Imagine for a moment that you are the girlfriend of Aubrey Taylor, a Texas man with eight prior felony convictions, including violent offenses. You’ve been held hostage, beaten, choked, and terrorized by Taylor. Then, you feel a wave of relief when Taylor is arrested on kidnapping and assault charges. Finally, you have the chance to get your life back in order. Finally, you don’t have to live in fear of the man who tormented you. Then you get horrible news. Aubrey Taylor has been released on a two-dollar bond, one dollar for your kidnapping and one dollar for your assault. In that moment, how would you be feeling as the girlfriend who got Taylor put in jail in the first place?
This is no fictional anecdote. This is a case that actually happened in Harris County, Texas mere months ago. Judge Josh Hill gave the extremely low bond as a political protest of a new law preventing judges from releasing violent criminals without having to pay cash bonds. While Judge Hill might have thought that he found a clever way to make a statement, Aubrey Taylor’s victim was not amused. Five days after being released, Taylor was arrested once again for kidnapping and assaulting the same girlfriend, even though house arrest was a stipulation of his two-dollar bond.
No victim should have to endure the pain inflicted by Aubrey Taylor or Judge Josh Hill. Violent criminals should not be released without consequence just to satisfy a grotesque political agenda. Our criminal justice system should be built to uphold the law, punish wrongdoers, protect victims, and safeguard the community. Every decision made by judges should be filtered through those important tests. The politicization of criminal justice is slowly decaying our cities and towns. We must do something about this problem before it gets out of control. Losers like Aubrey Taylor need to know that they do not get to make their own rules. Victims like Taylor’s girlfriend need to know that if they are brave enough to stand up to their abusers, the criminal justice system will always protect the innocent.