Dog the Bounty Hunter is once again speaking out against law enforcement reforms in the United States, this time in his home state of Colorado. The jail reform bill currently making headlines in Colorado carries over changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially making them permanent.
Senate Bill 62 has plenty of opponents, with Duane Chapman joining the fight against the bill due to his belief it will be a benefit to criminals. The veteran bounty hunter and current reality TV personality has been a critic of jail reform in the past, especially when it comes to changes to the bond and bail practices. But most of these changes have already been implemented during the pandemic and have had a year to test the waters. So it's a battle at the moment between supporters and critics.
According to Denver ABC 7, the bill prohibits officers from arresting low-level offenders, including some misdemeanor and felony charges, instead issuing them a court summons to find punishment. The other part of the bill restricts the types of bonds that defendants can be offered, removing the cash bonds from the equation and keep people out of jail while awaiting their trial.
For Chapman, this bill is doing nothing but hurting victims of crimes that haven't happened yet. "The only reason they would introduce a bill like this is maybe they haven't been a victim of a crime because that's what it does is really hurt the victims," Chapman said about the bill. He also singled out the fact that auto theft suspects were included under the circumstances in the bill.
"It will cost you more to bond your car out [of the impound lot] than it does under this bill for the defendant to spend to get out of jail because he gets out for free," Chapman said. "Letting them go for free, absolutely free, is not going to deter crime. It's not a deterrent."
Another point that Chapman claims will "clog the court system up" is how defendants can fail to appear in court after receiving their summons up to three times before a judge can allow cash bonds. These criticisms have had an effect on the existing bill to this point, with amendments being proposed to remove auto theft from protections and lower the failed appearances from three to two. Still, this is not enough for Chapman.
"Dropping it from three to two is still two times letting them go for free. As a victim, you want the person to go to jail," Chapman added. "Please, take it from me and over 40 years experience, this bill is not good, especially for the victims."