The murder of Jean and Jim Smith by a repeat juvenile offender in Dale City earlier this week has Jim Riley at Virginia Virtucon wondering how a known public safety threat like this was free to commit this crime. Police seem to have done a good job in quickly identifying suspects in this case and bringing them to justice, but somehow the justice system seemed to fail us, and in particular the Smith Family.
History of burglaries? Several criminal convictions? There is just one question that NEEDS to be asked and answered here — why was Xavier Pinckney free to murder Jean and Jim Smith?
It sounds as if the police were doing their job with regard to this suspect, having arrested him on multiple occasions. That leaves just a few possibilities:
1. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s juvenile justice system is woefully inadequate and doesn’t provide for tougher sentencing for repeat offenders like Pinckney.
2. The judges in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (or General District Court if his cases were handed up to them) were too lenient with Pinckney when they sentenced him for his prior convictions.
3. The Commonwealth’s Attorney office, despite winning convictions of Pinckney, didn’t push for tougher sentencing despite his continuing crime spree.
4. A combination of these factors.
For whatever reason or reasons, Pinckney was not in a juvenile detention facility where it sounds as if he should have belonged. Had he been locked up in a juvenile detention facility rather than free and going to Hylton High School, he would not have had the opportunity to murder Jean and Jim Smith.
Prince William County residents DESERVE ANSWERS! Why was Xavier Pinckney free to murder Jean and Jim Smith?
Just how does one rack up multiple criminal convictions by the age of seventeen and still remain free to murder a mother and her son in their home during a burglary? Xavier Pinckney should not have been running loose in our community.
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