Power Line

Our under-incarceration problem, Tennessee edition

When I read about a high profile murder, I often check the background of the accused killer. Almost invariably, if the killer is an adult, I find that he has a criminal record such that, in a properly functioning justice system, he would be in prison.

Last week, in Nashville, a man murdered Clayton Beathard and Paul Trapeni. Beathard is the brother of C.J. Beathard, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He is also the grandson of Bobby Beathard, architect of Super Bowl winning Washington Redskins teams and member of the NFL Hall of Fame.

I had planned to look into the background of Michael Mosley, the man police are looking for in connection with these murders based on surveillance tape. However, the ever-vigilant Daniel Horowitz has already done so.

Horowitz reports:

According to arrest records, Mosley had a history of burglary and drug charges during his early days. He barley served time in jail. Then, according to WKRN, Mosley was involved in a stabbing in May 2015 for which he was found guilty.

He was involved in an inmate brawl at Cheatham County Jail this March. In October 2018, he was charged with domestic assault resulting in bodily injury. On December 5, 2018, he was charged with viciously punching a woman in the store “over and over again.”

It appears that he was arrested for the December 2018 incident on November 5 of this year and was released on just $5,000 bond. Which means, despite the previous conviction for violent assault, he was out of prison some time earlier this year after serving just a few months.

How can this be? Because America systematically under-incarcerates vicious criminals.

Nor is the scandal confined to Blue America. As I discussed here, some Red States are in the vanguard when it comes, effectively, to decriminalizing crime.

Tennessee is among the states identified in my post. Bill Lee, its Republican governor, has promised to empty the states jails. Lee idiotically stated, “We have to be creative and innovative and disruptive and challenge the way we’ve been doing things forever.”

“Forever,” or at least until fairly recently, society has locked up, and for lengthy periods of time, dangerous thugs who repeatedly commit violent crimes. Thugs like the guy who, it appears, killed Clayton Beathard and Paul Trapeni.

But Gov. Bill Lee is too creative to follow this practice. Any old governor can incarcerate dangerous criminals. It takes innovators like Lee to let them roam our streets.

How many more Tennesseans will be victims of violent crime because of jailbreak polices? How many more will die in the name of “creative and innovative and disruptive challenge[s] to the way we’ve been doing things forever”?

One more victim would be too many, and there’s a good chance there will be more than one.

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