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Suspect Charged with Murdering College Student After Being Released from Custody

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Even though we know our justice system is broken and has actively endangered law-abiding citizens by releasing dangerous criminals with the flimsiest of justifications, it’s still shocking when we see the consequences of that broken justice system in action.

One of the most prominent examples of our broken justice system in action came with the November 2023 death of 18-year-old Jillian Ludwig, a Belmont University student in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to WZTV, Ludwig was shot by a stray bullet while walking on the track in the Edgehill Community Memorial Gardens Park on Nov. 7, dying of her injuries on Nov. 8 after being transported to Vanderbilt Hospital.

But, even though this incident happened months ago, the alleged shooter, Shaquille Taylor, 29, was only recently been charged with one count of felony murder, as well as evidence tampering. The Tuesday indictment came months after his initial charges of aggravated assault with bodily injury and tampering with evidence.

Even worse, as local news outlet The Tennessean reported at the time, Taylor had been in custody for assault with a deadly weapon earlier in 2023 but was released on May 19 after three court doctors testified that he was mentally unfit to stand trial.

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Not only that, but Taylor had a rap sheet a mile long, with similar charges going back to 2015.

So, the man is mentally unwell and, therefore, incompetent to stand trial — but, it’s also established that he’s dangerous and can’t be trusted around the general public.

Why, then, would the law release him if they know that?

Why wasn’t he involuntarily committed if they knew he was a danger to himself and others?

Does America need to get tougher on crime?

As Ludwig’s father told WSMV-TV in the immediate aftermath of his daughter’s death, “We are frustrated by this essentially loophole in the system that allows this to happen. If there is a determination that someone is mentally unwell, then there should be some way to handle that in a manner that won’t allow them to get back onto the street.”

And Taylor’s only just now being charged for what he allegedly did?

This is yet another example of the justice system completely failing the law-abiding citizens it is supposed to serve and protect.

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Why would someone accused of a serious violent crime be released back into society simply because he was mentally unfit to stand trial?

If anything, that mental instability would make him more dangerous to the general public.

Ludwig didn’t have to die, but our broken justice allowed a potentially dangerous man who couldn’t be trusted with a weapon back on the street, where he was given the opportunity to continue hurting people.

We can’t allow this to keep happening.

WZTV reported that a new bill, known as “Jillian’s Law,” has been introduced in Tennessee. The bill “would expand the definition of ‘adjudication as a mental defective’ to include a person who has been found incompetent to stand trial.”

It’s at the very least a promising step towards repairing a broken justice system that allows men, allegedly like Taylor, to roam free on the streets.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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