The Complex Web of Justice
March 12, 2009 by admncc
Sometimes I just don’t understand the judicial system. You think they’re going to come down hard on someone and they don’t. Other times you think someone is going to get off easy and they don’t. I guess that’s why I’m not a lawyer. But I think any lawyer would agree with me that there are still parts of the legal system that are broken.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am extremely detail oriented. Yes, I am anal to a fault, unintentionally. I don’t miss much and I have an excellent memory. So – I was reading the police blotter and saw a name that I recognized. I recognized it because it had been in there twice before. OK, it’s not a common name, but at least give me a little credit for my memory.
Anyway, I thought that I remembered one of this guy’s previous charges being gun-related, and I was surprised that he was back out on the street (so quickly) and was being arrested for something else. So I checked it out tonight. Wow, listen to this…
Between May 2008 and today, this guy has been arrested six times and currently has seven felony charges pending. They include: receiving stolen property, another receiving stolen property, illegal discharge of a firearm, criminal damage, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon and driving with fictitious plates. And he is still free on bond!
Yes, that’s right, even though he has had a string of arrests; he continues to be out on bail. Now here’s where it gets interesting. I looked up and reviewed the court dockets for all of his pending charges. They are in three different municipal courts. Interestingly, a few months ago, he actually had nine felony charges pending. That brings me to my next point!
In one instance, this guy was in one city’s jail, was released, but had a warrant pending in another city. Wouldn’t you think the local police department could check and see if he had any warrants pending statewide? He was declared indigent and has three different public defenders working on the various cases on his behalf. He has had bonds ranging from $5k to $50k and has always made them. That’s interesting considering his is indigent. I realize it only takes 10% of the amount to get a prisoner released, but that money adds up with so many cases pending. In one case, he didn’t show up for a hearing and another warrant was issued for his arrest. In another case, he had a bond revoked and was later arrested, only to be bailed out again.
OK, why in the heck is this guy still on the streets? Let’s see – nine felonies, seven still pending, but yet, the judges keep setting bail and letting him out.
And oh, it gets better. Two cases were just settled. That’s what I meant when I said he just went from nine to seven pending charges. Now, you’re a judge looking at this guy’s lengthy criminal record. What would you do? Here’s what the two judges actually did:
Charge #1 – Giving false statements to the police – Sentenced to 30 days in jail with 29 of those days suspended. He was simply listed as being on probation pending good behavior.
Charge #2 – Criminal trespassing – Sentenced to 180 days in jail with 180 of those days suspended. He was given 365 days of probation.
First, do these judges even look at the criminal histories? Better yet, are the court files even updated ongoing with other arrests? Like I said, this guy had six arrests in a very short timeline. Was something missed? Fourth, when you look at a criminal like this, I see him as having nothing to loose. Sooner or later, one would think this would catch up with him and he’ll have to serve prison time. But he probably thinks – keep breaking law. I doubt it will catch up with him. Obviously those judges didn’t care about his criminal record when they slapped him on the wrist. Fifth, how can one jurisdiction not know he has a warrant pending in another? Six, why do the courts keep setting bail for him? Lock him up and keep him there! I’m sure State law would allow for bail to be denied based on his recent arrest record! He is a danger to society.
It just scares me to death to know that people like this are out on the streets. I’m sure I’m just scratching the edge of this discussion, but this post got a little longer than I wanted it to be. Sure, the courts let this guy out, but the guy down the street who wrote a bad check will be sentenced to four years in prison… There’s justice for you…