How WA Corrections Data System Lost Track Of Cop Killer


Seattle-area cop killer Maurice Clemmons walked out of jail after 10 p.m. on Nov. 23 with $3.39 in his pocket and a brewing sense of injustice, says the Seattle Times. Clemmons had posted bail on felony assault and sex-crime charges, and he was supposed to report to a state corrections field office within 24 hours. Instead, he dropped off the agency’s radar. The state didn’t even know Clemmons was out of jail until it was too late.

Six days after making bail, he killed four police officers. In those six days, he benefited from a critical lapse in state oversight. A review of records obtained by the Times under a public-disclosure request shows that Clemmons’ community-corrections officer, who was new to the case, lost track of him. The Pierce County Jail didn’t tell him Clemmons had been released. An internal state computer system set up to alert corrections officers when offenders under their watch get into trouble doesn’t track releases from county jails.

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