your state with this idea. And particularly, write letters to the editor, and call talk shows to promote this idea. Bail Bond Agents are the answer to how to detain, arrest and deport illegal aliens, and we must act now.

Diana Wilson PhD
Bail Bond/Surety Agent
Miami, Florida