Judge Sets $25k Bail for South Carolina Mall Shooting Suspect and Lets Him Go Back to Work

Judge Sets $25k Bail for South Carolina Mall Shooting Suspect and Lets Him Go Back to Work
Ahn Young-joon

A suspect in the South Carolina mall shooting that left 14 people wounded was arrested on Sunday, according to multiple news outlets. That’s the good news. The bad news is that his bond has been set at a ridiculous $25,000. And — get this — he can go to work if he wears an ankle bracelet. Seriously.

CBS News writes:

Columbia Police Chief W.H. “Skip” Holbrook said 22-year-old Jewayne M. Price, who was one of three people initially detained by law enforcement as a person of interest, remains in police custody. He has been charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, the Columbia Police Department said.

The shooting occurred at Columbiana Centre, and at least three suspects were believed to have brandished weapons. Victims ranged from 15 years old to 73 years old. “We don’t believe this was random,” Holbrook said. “We believe they knew each other and something led to the gunfire.”

The suspect in the mall shooting is named Jewayne Price. Warning: the following link leads to a webpage that contains a coarse image. A Facebook profile that is still active as of this writing bears his name and lists his hometown as Columbiana, S.C. (where the shooting took place). In his profile picture, he appears to be giving the camera the middle finger. I’m guessing the account will be inactive by the time you read this, because he’ll probably put on his ankle bracelet, run home, and immediately erase all his social media.

Daily Mail released his mugshot:

Meanwhile, if you can believe it, less than 24 hours later another mass shooting occurred in South Carolina. Nine people were reportedly shot, though there are no reports of fatalities. This shooting occurred at a restaurant in a rural area approximately 50 miles northwest of Savannah.

What is going on here? It must be ghost guns, according to Joe Biden. For Chuck Schumer, it’s just another opportunity to push billion-dollar gun control bills.

Economist Malcolm Gladwell argues that the increase in school shootings is because of a lowering threshold of what’s acceptable. The National Review’s David French summed up Gladwell’s theory thusly.

At the risk of oversimplifying a complex argument, essentially he argues that each mass shooting lowers the threshold for the next. He argues, we are in the midst of a slow-motion “riot” of mass shootings, with the Columbine shooting in many ways the key triggering event.

That argument has merit and should be considered. We have seen such a rash of violence across the country in the last two years that it’s almost becoming “normalized.” We’ve become numb to the news.

However, Gladwell’s article was written in 2015, and a lot has changed since then.  What’s behind the current explosion of violence is more easily explainable: We are letting out dangerous criminals in ever-increasing numbers, and in almost every awful case we’ve read about recently, the perp is a recently-released or paroled career criminal with a long, violent rap sheet. The Waukesha Christmas parade massacre. Last week’s mass casualty shooting on a Brooklyn subway train. The woman who was shoved to her death beneath an oncoming subway car. The unprovoked fatal beating of a Los Angeles nurse at a bus stop. The home invasion murder of LA philanthropist Jacqueline Avant. The senseless fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old woman working alone in a store in the trendy Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.

The list goes on. And on. What are the similarities between every one of these heinous crimes? One, they were all fairly recent, within the last year or so.  Two, in each instance, the perpetrator was found to be on parole, released early from prison or jail, had a lengthy criminal history, and/or had an active arrest warrant out for them. In other words, none of these criminals should have been out on the streets.

We don’t know much yet about the criminal histories of the shooters in the weekend’s two mass shootings in South Carolina.  But with the judge releasing the suspect on only $25,000 and sentencing him to mere house arrest, it’s certainly hard not to come to the conclusion that our justice system is broken.

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