About a week ago, authorities responded to a report of children living in New Mexico in filthy conditions, starving, and exposed to physical dangers. What authorities found was even more disturbing: an “extremist Muslim” compound where children were being tortured, brainwashed and trained to kill teachers, law enforcement and others with whom the Islamists didn't agree.
On Monday, Judge Sarah Backus, an elected Democrat, released the five adult men and women responsible for running this operation, on bail. She explained that although she was concerned by “troubling facts” and that these people were "living in a very unconventional way,” prosecutors did not articulate any specific threats to the community, in her opinion. Apparently, Islamic terrorism, intended school shootings, torture and brainwashing of little children, and the suspicious death of a 3-year-old, are not dangerous and are not threats to the community.
Republicans, who generally disagree with Democrats on the dangers of terrorism and radical Islam, were outraged at Backus' decision. “By releasing these suspects without even requiring them to post bail, Judge Backus has put people in danger and created the risk that they could flee and harm other children and communities as well,” said Ryan Cangiolosi, chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico.
Was the judge justified under the law?
New Mexico requires the prosecutor to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant is a danger to the community if the prosecutor wishes to hold a defendant without bond. The prosecutors showed a suspiciously deceased 3-year-old, children being starved and exposed to physical and biological hazards, children being trained in the use of deadly weapons, and children being trained in terrorism and murder. Instead of seeing the accused adults as clearly dangerous to the community, the Democrat Judge simply interpreted this as an alternative lifestyle, calling this "living in a very unconventional way."
As a defense lawyer, I have witnessed people released on bond who did not deserve it, and I have witnessed people who were detained who did not deserve it. But I have never seen someone accused of planning a school massacre released pending trial. The idea that someone can be held without bond for a DUI second offense, but someone else can be released while he is suspected of plotting mass murder, just doesn't sit well.
Pretrial release was wrong in this case. Terrorism is clearly a danger to the community.
It is my opinion that the judge let her politics and an inexplicable political sympathy for the defendants' religion get the best of her. Democrats have been going above and beyond to show their support for Islam and to show a lack of fear of Islamic terrorism. The pretrial release of a suspected terrorist and characterization of an Islamist terrorist training camp as "living in a very unconventional way" is probably the most troubling example of this leftist position that I have ever seen in the United States. This judge has risked the lives of children and risked terrorism attacks with her politically-driven decision. The release and associated risk to the community is wrong and unjustifiable.