Texas House District 135 Candidate Justin Ray Slams Rep. Jon Rosenthal for Vacationing in D.C. While Failing to Address Bail Reform

Despite Increasing Crime Rate, Rosenthal Refuses to Make Public Safety a Priority

HOUSTON, Texas — Former Jersey Village Mayor and candidate for Texas House District 135 Justin Ray released the following statement today regarding Rep. Jon Rosenthal’s failure to address bail reform despite a rapid increase in crime across Harris County:

“While our Runaway Representative Jon Rosenthal is still enjoying his Washington, D.C. vacation, he’s left the critical issue of bail reform hanging in the balance at the expense of his constituents’ safety. Since Rosenthal and the Democrats broke quorum in late May and refused to come to work during the special session, violent criminals out on multiple bonds have murdered seven innocent victims in Harris County. Since 2018, criminals out on multiple bonds have murdered 127 innocent victims in Harris County, with a staggering 92 murders occurring since the beginning of this year.

“In the regular legislative session, Rosenthal voted against critical legislation that would address our broken felony bail system and prevent violent criminals out on bond from committing more crimes. How many murders have to happen before Jon Rosenthal will get back to work in Austin and make public safety a priority? The voters of House District 135 deserve a state representative who will go to work everyday and fight to keep them safe.”

Rosenthal’s Voting Record
During the regular legislative session in May, Rosenthal voted against HB 20, bail reform legislation, which Governor Greg Abbott declared an emergency item earlier this year. The bill would fix the broken felony bail system by addressing critical problems related to the amount of bail, to the release of certain defendants on a bail bond or personal bond, to related duties of certain officers taking bail bonds and of a magistrate in a criminal case, to charitable bail organizations, and to the reporting of information pertaining to bail bonds.

Rapid Increase in Crime in Harris County
Since Rosenthal and the Democrats broke quorum on Memorial Day, defendants out of jail on multiple bonds have murdered or killed seven people in Harris County, according to Andy Kahan, director of Victim Services of the Crime Stoppers of Houston. Additionally, one of the defendants was out on seven felony bonds and one on eight. 

In 2019, Crime Stoppers of Houston noticed a trend in which many of the defendants charged with murder were released on multiple felony bonds, personal recognizance (PR) bonds, motion to revoke bond denied, and bond forfeiture. According to Crime Stoppers, from 2018 through 2020, these dangerous criminals released on the above have murdered or killed 127 innocent people in Harris County.

Of those 127 victims:

  • 92 murders have occurred since 2020 (indicating the rapid spike in crime);
  • 16 are domestic violence related;
  • and the racial breakdown of victims includes 67 black, 37 hispanic, 16 white, four “other,” and three unborn. 

Of those defendants charged with the murder, 20 of them were subsequently bonded out again.

Even Democrat Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg testified in front of the Texas Senate Committee on Jurisprudence on the increase in crime statistics in Houston as a direct result of the current bail system. “Judges are supposed to, under the law, consider two essential purposes of bond: the defendant’s return to court to answer the charges, and the community’s safety, and it’s this second public interest that is being failed in Houston under the current bail system,” Ogg said.

According to Ogg, in 2015, about 3,200 offenders out on bond were accused in 6,348 crimes. By 2020, approximately 10,500 individuals on bond were accused of 18,796 new offenses.


Media Contact: Genevieve Carter, 281-643-0069