HOUSTON - "These are the pictures of more than 100 people who have been killed by defendants released on multiple felony bonds and personal recognizance bonds and or bond forfeitures," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers. "They are every race, every age, every denomination. They range in age from unborn to a grandmother."
We’ve told many of their stories in our on-going series Breaking Bond. Some of their loved ones, like Melanie Infinger, testified during Saturday’s Senate hearing.
"Harris County’s bail system, the very system that promised to protect my daughter, were responsible for her murder," she said.
Ginny McIntyre testified about being followed home and robbed.
"The detective on our case with the Houston Police Department, two separate times, told me they arrest these guys, the guys turn to them, and laugh and say, ‘we’re in Harris County. We will be out on the streets tomorrow.’ They are on the streets committing the same crimes or more violent ones," she said.
So what would Senate Bill do if it becomes law.
"It will eliminate felony PR bonds, which quadrupled since 2018," Kahan said.
The proposed law would also clarify to judges that they do have the discretion to revoke a defendant's bond if they pick up a new criminal charge.
The hearing marked the first time Harris County Commissioners Court or Harris County Justice Administration Department did not testify against the proposed new law.
"The fact that they didn’t testify against it sends a symbol that we are moving in the right direction," said Kahan.