criminal justice system is a matter of life and death | Editorial

We didn’t need another reminder, but we certainly got one.

The fatal shooting of Wicomico County, Md. Deputy First Class Glenn Hilliard last Sunday night as he attempted to apprehend a fugitive tells us, once again, that the men and women who serve us under law enforcement do so with a very real threat to their well-being constantly hanging in the air. The incident is also a stark and sobering example of a criminal justice system that too often endangers the lives and general safety of the law-abiding masses who make up the bulk of our population by allowing dangerous people to continue wandering in society. .

The suspect in that case, Austin Jacob Allen Davidson, was convicted in Baltimore City in 2019 of using a handgun to rob a McDonald’s, by Katie Redefer of the Salisbury Independent. He received a three-year suspended sentence and was granted probation before trial. So basically he got nothing.

Davidson was also wanted in connection with an April assault in Ocean City, Maryland, for which he failed to appear in court, according to Redefer’s report.

We are all in favor of people serving their sentences, rehabilitating their behavior and being allowed to reintegrate into society. Redemption is a beautiful thing and should be cherished. Mistakes and instances of poor judgment do happen, and there needs to be a clear path forward for someone to truly embrace behavior change.

But people must also be held accountable for their actions.

We get too many reports of people being arrested for their sixth, seventh, eighth DUI, or the case of the mother of the 4 year old who unwittingly brought 249 bags of heroin into her Selbyville daycare a few years ago, with the mother on probation.

We understand that the courts are supported. We know that prisons are often full and understaffed. We understood.

But we need dangerous people confined. We need bad behavior to be properly punished and rehabilitated if we hope to function as a society. It is literally a matter of life or death.