HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Prior to 2019, most criminal district court judges would revoke a defendant's bond if they got charged with another felony crime. But now we have judges who continuously grant bonds to the same defendants repeatedly.
"In the 34 years I've been doing this, I have never seen a period of time that this many people were committing this many crimes while out on bond," said FOX26 Senior Legal Analyst Chris Tritico. "It's an odd time for us and that's why people are scared and that's why people are angry."
MORE BREAKING BOND COVERAGE
So how did we get here? It's more than just criminal District Court Judges freeing violent offenders from jail by granting them multiple felony bonds.
"You had the Hurricane, then you had the pandemic," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers. "You have about 100,000-plus cases that are waiting to be deposed."
"Our jail in Harris County is completely overcrowded and it has been for a great number of years," Tritico said.
RELATED: Crime victims plead with Harris County leaders for action
Some say judges should hold court at night and on the weekends to clear the backlog. But overworked judges, cops, and prosecutors could mean more overturned cases.
"I think a mediation process in criminal cases that can bring the non-violent cases down rapidly," said Tritico. "It will unclog the system very quickly."
RELATED: Criminal District Court Judges up for re-election face tough crowd at town hall meeting on crime
To date, 171 Harris County residents have died needlessly and that's just what we've been able to document.
"It shouldn't have happened, because the defendant should have been behind bars, and you're seeing more and more elected officials agreeing," Kahan said.