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Northern California officials on Tuesday denounced the criminal justice system after two suspects in a murder case were released while awaiting trial last month, prompting the state’s efforts to once again reform the money bail system. efforts came to the fore.

The suspects, 27-year-old Efrain Anzures, who is charged with murder, and 26-year-old Alfred Castillo, who faces an assistant charged with murder, live in San Jose and were arrested in November after a deadly Halloween shooting .


A Santa Clara County judge ruled that Enzure could be confined to house arrest with an ankle monitor and Castillo was released on his recognizance.

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The decision caused a stir among the local leaders.

San Jose Mayor Sam Licardo tweeted Tuesday, “I appreciate the purpose of bail reform, but releasing a homicide suspect without bail is humiliating. The pendulum has moved a lot, and it’s our neighborhoods that do.” suffer the most crimes.”

The San Jose Police Department also said “the criminal justice system believes they are out of custody without bail,” despite the serious charges against them.

“Yes, you read that right, two murder suspects, accused, out of custody,” the department said in a tweet. “Our community deserves better, the victim’s family deserves [sic] Better. Taking someone’s life is the biggest crime. The system has failed.”

Officials said the firing took place due to a road rage incident when the victim was reported to have collided with several vehicles. Azure is claiming self-defense, saying that he opened fire when the victim was driving recklessly and according to his lawyer.

California’s money bail system was reversed in May when the state’s Supreme Court ruled that defendants could not be indicted merely on the basis of whether they could also be granted bail on charges of serious crimes.

“The common practice of conditioning liberty on whether only an arrested person may grant bail is unconstitutional,” the judges said in a unanimous decision.

The verdict came after San Francisco resident Kenneth Humphrey was arrested in 2017 for stealing a bottle of cologne from a neighbor. He was jailed for more than eight months because he could not pay the $350,000 bail ordered by a judge.

Criminal justice advocates have argued that the money bail system punishes people for being poor. Critics say wealthy suspects can break out of police custody, while those with insufficient financial means remain in prison, sometimes forced to plead guilty to escape.

Law enforcement and tougher-than-crime advocates have long said that eliminating cash bail puts public safety at risk.

Steven Clark, a legal analyst and former Santa Clara County District Attorney, said California judges now need to look at several factors when determining bail, including prior criminal history, underlying facts of the crime, and suspicious relationships with the community.

“The seriousness of the crime is a factor … and I’m sure a prosecutor would argue that a person who is dangerous to the community should not be released,” Clark told Granthshala News. “But you also have to say the flip side that you’ve been accused of a crime you believed innocent, you could have spent years fighting your case and you were found not guilty. Where’s the justice in that?”

San Jose Police Officers Association president Sean Pritchard opposed the new bail rules, saying that Anzure and Castillo’s release put the community at risk.

“This is an absolute assault on the safety of San Jose residents,” he said in a statement sent to Granthshala News.

Pritchard and other police union leaders are blaming the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for policies it sees as enabling criminals, such as California Proposition 47, which provides for theft charges under $950. Downgrades it from felonies to misdemeanors. The voter-approved measure has been blamed by some in the midst of a wave of loot and grab-and-go thefts in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

Several police unions have sponsored a website called ACLU Watch, which is “dedicated to accountability, to fight for the rights of victims. criminals, and expose those who defend the inevitable.”

On Wednesday, the San Jose Police Department said a homicide who was released without bail fled the United States and may be hiding in Mexico.

“That is why the dangerous defendants/suspects should not be released on their own identities,” the police said.