Violent crime continues to explode under the Biden administration as typified by an April 3 shooting spree between rival gangs in Sacramento, California. The carnage left six people dead and 12 wounded only a block from the state capitol. Yet where was the media? As such violence occurs unabated, the stories are quickly reported on, then forgotten for the benefit of the Biden crowd until the next grisly act occurs. Meanwhile, Democrats cater to the predators.
At least five gunmen were involved in the Sacramento incident, among them two brothers who were wounded and arrested. One, identified as Smiley Martin, was released on probation from the California Department of Corrections in February 2022 after serving only four years of a 10-year sentence for punching his girlfriend, dragging her by the hair and brutally beating her with a belt. He had been previously rejected for release in 2021 after prosecutors argued that he had “little regard for human life.”
Martin, 27, is charged with Suspicion of Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, as well as Possession of a Machine Gun. Hours prior to the Sacramento violence, he could be seen on Facebook showing off with a gun that may have been used in the crime. Authorities are hoping to determine whether a stolen handgun discovered at the scene was converted to a fully automatic weapon in the incident where more than 100 shots were fired.
Dandrae Martin, 26, also faces charges, including Being a Convict Carrying a Loaded Gun.
Why was Smiley Martin, a man with a criminal history dating back to 2013, released from prison after serving less than half his sentence? No one should be surprised with the result.
This is the California of Governor Gavin Newsom. For several years, the state has been on a mission to massively reduce its prison population. The coronavirus pandemic alone resulted in 3,500 inmates being released from California prisons by May 2020 to prevent “deadly outbreaks.” But the limits placed upon law enforcement combined with the fact that the vast majority had nowhere to go guaranteed that they would gravitate back to a world of crime.
As career criminals returned to the life they knew best in raising violent crime to record highs, big-city prosecutors refused in many cases to file charges against them or lowered their bail to such a ridiculous level that they were immediately back on the streets again.
For his part, by May 2021, Newsom led the effort to expand a controversial program enacted in 2017 which allowed prison inmates to shorten their sentences by one third instead of one fifth in exchange for good behavior and rehabilitation program participation. This program covered up to 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat offenders such as Smiley Martin, who is a poster boy for why our society needs prisons. Yet this fact was met by the sound of crickets by the media.
Prison spokesman Dana Simas went to great lengths to explain that this was “NOT an early release program,” adding that it would be months or years before any inmates were released as a result. Which begs the question, has Simas heard the news about the Martin brothers in Sacramento?
In 2006, California’s prison population reached a peak of 163,000. Prior to the pandemic, the number had dropped to 117,000. By May 2021, 21,000 more inmates were released. But contrary to pronouncements by Gavin Newsom heralding these developments, California is anything but safe for its citizens. Violent, deadly crimes are now occurring a mere block away from Sacramento’s capitol where insanely pro-criminal legislation is being conceived.
Shortly after the inauguration of Joe Biden, the Los Angeles Times asserted that the new administration would look to California as an “incubator of innovation, premier laboratory of democracy and land of big ideas.” As crime has surged under the watchful eyes of Biden, innovators such as Gavin Newsom only go to show that Democrats at the state level are all too willing to assist when it comes to coddling criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans.
Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News.