Career criminals? Lock ’em Up!
October 10, 2012 01:02 AM | 1601 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
How does someone who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a 2005 shooting in Savannah wind up on the streets seven years later as a free man — a man who’s now charged in connection with a recent double homicide?

Whatever that answer is, it’s an outrage.

It’s also why Georgia must take a long, hard look at its criminal justice system. Officials must do a better job of using its limited prison space to keep dangerous criminals behind bars.

Like Walter Moon.

Last Wednesday, Savannah-Chatham police announced that Moon, 32, and a woman named Kiawana Williams, also 32, face weapons violations and other charges connected to the Sept. 1 slayings of Michael Biancosino, 30, and Emily Pickels, 21.

Both were shot in Biancosino’s car on Henry Street not far from Ms. Pickels’ apartment.

This newspaper reported that Moon was out on parole when the double slaying occurred. He had been released from prison in April on a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault and other charges stemming from a 2005 triple shooting, according to Georgia Department of Corrections records.

That shooting was the sort of crime that stokes fear in neighborhoods and causes innocent people to be hurt.

Moon, then 24, was convicted for a July 10 drive-by shooting near the intersection of Waters Avenue and East 38th Street. Three people inside a parked vehicle were shot by a hail of bullets. At least 20 shots were fired, according to the police report, and a large amount of cocaine was found at the scene.

Authorities identified Moon as the shooter.

In addition to the 2005 shooting, corrections department records show Moon has been convicted of multiple weapons and drug charges in Chatham County and has served at least two terms in prison.

Make that three terms, if he’s convicted on the latest charges.

The slayings of Mr. Biancosino, who was planning to attend law school, and Ms. Pickels, a tour guide, shocked and saddened many in the community.

They were the quintessential innocent victims. Their deaths raised public outrage — as it should.

Before police arrested and charged Moon and Williams last week, Police Chief Willie Lovett said career criminals were suspected in the homicides.

He was right. Unfortunately, career criminals don’t belong on the streets, preying on the innocent. They belong behind bars.

Had Moon served out his entire 10-year sentence, he wouldn’t be connected to these two murders — and two young people might still be alive.

The deaths of these two Savannahians, whose lives were cut tragically short, should motivate Gov. Nathan Deal, state lawmakers, judges, prosecutors and others to see what can be done to protect the public from career criminals who are released early.

If someone makes a career out of shooting people in Georgia, they should be career inmates.
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