A couple years back Judge Lina Hidalgo bragged about championing "bond reform."
The results have been devastating.
We are now up to 150 Harris County residents who lost their lives because of the revolving door at the criminal district courthouse. Two-thirds of those killings happened in 2020 and this year.
"For someone who just technically became an adult in the legal sense has been a very, very busy guy," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.
According to his criminal history, 18-year-old Richard Smith was busy allegedly robbing and shooting people.
"He’s on bond in less than a year for at least five charges, all of them violent related," Kahan said.
While on juvenile probation, Smith was charged with aggravated robbery in January of last year. 262nd Criminal District Judge Lori Chambers Gray grants him a $5,000 bond.
As Smith keeps picking up more violent criminal charges, Judge Gray keeps granting him bond. Then his alleged crime spree turned deadly on January 3.
"He went on this shooting spree from Hell," Kahan said.
Within about a 90 minute period, police say Smith shot and wounded a man during a vehicle crash.
An hour later, he’s accused of shooting another man in the 7100 block of Knox Street.
30 minutes later, police say Smith shot three men at 8015 Depriest Street.
53-year-old Daniel Hosea later died at the hospital.
Again, this bond reform nonsense was one of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo's first priorities when she took office a few years back.
County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who championed bail reform in her 2018 platform, said the settlement addressed a longstanding and harmful practice, citing Martin Luther King Jr.'s desire more than a half-century ago that people should be judged "not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
"It's an incredibly significant day to make a decision on one of the key civil rights issues of our time," Hidalgo said.
The 3-2 vote split along party lines, with Republican Commissioners Jack Cagle and Steve Radack voting against the measure.