Quote from a local newspaper:
"Police said Thomas and Anderson have extensive criminal histories. Thomas is an alleged gang member from South Los Angeles who was released from prison last December after serving time for being a felon in possession of a firearm."
Doesn't say why he was let out. But it does show that 2 of these criminals had prior records, and could have continued to be problematic. Apparently they were problematic.
Scottwww, I am bringing this up as an argument against just releasing prisoners from our prisons. Yes we do need to save some dough in this country. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater and start releasing criminals that will make our cities less safe. Prison is still meant to be a deterrent and punishment for criminals. An easier way for us to not send people to prison is maybe for fewer of the people living here in the US, to maybe not break so many laws.
Personally, if it's between tax subsidies for Oil Companies or criminals in jail, I say keep the law breakers locked up and make Exxon pay taxes.