The Long Step Back for Law and Order

Troy Pine lay bleeding on the sidewalk outside the neon-lit Nara Lounge as sirens drew near. His assailant, Joel Francisco, had recently sprung from prison on the wings of a new crime reform bill. Now he was on the run for stabbing the 46-year-old carpenter.

Before his latest lockup, Francisco was an Almighty Latin Kings leader. He received life in prison for a drug offense in 2005. Francisco had also shot a man “execution style” for “disrespecting” his gang affiliation and pled no contest in 1997. Upon his arrest for the drug offense years later, he attempted to bribe officers with $200,000 for his release.

Had Francisco known a jailbreak bill was around the corner, he might have stayed the offer.

Within a few months of his early release in 2019, Francisco committed a series of probation violations and crimes, was charged in an alleged Latin King drug trafficking conspiracy and stabbed Pine on October 2, 2019.

Pine succumbed to his wounds on the night Francisco attacked him. “Some criminals deserve to spend their lives incarcerated,” said Commander Thomas Verdi, the Providence Police Department’s deputy chief. “Joel is one.”

Read the rest in Newsweek.

About Pedro Gonzalez

Pedro Gonzalez is a senior writer at American Greatness and a Mount Vernon Fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He publishes the weekly Contra newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @emeriticus.

Photo: Fanatic Studio/Gary Waters/Science Photo Library

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