The Boston Globe editorial page has really outdone itself this week.
In a column addressing the recent news that the Massachusetts Bail Fund had paid bail to release a man who was twice convicted of rape and then promptly went out and allegedly committed another violent sexual assault, the Globe argues that it was the judge's fault for allowing bail in the first place.
Maybe so, and the judge should be admonished. But by making this argument, the Globe is forgiving the Massachusetts Bail Fund for exploiting this error and literally facilitating the sexual assault of an innocent victim.
This comes just a day before that Boston's local FOX affiliate reports that a high-profile level-three sex offender was released thanks to the bail fund's fronting of $30,000 on his behalf. To make matters more abhorrent, one of this perpetrator's victims was a 13 year old girl to whom he exposed himself.
In defense of its argument, the editorial writers claim that too much focus is being placed on the 7% of those released on bail who commit what they called "new crimes" and not enough on the injustice of the bail system.
This is an incredibly weak stance. For one, the paper implies that 7% is an insignificant price to pay. But in terms of public safety, that's ludicrous. Would they make the argument if, say, it had been reported that only 7% of perpetrators of rape were convicted? Would they defend the TSA airport screeners if only 7% of terrorists boarded aircraft and killed innocent civilians? Moreover, to call a perpetrator's third rape a "new crime" is grotesque.
The Globe's argument is essentially that we are focusing too much on the victims--those innocent people whose lives have been undone by criminals, often in violent ways--and not enough on the fact that those arrested sometimes lose their jobs or their apartments. It cannot be emphasized enough that the Bail Fund's goal is to free everyone being held, regardless of the depravity of the crime. It's an absurd, dangerous, and immoral mission.
The editorial is an affront to those who have suffered at the hands of the 7%, especially the woman who was allegedly raped by twice-convicted rapist Shawn McClinton. Let's hope that the next member of that 7% isn't a member of your family, or mine.