California often is criticized for busting too many parole and probation violators, but the San Francisco Chronicle describes what can happen when a lawbreaker is repeatedly released. Edgar Garcia, 23, a construction worker from Guatemala set to be married next month, was headed out of San Francisco to a job site early Wednesday. That same moment, Charles Burns, 25, a felon free on probation despite several run-ins last year with San Francisco police, was speeding away from a motorcycle officer after a traffic stop. Burns’ fleeing car slammed into Garcia’s, killing the young immigrant instantly.
“People like him shouldn’t be outside — This is what happens when people like him are outside,” said Garcia’s brother-in-law, Juan Nolasco. Garcia is the third person in San Francisco killed in less than a week by suspects with felony records who have been allowed to go free despite recent arrests for guns or other serious charges. Prosecutors had asked to revoke Burns’ probation after a drug arrest in 2005, but he ended up serving six days in jail. “Typically, we go by way of (motions to revoke probation) if we believe we can get more time based on the violation or there is insufficient evidence to prove the case without a reasonable doubt,” said a district attorneys’ spokeswoman. “It’s frustrating when a person deserving of a prison sentence doesn’t go to prison.”