Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the heads of the Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) and Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to examine their procedures after several parolees allegedly committed violent crimes in Dallas County.
“In recent months, two prisoners who were released on parole went on to commit brutal murders while wearing ankle monitors as a condition of their parole,” Abbott wrote to BPP chairman David Gutiérrez and TDCJ director Bryan Collier.
Abbott specifically highlighted parolee Nestor Hernandez, who has been charged with killing two at Dallas Methodist Hospital, and Zeric Jackson, who allegedly killed someone at his Lake Highlands home while on parole.
“In neither case were ankle monitors an effective deterrent to the heinous crimes they committed,” Abbott continued. “Although nothing can be done to bring back these victims, Texas must protect Texas residents from similar acts.”
Because the two “agencies are responsible for deciding which inmates to release on parole (BPP) and then supervising those who have been released from prison (TDCJ),” Abbott ordered that the “agencies must investigate any lapses that occurred.”
Furthermore, the organizations must “prepare any legislative or administrative recommendations based on the lessons learned and present a joint report to the Office of the Governor” by January 4, 2023.
Although not mentioned in Abbott’s letters, the repeated incidents involving parolees have increased concern regarding Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot’s role in allowing alleged violent criminals to receive parole.
While the decision is ultimately up to the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the relevant district attorney and other “trial officials” are contacted by the BPP to “solicit their comments regarding the individual’s release.”
Therefore, in both cases referred to by Abbott, Creuzot would have had the opportunity to oppose any parole based on prior criminal actions or other factors. However, Creuzot has refused to answer questions about whether his office participated in the hearings, as reported by The Dallas Express.
During Creuzot’s tenure as district attorney, crime has markedly increased in Dallas, with several thousand more reports of violent and property crimes now than before his inauguration in 2019, according to data retrieved from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
His policy and track record have inspired the moniker “Let-’em-Go” Creuzot from his political challengers. Despite underperforming other Democrats in the recent elections, Creuzot was successful in his bid for another term, having received significant funding from left-wing mega-donor George Soros.
Recently, Creuzot rescinded his controversial theft-amnesty policy after considerable pushback from “the people of Dallas County and our partner police agencies,” as reported by The Dallas Express.