AP NEWS

Your Turn: Jan. 27

January 26, 2019

Reform crucialThank you so much for the editorials devoted to problems with the cash bail system in San Antonio and the holding area at Frank D. Wing Municipal Court.I have two dear friends who have spent time in the holding area at the jail simply because they had difficulty raising bail money for nonviolent misdemeanor crimes. My friends’ accounts of their time in holding remind me of descriptions of 19th-century institutions for the insane.My impression is the good people of San Antonio generally have no idea we are putting people through this horrendous ordeal, so I very much appreciate your advocacy on behalf of my friends and others who find themselves in this terrible situation.Katherine ParedesReform will failAs someone who works with crime victims, I’m concerned about the bail reforms being considered this legislative session.Because this is such a popular issue, we have plenty of case studies from other states to learn from. Many of the proposals under debate in Texas have already failed in states like Kentucky, New Mexico and New Jersey. After seeing crime and recidivism rates increase, those states are looking to roll back reforms. Why would we repeat the same failed policies and expect a different outcome?Bail policies must balance three things equally: public safety, victim safety and defendant’s rights. No consideration should trump another, otherwise justice isn’t served.The current debate focuses on the rights of the defendant to the detriment of victim and public safety. A U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling strikes the appropriate balance by requiring a bail hearing within 48 hours, and consideration of victim and public safety and a defendant’s likelihood to reappear for hearings.We agree with Gov. Greg Abbott’s proposal to give judges access to more information as they make these decisions. Texas voters want a criminal justice system that works, not one that allows criminals to sign their name and walk away without accountability.Those policies failed in other states and they will fail in Texas.Roberto Garcia, victims liaison, Texas Alliance for Safe CommunitiesPelosi flashbackJulián Castro is on the road to gather support for his run to be president. He pushes a “Medicare for all” health care system. But when he was asked how that kind of program would be funded, he couldn’t answer. Instead, he said those details would be sorted out later.Really. Now I seem to remember Nancy Pelosi making a similar remark when she was pushing through Obamacare. Her answer was to pass that bill and then read the details later. I hope people will remember that.Of course, Castro’s chances of becoming president are zip/zero.Sabine Maytum, Universal CityTexas indeed ‘red’I was startled when I heard that both of Texas’ U.S. senators voted in Congress not to keep in place the sanctions that Congress had almost unanimously voted on Russia for its involvement or meddling in the 2016 presidential election.President Donald Trump had decided that Russia had suffered long enough for its pro-Trump meddling and has decided to lift those sanctions. Both Cruz and Cornyn voted along party lines in agreement with Trump.I am greatly disappointed that both Texas senators sympathize with the Kremlin. I hope the citizens of Texas notice that the Red Party is solidly aligned with the Red Country.Jesse Ortiz‘Rise and Fall’ reduxSomehow, when reading and listening to the news, I can’t help thinking of “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.”J.S. DouglasThink big againRe: “Devoid of reality, millennial socialists push plan,” Other Views by Rich Lowry, Jan. 20:This column was disappointing. He criticized — nay, sneered at — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ideas without considering they might be a starting point for a plan to build a better world. To quote Robert Browning: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?”During the Middle Ages, some people could really dream big. An architect would design and start building a cathedral that would not be completed in his lifetime or sometimes even in that of his children.We have very little of that kind of vision these days. In our country, the most recent examples are the interstate highway system started after World War II and, perhaps, the moon shot proposed by JFK, though it was achieved in a relatively short period of time.In China, Xi Jinping is working to make his country the world leader in virtually all fields before the middle of this century. I will readily concede the freshman congresswoman’s ideas and timeline need to be refined to make them more practical, but we should not discard them without considering what can and should be accomplished, how to do it and when.If we shy away from everything difficult we will never again achieve great things.Ron PerloffPut life firstThe death of little King Jay has reached the hearts and souls of many people, especially here in San Antonio. How can such a thing happen?This has got me thinking. Since abortion has become so accepted and legal, life is not respected like it should be. I do not always care for what President Donald Trump does or says, but I do admire him for standing up for unborn babies!At this time, I am very upset with the Democratic Party because it refuses to defend the unborn and continues to accept abortion as a woman’s choice. I could not vote for any presidential candidate, especially one who claims to be a Catholic but does not stand up for the unborn.I also believe we as a nation need to get much closer to God. Once again, I must admire Trump for acknowledging God and giving us more religious freedom to express our belief in the need for God in our lives and defend our beliefs.With abortion, suicide, euthanasia and killings so common, I do hope and pray our own Julián Castro will turn the Democratic Party into a defender of life from the womb to the tomb to help make every life more sacred.Regina Boysen

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