Viewpoint: Who should stay in jail?

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – 2010 came to a tragic end with the deaths of two Georgia law enforcement officers.

Dougherty County Police Lt. Cliff Rouse and Georgia State Trooper Chadwick LeCroy were both gunned down by men with criminal histories.

Lt. Rouse was killed by a man who previously pled guilty to burglary, got first offender status and five years probation.

Trooper LeCroy was killed by a longtime criminal who'd been in and out of jail more than a dozen times.

We realize that not all criminals can be kept in jail. Overcrowding is a real problem, especially in tough budget times.

The judge in the Atlanta case said there is no crystal ball to predict what a defendant will do when released from jail.

But the Atlanta gunman had been arrested 19 times, and that judge didn't need a crystal ball to know that he would continue on a path of crime.

We hope these two killings will give judges reason to pause and seriously consider the risks of giving criminals chance after chance to abide by the law.

It's imperative to do all that can be done to protect the people who protect us, the law enforcement officers of Georgia.

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