Determined Judges Could Stop the No Cash Bail Madness

This is an open letter to District Court Judges in Harris County, Texas. But,
honestly, it could apply to any number of judges across the country.

Citizens from all walks of life are begging you to close the revolving door at the courthouse! In your zeal to embrace the idea of doing away with cash bail you judges are granting bond to too many dangerous criminals.

Some are charged with murder and have extensive violent backgrounds, yet you let them walk free on bail while awaiting trial. What are you thinking? You put the public at serious risk, especially the witnesses who prosecutors convinced to testify against these criminals.

Courtesy Houston Crime
They Keep Track of Local Judge’s Bail Bond Mistakes

Are you Houston judges aware that your local Crime Stoppers calculates that over the last couple of years 97 citizens have been murdered or killed by repeat offenders you allowed to roam free? Do you care that one man facing 5 felony charges got to post bail and then promptly strangled his ex-girlfriend to death? 11 others killed by bonded-out suspects died in domestic abuse situations, including three unborn children. Yet another victim was a veteran Houston police sergeant. The oldest fatality was an 80-year-old woman who was stabbed to death.

Judge, the state law does not demand that you offer these repeat offenders a way around pre-trial detention so why do you do it? If you think you are somehow protecting the minority community against “systemic racism” think again. Most of the citizens murdered by your released suspects were Black or Hispanic.

Houston’s Police Chief, Art Acevedo, recently said, “Our justice system is fast becoming a laughingstock. The criminals look at our officers and say, ‘I’ll be out in a matter of hours.’”

Well, I bet citizens of Houston aren’t laughing, your honor. I also bet these bonded out criminal suspects don’t leave the courthouse and go into your neighborhood. No, they go back to neighborhoods you probably warn your children not to drive through.

Official photo from the Houston Police Department
Houston Police Chief Acevedo

Here’s another quote from Chief Acevedo. This one is about the recent 44% increase in Harris County’s murder rate.

“A big part is activist judges and activist District Attorneys who don’t understand that criminal justice has to be fair, timely and certain. And it has to come from a place of what’s best for the victim.” Amen to that.

Yes, there is a nationwide “progressive” push for bail reform these days. Activists believe criminal suspects (especially minorities) have been treated unfairly, left to languish in pre-trial lockup simply because they can’t afford bail. I can sympathize, especially since COVID-19 made jails and prisons so dangerous. And I understand that your court has been closed for the better part of a year. But let’s be honest, your docket was backlogged long before the pandemic hit and there’s no excuse to compromise public safety while everything gets sorted out.

Bail reform makes sense if it is applied to newcomer misdemeanor defendants or non-violent suspects. But it is sheer stupidity to bond out chronic career criminals who make a living victimizing innocent citizens. You recognize them, Judge. They come through your courtroom every day.

No Automatic Get-Out-of-Jail-Free For Violent Offenders, Please

This no-bail pandemic has wreaked havoc in several states from California, New Jersey and Vermont to Alaska, and Georgia. And innocents, like Houston’s 97 dead, pay the price.

In New York all hell broke loose after lawmakers gave in to the zero-bail fever. The resulting flood of career criminals being automatically released after arrest got so bad the legislature had to go back and reform its bail reform law. Illinois’ governor didn’t get the message. He just signed a bill eliminating all cash bail by 2023.

We have a habit of over-correcting problems in this country, allowing the pendulum to swing way too far to one side or the other. I think you will agree, Judge, that giving in to outside pressure and releasing perps you know are violent is no way to run a justice system.

You judges need to get a backbone and stand up for what’s right. Take back your power, demand more court funding if you need it and act in ways that keep the public safe.

Citizens are listening for your voice to be added to this national debate. They are watching you – and your re-election efforts – very closely.

UPDATE: Derrick Hays, 35, was allowed out on bond in November 2020. On March 2, 2021 Hayes was charged with murdering two of his relatives – 71-year-old Carmen Hayes and 15-year-old Alexander Bryce. This brings Houston’s shameful total of innocent deaths to 99.



  1. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Christahall680 writes:

    Yes, we have a multi-tiered justice system. However, the color of the skin is not the issue. It’s how much green is in your bank account. Notice why the rich never go to jail? Because they can buy their way out. Lawyers, judges re-election campaigns, police association donations, district attorney re-election campaigns…on and on. Only poor people go to jail in this country, with very few exceptions. If you’re rich and try to play the IRS, then you’ll go to jail. Any other crime, nah. So if we’re talking justice reform, let’s start there.

  2. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Gus Roberts writes:

    It’s a great time to become a criminal in this country. Our leaders have gone so far off the reservation, I think that they think this is El Salvador.

  3. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Enchantress writes:

    I support bail reform for nonviolent crimes, non sex crimes, petty crimes, and so-called “victimless” crimes (such as locking up drug users for small amount possession. NOTE – I said users, not dealers).
    End of story.
    Violent criminals, sex offenders, drug traffickers and big dealers, etc should still be subject to bail. Period.

  4. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:44 am

    MYCAEL101 writes:

    Conservative “Activist Judges” are my heroes.
    I can’t stop laughing every time an “Activist Judge” from Texas blocks the Biden administration.
    What goes around, comes around.

  5. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Avery Simpson writes:

    Why is Biden trying to make our country so dangerous for American citizens to live. Open borders , no bail—- the only one who benefits are THE BAD PEOPLE!

    • Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:45 am

      Diane Dimond replies to Avery Simpson:

      The situation in Houston with violent defendants being released on bond has been going on for years – way before we had a President Biden. The push to do away with cash bail started years ago and the drumbeat for change has gotten louder ever since. It is your local officials who allow this to start/continue, not politicians in Washington. ~ DD

  6. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Christine Keatley writes:

    Yet the man who threw his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk can not even post bail while waiting for trial. A hard working man with no previous criminal record. If this treatment was fair It might be understandable but John Earle Sullivan walks free. John E Sullivan violated his parole and also entered the Capitol building.
    Justice is supposed to be blind to race, religion, politics, gender etc. What is happening in this country!? The double standard and hypocrisy will only be tolerated for so long by the free thinking, American people. God help us all when Americans reach their limit.

  7. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Shoshi B writes:

    Why is it racist to call a criminal a criminal?

    • Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:45 am

      Joe Ponce replies to Shoshi B:

      It isn’t.

      • Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 8:46 am

        Christine Keatley replies to Joe Ponce:

        Agreed, justice is supposed to be blind to those things. Criminal behavior should not be tolerated regardless of race, color, religion or political affiliation.

  8. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 9:12 am

    flyclt writes:

    No-cash-bail, is just the worst idea lately! Letting criminals back on the streets immediately to continue what they do best, CRIME! Stop the lunacy! Do the crime, do the time—all of it!

  9. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 9:14 am

    Joe Dean writes:

    “If you think you are somehow protecting the minority community against “systemic racism”
    Nope. That’s not it. Its radical left leaning judges letting the “discriminated against” “lumpenproletariat” aka criminal “class” go free. Criminals are apparently criminals because of you and me, not their own fault. Apparently the judges also would say that society “sees” them as criminals. Go figure. And according to Marx, the lumpenproletariat are also a recruitable team for Marxist ideals despite all psychological evidence that they do as they like and would even probably kill each other when they are not banding together. Study Marx and you will see where the sick evil lazy ideas of Marxist “justice” spring from.

  10. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 9:14 am

    laelhasty writes:

    Many judges are no longer following the Constitution. They are cowering and pandering to the left and taking our laws out of context. My father, who was a Chief Justice, would be rolling over in his grave now. Criminals need to be locked up and not out walking free. Our decaying society is a sad fact. There no longer is any common sense in our country

  11. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 9:18 am

    cotraveler writes:

    The problem is the judiciary is as politicized as the weak legislators that write the law … many are spineless men and women hiding behind the Black Dress — so pathetic. The only thing that will change this is when their own asses succumb to the monsters they release.

  12. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 9:19 am

    david writes:


    • Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 9:19 am

      Diane replies to David:

      Very interesting comment. I notice that the local Houston newspaper (the Chronicle) barely covers this topic. And they surely don’t do a deep dive into which judges do what as you suggest. Maybe letters to the editor would help? ~DD

  13. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Joe Dean writes:

    Criminal cases must be allowed against justices and lawyers that are corrupt. That will solve the problem quickly enough when they see their actions have consequences. They are not above the President of the United States.

  14. Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Gerald A. Madrid writes:

    Your op-ed “Determined Judges could stop no-cash bail madness” appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on March 6, 2021. However, nowhere in the piece did you mention the state of New Mexico.
    What is happening in Houston, Texas is exactly how it works in my home state, N.M. Bail Reform was implemented on July, 1, 2017 and since then, crime has been the number one issue facing this state. There is no mistake that continuously rewarding offenders with a free pass ( release on own recognizance ) simply encourages and emboldens those committing the crimes. We have people out of jail here from shoplifting to murder on nothing but a promise to appear in court. Many of them do not appear in court and are right back doing what got them arrested in the first place.
    The rules of criminal procedure were changed here that makes ROR the preferred method of release but still gives judges the discretion to set a secured bail bond, but they refuse to.
    I have been a bail bond agent for 37 years and my bonds ( if i ever get one) are secured and backed by cash. Therefore, anyone out on bond with me will comply with the court’s conditions of release and most importantly will appear in court.
    So, the problem isn’t the posting of a bond, the problem in Houston and other places is that judges are setting meaningless and extremely low bonds that play right into the offender’s hands.
    The US and most state constitutions say bail by sufficient sureties is the preferred way, no mention of ROR or release to a pretrial services program, yet the constitution isn’t followed.
    Violent crime and murder are on the rise in N.M and in many places around the country, yet my state’s political leaders are focusing on legalizing pot and promoting abortions. There are no bills that i know of in my state’s legislature and no changes to rules of criminal procedures, so the “no cash -bail madness” clearly is going to continue.

    Gerald A. Madrid

    • Diane Dimond on March 8, 2021 at 2:20 pm

      Diane replies to Gerald Madrid:

      Thanks so much for writing! It is great to hear from someone who is actually an integral part of the system.
      You write >> “the problem in Houston and other places is that judges are setting meaningless and extremely low bonds that play right into the offender’s hands.”>>
      EXACTLY! And since its happening all across the nation I can’t help but wonder what the motive is behind these judge’s actions? I see Judges as being the lynchpin of the justice system to a.) decide important points of law and b.) to keep the public safe from criminals. I know there are judges in some states who, confronted by ill conceived no-bail or low-bail laws, ignore them and keep violent offenders in custody. I wish more of them did that!

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