State legislature should prioritize public safety

Published 5:47 pm Friday, March 12, 2021

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By PAUL DEMARCO / Guest Columnist

Across the country, crime rates have soared in the nation’s cities.

There have been many reasons cited as to why violence has increased, including the pandemic, civil unrest and efforts to defund and neuter the police.

However, one of the drivers of crime has been the efforts by progressives to reduce requirements for bail for the accused and restricting the ability to keep felons in prison.

There is a nationwide push by progressives to weaken every state’s criminal code and Alabama is no different. During this current legislative session in Alabama there are bills that would reduce sentences for felons, restrict the ability to prosecute some crimes and even allow for judges to give less time in jail to a felon for those that break the terms of their probation.

Unfortunately, lawmakers have not been strong enough in pushing back against this agenda, and even some Republicans have joined these flawed efforts.

The Legislature’s first priority should be ensure the safety of the public and protect the rights of crime victims. This priority should mean giving law enforcement and district attorneys the tools to prevent crime and prosecute those that break the law.

However, it seems like there is currently an effort in the legislature which will result in more felons on the streets at the expense of public safety. There are examples around the country where such legislative efforts have made it more dangerous for the public.

Alabama citizens need to stand with those who have been victimized by criminals and make sure our lawmakers put public safety first.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.