Dispatch op-ed documents how our "justice" system puts criminals who use guns back on street
Recently, Columbus Dispatch reporter Theodore Decker informed readers of a problem Buckeye Firearms Association has long-been warning about: criminals who have previously committed crimes with guns are being released back into society, only to strike again in spite of the gun control laws that were passed to "protect" us.
From the article:
Khalil Swayne, 20, the 103rd homicide victim of 2019, was a high school student-athlete who graduated from Eastmoor Academy in 2017.
Amadi Bakari, 19, the 103rd and last killing of 2018, was a student-athlete who graduated from West High School in 2017.
The similarities between the 103rd homicides of 2019 and 2018 don’t end with the victims’ sports careers in high school.
Another parallel is more illuminating.
Police eventually charged a young man with Bakari’s murder and with possession of a weapon under disability, a charge that alleged he had run afoul of gun laws prior to the fatal shooting.
Like the suspect in Bakari’s killing, though, [Swayne's accused killer, Carlos M. Favours Jr., 21] also is charged with possession of a weapon under disability. He, too, prosecutors say, was prohibited from possessing a gun when Swayne died.
Got that? Both accused murders were arrested for violating gun control laws. Both were released back into society and broke more gun control laws.
These types of justice system failures are all too common. Back in 2007, Buckeye Firearms Association documented a similar pattern of systematic failure in Cleveland, after the Cleveland Municipal Court has launched a program that they thought would help clear up some 25,000 outstanding warrants and get guns out of criminal hands. The scheme called for known, wanted criminals to walk into a police station, turn in a gun, and walk out without posting bail for their outstanding warrants.
Think that sounds crazy? Then consider the case of Edward Lesure, one of those Cleveland criminals the justice system is supposed to be "protecting" us from.
So how did the Bakari and Swayne's killers get back on the street?
Again, from the Columbus Dispatch:
[C]ourt records show that at the time Bakari was killed, the suspect was out on bond while awaiting trial in a nonfatal shooting. He had been released after a relative paid 10% of his $50,000 bail.
As for Swayne's accused killer?
Favours faced gun charges two years ago, after Whitehall police officers responding to a fight saw him hide something in the waistband of his pants. Favours jumped into the back seat of a car, which police approached and searched. They noticed that a rear seat with access to the trunk was ajar and found a .380-caliber handgun stashed behind the seat.
Eventually, Favours pleaded guilty to the weapons charge in connection to that case. Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Kimberly Cocroft spared him jail time and instead put him on two years of probation.
About three months after sentencing, he began violating the terms of his probation, most notably by engaging in a high-speed pursuit with State Highway Patrol troopers.
On Dec. 18, 2018, Cocroft ordered Favours to serve 90 days of house arrest and abide by other probation conditions for leading troopers on the chase.
Cases like these are prime examples of why law-abiding gun owners are so tired of politicians who seek to pass new gun control laws that only the law-abiding will follow, and which the justice system isn't even likely to enforce against the criminals who break them.
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.