, 7 tweets, 2 min read
People I represent get arrested & jailed for missing a single courtdate for sleeping late, inability to afford $2.75 subway, another appointment they had to make, or just forgetting. They “see what happens.” It’s never a question whether the law will get enforced against them.
Rape survivors, sex trafficking victims, & witnesses to violent crimes routinely get arrested & jailed for failing to comply with subpoenas to cooperate or testify until they agree to comply. Happened under Giuliani’s watch as mayor.
“In 2015, a mother of three, was jailed for five days on a $100,000 bond bc the local district attorney obtained a warrant arguing that her detention was necessary to force her to testify against her ex-boyfriend, who was facing charges for abusing her.”motherjones.com/crime-justice/…
“A rape victim spent 12 days in jail before making a first court appearance, while a child sex trafficking victim spent 89 days behind bars before she was able to challenge her detention in court.”huffpost.com/entry/prosecut…
“In Hillsboro, Oregon, a Mexican immigrant was jailed for more than two years—nine hundred and five days—to obtain his testimony in a murder newyorker.com/news/news-desk…
At 11pm in night court, I saw a young sullen woman in a hoodie walked into court backcuffed l by 3 plain clothes detectives. She was a witness in an ongoing trial. A judge signed a “material witness” order. Arrested, she was caged until she testified.
Final thoughts: We must end material witness orders, reduce the number of “required” court appearances, & stop instinctively issuing warrants for failure to appear. New NY bail law actually includes a 48-hr grace period before warrants issue. A good thing.
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