Moses Lake Murder Suspect One of Prisoners Let Out Too Early
The man accused of fatally shooting a Moses Lake teen in May was one of a number of Washington state inmates who was wrongly released early from the prison system.
According to Department of Corrections authorities, 26-year-old Jeremiah Smith of Spokane is charged with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Caesar Medina May 26th.
According to the Columbia Basin Herald, Smith was one of about 3,000 various level offenders released by mistake due to a computer glitch in the state prison system. He was released about two weeks prior to the incident happening, and was let out three months early.
According to the Herald:
"The problem dates back to July 2002 when a state Supreme Court ruling required the DOC (Department of Corrections) to apply ‘good time’ credits earned in county jail to state prison sentences. The department changed its sentence computation coding to comply with the ruling; however the programming fix contained an inaccurate sequencing that over credited good time for those offenders with sentencing enhancements,” stated the Governor’s Office in a news release."
A number of days ago, on the former Newstalk 870 program Meet in the Middle, GOP Rep. Larry Haler of Richland said Governor Inslee had numerous warnings given to him about such computer and other issues facing the prisoner release system, but apparently little was done about it, say critics.
The state says Inslee has now hired two retired federal prosecutors to look into why the issue hasn't been fixed after 13 years.
Now, there's now way of proving Smith's early release led to the murder incident, but critics say by releasing prisoners ahead of time in some cases has not allowed for final reviews of their behavior and other factors that figure into their release into the civilian population.