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Emmett And Some County Commissioners Concerned About Judge Rosenthal’s Order

Data compiled by the county indicate more than 900 people were released in a three week period.

The Harris County Commissioners Court discussed the effects of judge Rosenthal's order during the bi-monthly meeting it held on June 27th.
The Harris County Commissioners Court discussed the effects of judge Rosenthal’s order during the bi-monthly meeting it held on June 27th.

A little less than a month after a federal judge ordered Harris County to release misdemeanor defendants who can’t pay bond, 40 of those people are accused of new crimes.

Data compiled by the county’s Office of Budget Management for Judge Ed Emmett and the County Commissioners reveal details about the effects of the order, which is part of the ongoing lawsuit over the county’s bail system.

Lee Rosenthal, Chief District Judge for the Southern District of Texas, issued her order at the end of April, but it went into effect on June 6th.

It mandates that people charged with a misdemeanor must be released without paying a bail bond within 24 hours after their arrest with the requirement that sign an affidavit stating they can’t afford paying a bail bond.

According to Harris County, 978 people were released in a three week period, going from June 6th to June 23rd, and 40 of them allegedly committed crimes after their release.

That is compared to just six repeat offenders among those who did pay bond during the same timeframe.

“The numbers were skewed fairly heavily if you’re out without paying anything. Then, those have seemed to re-offend more often than, than those who are out on a bond,” Emmett noted expressing some concern after the bi-monthly meeting of the Harris County Commissioners Court.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle also voiced his concern about this situation.

The data compiled by the county also show that people who were charged with criminal trespass, criminal mischief, evading arrest, DUIs and DWIs amounted to more than 50 percent of those who were released under the judge’s order.

Additionally, about 80 percent of people released without paying a bail bond from June 6th until June 19th had prior criminal convictions.

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