Push continuing for Harris Co. defendants to have mandatory 10% bond amounts
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – “People want to know what the hell is going on in Houston/Harris County that you have capital murder defendants out on bond. That’s unheard of,” said State Senator John Whitmire.
The revolving door at the Harris County Criminal Courthouse is no secret.
Many current criminal district court judges are notorious for granting multiple felony bonds to repeat violent offenders. Some go on to commit murder.
More than 700 accused killers in Harris County are now wanted fugitives.
“There’s absolutely no reason these killers should be out on the streets, zero, and what’s worse than that they are out committing more crimes,” said Doug Griffith, President of the Houston Police Officers Union.
“I have a life sentence of suffering, because my baby is not here with me,” said Wendy Alvarez mother of 9-year-old Arlene Alvarez.
She and other crime victims want the bail bond board to vote for a mandatory 10% minimum for all defendants posting bond in Harris County.
The board voted no to that last month.
“When you have that 10% minimum, it’s going to deter crime. Not everybody can come up with $10,000 if your bail is $100,000,” said April Aguirre, an Alvarez family member.
Paul Castro’s 17-year-old son, David, was killed July 6th of last year in a road rage shooting.
“He was only out of prison for nine months before he executed my son, and he’s now loose on bond,” said Castro. “The bond was set at $350,000, more than likely the family that runs the bail bonding company accepted probably $7,000. For $7,000, our streets are less safe.”
While all the criminal district court judges FOX 26 has profiled refuse to talk to us, they seem to be paying attention.
“I know six months ago, we would not see extraordinarily high bonds, which is what we are seeing right now,” said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers. “Obviously, there’s some sort of affect that the ongoing series, that we are doing right now, is having.”