Our under-incarceration problem, Maryland/Delaware edition

America has an under-incarceration problem. Too many people whose history of criminality shows they should be in jail are on our streets committing crimes, including heinous ones. I’ve written about this here, here, here, and elsewhere.

Today’s news brings more evidence of the problem. Radee L. Prince killed three co-workers and wounded two others at his workplace in northern Maryland and then drove to Delaware where he shot a sixth victim. Police apprehended him early this evening after a manhunt.

The shootings occurred only hours ago, and Prince’s full criminal record has not yet been reported. However, he has a lengthy criminal history in both Maryland and Delaware, according to court records and law enforcement officials.

Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy says that in Delaware alone, Prince has a total of 42 arrests, including 15 convictions for felonies and several for misdemeanors. That’s quite a record for a 37 year-old.

Prince has also had trouble with the law in Maryland. For example, in 2015 he was pulled over for driving with his front headlight out, and became “extremely loud and aggressive,” according to court records. Police found a pistol in the card, and Prince was charged with multiple handgun violations. However, prosecutors dropped these charges three months later.

Earlier this year, Prince was fired from a job in Maryland for punching a co-worker and threatening other employees. As far as I can tell, he was not prosecuted for this, and a judge declined to issue a “peace order” when another co-worker applied for one.

We don’t know yet whether Prince has committed drug offenses. Reportedly, however, he has been ordered in recent years to undergo counseling for drug abuse.

I probably will have more to say about Prince as additional information about his history becomes available. But even with what we now know, it seems almost certain that, in a properly functioning criminal justice system, this 15-time loser with a recent history of violence against co-workers would have been behind bars when the day began, and lives would have been spared.

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