Coronavirus Opportunism

Jason Riley has this column in the WSJ denouncing “coronavirus opportunism on both sides of the aisle.”

Mr. Trump will catch grief for using the coronavirus scare to push a mostly unrelated immigration agenda, but his political opponents are playing similar games. Springing criminals from jails and prisons to protect them from catching the virus is one of many examples, and potentially the most dangerous one. Since when did the well-being of convicts become more important than the safety of society?

NY Mayor Bill de Blasio is prominent among those exploiting the crisis for jailbreak purposes, though he is hardly alone. And now he is shocked, shocked that many of the criminals released commit new crimes.

Mr. de Blasio was also among those first calling for the release of inmates and for less-aggressive policing during the lockdown. In recent weeks, rape, robbery and felony assault are down from last year, but murder, burglary and car thefts have risen. And subway robberies have increased by 54% while ridership is down by nearly 90%, according to the New York Post. The paper reports that at least 50 newly released individuals have already been rearrested, and in some cases set free a second time.

“I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy, and this is what some them have done,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference Monday. Really? A 2018 Justice Department report analyzed recidivism rates among inmates freed in 2005 and concluded that “an estimated 68% of released prisoners were arrested within 3 years, 79% within 6 years, and 83% within 9 years.”

It’s not “unconscionable,” Mr. Mayor. It’s predictable.

This would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.