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    Massachusetts: Accused Rapist Bailed Out of Jail by Liberal Bail Fund Group Charged With Raping Again

    Massachusetts: Accused Rapist Bailed Out of Jail by Liberal Bail Fund Group Charged With Raping Again

    Also, Alleged VA Rapist Released Due To COVID Charged With Killing Accuser.

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    A pro-bail reform group in Massachusetts posted bail for a twice-convicted rapist who has now been charged with yet another rape.  The group called “Massachusetts Bail Fund” has as its slogan, “Free Them All.”

    The Boston Globe reports (archive link):

    Three weeks after being freed from the jail where he was being held on rape charges, Level 3 sex offender Shawn McClinton faced new allegations Thursday that he kidnapped, beat, and raped a woman he met walking along a Quincy street.

    The new charges against McClinton, 39, sparked immediate criticism of the Massachusetts Bail Fund, the group that posted the $15,000 bail to set him free.

    Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said he was “absolutely appalled” that someone with McClinton’s history would be freed. “We’re getting to a point in society where we’re giving more credence to criminals than victims. We’re talking about violent offenders. Why would you bail someone who committed rapes?”

    McClinton, who was convicted of rape in 1994 and 2007 and has a pending rape case in Suffolk Superior Court, was ordered held without bail Thursday by Judge Lisa Grant of Dorchester District Court.

    The Globe goes on to provide some details about the Bail Fund group.

    Officials at the Bail Fund, who oppose the bail system on philosophical grounds, did not respond to requests for comment. The fund, whose slogan is “Free Them All,” argues that requiring cash bail for defendants to get out of jail before trial is unfair to the poor and ineffective at preventing crime.

    If a prosecutor believes a defendant is too dangerous to release, the fund and its supporters contend, the prosecutor should ask a judge to declare him or her dangerous enough to be held indefinitely.

    The group has existed for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd by police in Minnesota have spurred a massive infusion of donations to bail funds nationally. As recently as January, it was posting bails of up to only $500, but in recent weeks the group has paid as much as $85,000 to free a defendant who was accused of shooting someone in broad daylight. This week, it bailed out 30 defendants in Boston, a court official said.

    But as the Bail Fund has paid increasingly higher bail amounts, law enforcement officials have raised concerns that the group is putting dangerous people back on the streets of Massachusetts.

    Even Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who has argued for freeing many prisoners, said releasing McClinton is going too far.

    The Bail Fund, she said, often posts bail for low level offenders, who remain behind bars unfairly mainly because they’re poor.

    “However, aggravated rape, kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault, strangulation and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon are not low-level misdemeanors. They are violent felonies,” Rollins said. “And the person they bailed out is a sexual predator that hurts and rapes women and children. The Bail Fund posted $15,000 and set McClinton loose on our community … They have no responsibility to or compassion for the victims and survivors of his crimes, or the families that he has destroyed. I do. “

    In Alexandria, Va, a man who was being held on rape charges was released from jail over Wuhan coronavirus concerns.  He allegedly then went and killed the woman who had testified against him in his rape hearing.

    12News reports:

    Police in Virginia say that a rape suspect released from jail in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic went on to kill the woman who had accused him.

    The Washington Post reports that Ibrahm E. Bouaichi was tracked down by authorities on Wednesday. But he shot himself and was in grave condition on Thursday.

    Bouaichi was indicted last year on charges that included rape, strangulation and abduction. He was jailed without bond in Alexandria.

    The woman testified against him in Alexandria District Court in December.

    When the pandemic hit, Bouaichi’s lawyers argued that he should be freed awaiting trial because the virus endangered both inmates and their attorneys. He was released on $25,000 bond over the objections of a prosecutor.

    Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins released Bouaichi on the condition that he only leave his Maryland home to meet with his lawyers or pretrial services officials.

    Alexandria police say that Bouaichi, 33, fatally shot the woman in late July.

