At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the more controversial measures to control the infection was to release prisoners in order to stop COVID-19 from spreading like wildfire behind bars.
Eventually, almost everyone got on board with the idea that some prisoners needed to be released — but for the left, it was a clearinghouse bonanza, with individuals who clearly had no business being outside a prison wall suddenly walking free and easy around communities nationwide.
The fact that some of them have continued to do exactly what landed them behind bars is a shock of epic proportions to some politicians — “I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an April news conference that would have been wildly hilarious were the subject matter not so serious.
And is the worst of it over?
Apparently not, if a case out of Washington state is anything to judge by.
According to KCPQ-TV, a former inmate named Matthew Cory is accused of attacking a woman on a hiking trail in Everett, Washington, on May 15.
Police say the 33-year-old apparently came up behind the woman, who is in her 60s, and began choking her. She was eventually able to loosen his grip and scream, which scared Cory off, the station reported.
Authorities would eventually find Cory in the woods; the alleged victim would positively identify him as her attacker.
Cory, you may have guessed, was one of the individuals who was released from state prison due to COVID-19 fears. He was serving time for unlawful possession of a firearm.
Well, given the fact he was given early release, this was his first offense, right? Not necessarily. He’s been in and out of the prison system for some time now, with 11 arrests, seven felony convictions and two misdemeanors on his record.
But, I mean, other than that…
Well, at least Washington state was able to keep track of him, right? Again, that didn’t work so well. Just 10 days after his May 2 release, Cory decided that his ankle bracelet was cramping his style so he decided to remove it.
Cory is, of course, innocent until proven guilty, although his defense isn’t, ahem, incredibly solid. According to KCPQ, Cory says he doesn’t remember the attack because he’d been doing meth for a solid two weeks and had been up for seven days straight.
Check out the KCPQ report here:
The office of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee — a far-left liberal who based a run for the Democratic nomination almost entirely on “climate change” issues — declined to be interviewed for the piece but put out a statement regarding the attack.
“The decision to release individuals from DOC was based on weighing the risk to incarcerated individuals and public safety. These were extremely difficult choices to make, but they were necessary in order to meet our obligations to allow for minimal social distancing in our more crowded living areas in the prisons,” the statement read.
“In reviewing individuals for potential release, we focused on those individuals who were incarcerated for less serious crimes and focused more on offenses involving property rather than crimes against persons. This group was chosen to reduce the risk to public safety, but no choice could be made to guarantee that there would never be a new crime committed.”
This would be sad enough if it were happening in isolation. It isn’t.
In California, one man was arrested three times in one day — twice for car theft — because holding criminal suspects on bail has pretty much become a foreign concept.
In the same state, multiple “high-risk sex offenders” have been released, according to one district attorney.
In Washington state, the Supreme Court came within one vote of allowing a wide swath of prisoners out of jail — including, potentially, a serial murderer known as the “Green River Killer.”
Another sheriff in the state worries what’s going to happen in his county.
“I feel the release of these additional offenders is of great risk to public safety,” Lewis County Sheriff Robert Snaza said in an April news release.
“My fear is this will create additional concerns for local law enforcement as we struggle with the challenges already facing us from the COVID-19 pandemic, and its effect on routine operations.”
For the moment, Matthew Cory is back in jail and the victim of his alleged assault is doing OK, according to KCPQ. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that there are tens of thousands of convicted criminals like him who are out on release. In most cases, these individuals won’t re-offend.
“Most cases,” however, isn’t good enough. If Cory is guilty of what he’s been accused of, that’s proof enough.
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