Is The State's Justice System Wrong? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/13/04

Is The State's Justice System Wrong?

A Gautier family wants to see a change made to the state's justice system. The family of murder victim Joseph Czarnik wants lawmakers to take a closer look at the bonding process which allows some criminals to stay out of jail until their trials.

On July 7, 2004 Czarnik was stabbed to death in his Moss Point apartment. Eighteen-year-old Zachary Bexton was charged with his murder on July 11th. He was released on bond the next day.

"I couldn't believe that they let him out on such a low bond. $50,000," said Glenda Cruise, Czarnik's sister. "He gets out and is arrested on two more felony charges and they let him go."

Bexton was arrested recently in George County on an outstanding warrant and faces felony grand larceny charges from that arrest.

Knowing their brother's accused killer is free has the Czarnik family worried.

"He's a threat to our family and I think he's a threat to other people," says Cruse. "I think he needs his bond revoked. I think he needs to be in jail."

"I just wanna know how long's it gonna take before somebody realizes he could do this again," says Roger Czarnik.

Several area attorneys and law enforcement leaders said it's not uncommon for someone charged with murder only, to be released on bond. Offenders charged with Capital Murder, which is a murder committed in the act of another crime, are held without bond.

They also said while they may not completely agree with the law, it is law and must be followed.

The Czarniks want the law changed.

"I think the law needs to be stiffer on murder. They shouldn't be allowed bond," says Glenda Cruse.

"I feel that my brother's spirit is not at rest until justice is done," said Roger Czarnik.

In order for justice to be served, the family say they'll have to see the man accused of killing their brother behind bars.

by Josh Ridgdell

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