    Violent criminals unleashed on the public in the name of bail reform or Wuhan coronavirus is a bad idea.

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    Comments



     
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    Milhouse | August 10, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    The fund, whose slogan is “Free Them All,” argues that requiring cash bail for defendants to get out of jail before trial is unfair to the poor and ineffective at preventing crime.

    If a prosecutor believes a defendant is too dangerous to release, the fund and its supporters contend, the prosecutor should ask a judge to declare him or her dangerous enough to be held indefinitely.

    They’ve got a good point. If this person was so dangerous, why was it OK for the judge to say that he can go free if he posts $15,000? If he’d been rich he’d have posted the money himself and been free to rape again, with the prosecution’s and judge’s full approval; so why should he have stayed in jail just because he was poor?


       
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      Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | August 11, 2020 at 11:36 am

      This is a classic example of a situation being used for political purposes, nothing more.

      If the defendant were thought to be a dire threat to the community, then the prosecution could have requested a much higher bail be set [the constitutionality of which dubious, though the practice is common] or requested no bail, as a public menace. The prosecution decided not to do this. So, along comes this organization which is busy making a political statement and posts the set bail bond on behalf of the defendant. The defendant, being criminal scum, goes out and commits the same crime again.

      Now, people are blaming the organization which posted bond. However, the whole point of requiring a bail bond be posted is to ensure that the defendant will return to court, as instructed, if released from jail. It is not supposed to be used to keep a person incarcerated for any other reason. And, as Milhouse notes, simply being poor should not determine whether a person has access to release on bail. So, the only way to ensure that a criminal defendant is not in a position to commit crimes against society, while awaiting trial, is to do away with bail entirely. Simply keep every criminal defendant incarcerated until his case has been disposed of. The problem with that is that it impacts every single criminal defendant. And, we still have the quaint notion that a person is innocent until adjudicated guilty.


         
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        Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | August 11, 2020 at 3:40 pm

        There is no need to keep every defendant in jail. It’s a judge’s job to determine whether each defendant is entitled to bail. If he determines that releasing the defendant would impose too high a risk on the community then he can and should deny bail altogether — not deliberately set a bail that is too high for the defendant to afford, which as you say is unconstitutional although far too common.

        If the judge sets bail he is making a determination that, for enough money, the defendant is entitled to go free until trial, i.e. that the harm to the defendant from being denied bail outweighs the risk to the community from granting it. And if that is so then there is no reason the defendant should remain in jail simply because he can’t afford to pay. The community is at no more risk from a poor defendant than from a rich one.

        That is how the new NY system is supposed to work, and in principle it is correct. That in practice it has been a disaster is partly the fault of judges, and partly the fault of those who drafted the new law.


           
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          Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | August 11, 2020 at 5:44 pm

          Bail has nothing to do with the danger which a defendant may represent to a community. Its only purpose is to give a defendant sufficient financial incentive to show up for court hearings and not to flee to avoid prosecution. In fact, the most common reason given in a petition to deny bond, on a bondable offense, is that the defendant is a flight risk, even with a high bond. The danger to the community, due to the release of a defendant, is a separate matter and must be dealt with based upon the likelihood of continued criminal behavior by the defendant, if released from incarceration, as well as the type and seriousness of the potential criminal behavior. A person being held for a serious, violent crime should have to meet a higher threshold of expectation that he will not commit a similar violent crime if granted release pending trial, before being granted bail. The past criminal record of the defendant should also be taken into account, as an indicator of the likelihood of continued criminal behavior.

          In the case of a person charged with 1st or 2nd degree homicide or attempted homicide, bail should be, and often is, withheld for safety concerns. However, a person with an extensive arrest record may also be a candidate for no bond, for similar safety concerns.

          The problem that exists today is that judges apply criteria to setting bonds which have nothing to do with guaranteeing a defendant’s future appearance in court or his potential threat to the community. They apply financial, racial, gender and class conditions which have no bearing upon the reasons for setting a bond in the first place.


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