Operation Falcon, a dragnet put together by the U.S. Marshals and local police agencies, netted 10,000 fugitives last week. Cool. But note that that there are millions of unserved arrest warrants. The Washington Post was one of the few newspapers to get the story right:
Criminal-justice experts said that by apprehending
thousands of fugitives in a matter of days, the operation underscored
the low priority that law enforcement agencies often give to locating
people who have jumped bail, violated parole or otherwise evaded state
and federal courts.
"The dirty little secret is that there usually is not
enough effort and manpower put into apprehension of fugitives," said
David A. Harris, a law professor at the University of Toledo who
studies criminal-justice issues. "Most fugitives are aware of this, and
it makes the system a joke. . . . It’s never been a top priority."
I would add only that the commercial bail system, backed by bounty hunters, does a much better job than the public system in ensuring court appearances and capturing fugitives. The long arm of the law belongs to the bounty hunter.