(JustPatriots.com)- Despite pleas from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office that he “should not be released as he poses a significant, unreasonable risk of safety to the community,” twenty-seven-year-old Smiley Martin was released from prison in February after serving less than half of a ten-year sentence for punching and brutally whipping his girlfriend with a belt when he found her hiding in the closet.
A few weeks later, he and his brother, twenty-six-year-old Dandrae Martin, were accused of taking part in a gang gunfight in downtown Sacramento on April 3, leaving six people dead and a dozen more wounded.
Martin was released from prison early in February after receiving 508 days of credit for time served in the Sacramento County Jail and additional post-sentencing credits under Proposition 57, a rule established by California voters in 2016 to allow “nonviolent” convicts to reduce their sentences.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones explained that the tragedy is simply the latest example of what occurs when society fails to punish habitual violent offenders. He further commented that past behavior is a predictor of future behavior, and violent individuals will continue to be violent after they leave prison. Unless the state of California and the rest of the nation alter the way we treat criminals, this pattern will continue.
Smiley Martin has a long criminal record. He was detained in January 2013 for having a rifle and two fully loaded 25-round magazines, which he attempted to throw away as police approached him. In that case, a judge sentenced him to probation and county prison.
Martin and three other suspects entered a Walmart in November 2013 and looted the store of $2,800 in electronics. He was sentenced to two years in jail after an inquiry revealed his involvement in two other crimes that month.
In November of 2016, Martin provided police with a false identity and attempted to run when they informed him that he would be detained. Six months later, he assaulted his girlfriend, whom the district attorney claims he urged to work as a prostitute.
When it comes to early prison release, Martin is no exception, according to Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard. More than 1,300 of nearly 4,100 offenders sentenced in Sacramento that freed between January 2019 and May 2021 served less than half of their sentence.
Meanwhile, homicides have increased during the same period. According to Sacramento Police Department records, there were 55 murders in 2021, a roughly 31% rise over 2020. And according to a preliminary examination of statistics by the Public Policy Institute of California, murders increased by 17% in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco.
The lesson? Arrest criminals or arrest your state’s future.