JANUARY 08, 2008
Although a county probation department labeled a violent convicted felon unsuitable for release, a California judge granted the man one month of freedom to get his affairs in order and days later he committed murder.
The southern California man (Curtis Harris) with a lengthy criminal record was supposed to serve a prison sentence for his long history of violent, abusive and criminal behavior against his estranged wife. He twice kidnapped and terrorized the woman. In late December he pleaded no contest to false imprisonment and being a felon in possession of a gun during a superior court hearing in Los Angeles County.
His felony criminal record dates back to 1993 when he was convicted of discharging a firearm in public. After serving a 16-month prison sentence he was convicted of three felony counts for possession of drugs, resisting an officer and unlawful possession of a weapon. He went to jail for 32 months.
In the latest case, the L.A. County Probation Department filed a report with the court that said the multiple offender was unsuitable for release yet Superior Court Judge Tia Fisher released him on his own recognizance to tie up loose ends before being sentenced to prison later this month.
Instead, Harris abducted his estranged wife again and murdered her before killing himself with a gun. The public will never know what the judge was thinking when she granted this dangerous thug freedom since she said through a court spokesman that judicial ethics forbid her from commenting.
One California political blog writes that Judge Fisher’s decision was inexplicable and that she undoubtedly bears the blood of an innocent woman. It also claims that this tragic case is part of a more widespread problem of out-of-control judges and the out of touch bureaucrats who occupy too much of the bench in California.
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