While the “Defund the Police” movement has garnered most of the media attention over the past year, another effort to undermine the criminal justice system from within has been even more devastating to the safety of communities throughout the United States. Recognizing the influence of local elected officials like prosecutors and judges, Democratic mega-donors like George Soros have infused these races with cash, helping elect progressive radicals who have failed to prosecute crime, allowed hardened criminals back on the streets, and knowingly neglected to enforce laws. Now, a group of Virginia citizens is fighting back, leading a recall effort against three of those prosecutors whose legal conduct has drawn severe condemnation.
The organization, Virginians for Safe Communities, is specifically targeting Steve Descano of Fairfax County, Buta Biberaj of Loudoun County, and Parisa Dehghani-Tafti of Arlington County. All three prosecutors were backed by Soros and were elected in November of 2019 on a platform of radical changes to our criminal justice system. While they have taken separate approaches to realizing this goal, all have been the subject of public and media scrutiny, including from the liberal press, for their apparent unwillingness to prosecute the perpetrators of heinous crimes.
Descano has pledged to never request cash bail and is actively lobbying the Virginia legislature to eradicate it completely. He and fellow activists contend that the cash bail system – the process by which accused individuals can pay cash to be released from jail until their trial – is racist, and inherently favors the white and wealthy. His solution has been to ban any prosecutor in Fairfax County from “requesting cash bail.” Consequently, the prosecutor must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that an individual is an immediate “flight risk” or “immediate threat” to justify incarceration until the time of trial.
This policy has been adopted in other nearby counties to disastrous results, for example in the case of Angelo Harrod. While awaiting trial, the 29-year-old was under house arrest in Maryland with an ankle monitor. He cut off his monitor, escaped from his home, obtained a handgun and opened fire on two individuals in a parked car. He missed them but struck and killed Michelle Cummings, a Texas mother in town to see her son be inducted into the United States Naval Academy. It was later revealed that Harrod had “eight previous criminal convictions and three pending cases” against him. This was the second time he had removed an ankle monitor and violated the terms of his release. The state prosecution knew he had escaped before, yet refused to detain him until his trial.
All three prosecutors targeted by Virginians for Safe Communities have also dismissed a shockingly high number of criminal cases outright, or have aggressively opposed jail time. The Loudon County Board of Supervisors has publicly criticized Buta Biberaj for dismissing a staggering 491 domestic violence cases out of the 735 that her office has overseen. In Arlington, a man who threw his roommate’s two dogs off a fifth floor balcony, killing both, will not serve jail time for animal cruelty as a result of the plea deal arranged by Parisa Dehghani-Tafti. Instead, he will perform 100 hours of community service and seek counseling.
Perhaps most appallingly, Steve Descano has declined to enforce the mandatory life sentence against a man “for molesting his young relative when she was between the ages of 5 and 10, including… a years-long stretch when the abuse occurred at least weekly.” Though the judge accepted the agreement, he told the victims “Make no mistake…Your government has failed you.”
With Virginia homicides at their highest levels in twenty years and a national crime surge, citizens are demanding accountability. Virginians for Safe Communities said they plan to communicate with 500,000 voters in the coming weeks via mail, text, and digital advertising. According to Sean D. Kennedy, president of the organization, the response to their efforts has been “overwhelming.” He said in response to an inquiry from AMAC Newsline that “we continue to engage the families of law abiding citizens of Fairfax and allies around the country who believe public safety matters and that our communities are not ideological experiments.”
Kennedy hopes this movement will serve as an inflection point for greater awareness of the radicalization of the legal system. While acknowledging that successfully recalling any of the prosecutors will be an uphill battle, Kennedy is resolved that “fighting the good fight is worth it.”
This situation in Northern Virginia also mirrors other struggles playing out elsewhere in the country, as law-abiding citizens and families are growing tired of “Soros Prosecutors” wreaking havoc on their communities by refusing to do their job. While Democrats have dismissed rising crimes rates as a result of the pandemic or “systemic racism,” such explanations fall flat in the face of what is clearly a dereliction of duty by those charged with taking dangerous criminals off the street. Thankfully, groups like Kennedy’s are saying enough is enough and demanding law and order, and providing a path forward to restore greater public safety in the United States.
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