Martha Bellisle, Associated Press

SEATTLE — County jails are not liable for crimes committed by inmates after they are out of custody, according to a split ruling by the Washington state Supreme Court.

Thursday’s 5-4 ruling came in the case of Isaac Zamora. He was held in the Skagit County Jail in 2008 and released a month later.

In September 2008, Zamora had a psychotic episode and went on a shooting spree that left six dead.

Families of the victims sued Skagit County, claiming the jail failed to evaluate and treat Zamora’s mental illness.

The trial judge ruled against the families, saying they failed to show the county’s negligence caused Zamora’s crimes. The appeals court reversed that ruling, but the Supreme Court agreed with the trial judge.

The majority said jails must control violent inmates while incarcerated but can’t prevent crimes once they’re out. The dissenting justices said the jail knew that Zamora was potentially dangerous.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  1. Hugh Mungis says:

    Well all know the kind of people who commit crimes. Good for nothing googles are going to google no matter what the skype media says or whatever statistics they invent. Typical misinformation constructed by the skype media. Trust me. I bet if you nerds put half the time into curing cancer as you do on skype news sites like this I’d have 20 more years of life right now. You see, the shadow masters hit me with their tumor satellite after I discovered tower 7 was hosting a Illuminati meeting on September 11th, and George Bush was actually trying to save the world by hitting the towers with his plane holograms. I didn’t read this article.

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