In a news release from the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, "Pretrial justice improvements working in New Mexico," it states that the majority of those release pending trial "are not committing new crimes."

While that's good that the majority are not committing new crimes, what strikes me is that some still ARE committing new crimes. The most disturbing statistics were:

"· 95% of felony defendants were not arrested for a violent crime while on pretrial release.

· About one-tenth of one percent of the total number of released defendants were arrested for a first-degree felony – 13 out of the 10,289 felony cases reviewed by researchers.

· Four of five released felony defendants were not arrested for a crime while awaiting trial. Of those who were arrested –1,950 out of 10,289 – misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors and fourth-degree felonies accounted for most of the charged crimes."

According to these statistics: Five percent of felony defendants WERE arrested for a violent crime while on pretrial release; Thirteen WERE arrested for a first-degree felony; and twenty percent WERE arrested for a crime while awaiting trial.

Yes, it's good that the percentages were small. However, the victims of these new crimes, even if they are misdemeanors, are still victims.

What recourse do these victims have in a court system that promotes these crimes continuing to happen by releasing felons from jail pending trial?

The bond system didn't work well, because those with more financial resources or with friends and family with more financial resources could get out of jail quickly on bond, while those with perhaps small violations of the law, remained in jail due to having no one to post bond for them.

But to me, as a bystander, five percent of felons on pretrial release committing a violent crime, 13 people being arrested for first-degree felonies and 20 percent, a high percentage in my opinion, arrested for other violations of the law, should raise red flags to the normal person, who does not want to become the victim of these additional crimes.

Whatever happened to consequences for one's behavior? Does the person, "presumed innocent," who is released, face enhanced sentences on top of what the original charge was, if found guilty by a judge and/or jury? I hope so.

I know that some crooks and crimes are just stupid; but some seem well prepared and planned. I've always thought that if these "smarter" criminals could put their brains to beneficial use, how wonderful our world could be.

It seems to me that some of the programs being instituted in detention centers, such as the RISE Program and the Stepping Up Program, offer help to those incarcerated for whatever crime they commit and give hope for those who might have become victims.

Yes, Evil lives in our world and like "Faust," one can sell one's soul to the Devil for knowledge and power. But is it worth it in the long run? I guess the fear of Hell doesn't reside in many souls these days. We must all pray that God comes back into the lives of those whom Satan has led astray.

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