08 October 2012

Warren County

I drove to Indianola this morning. The Warren County District Court was not busy. We had a bond review scheduled which was held pretty much on time. My experience with Warren County has been rather spotty when it comes to holding to schedule. The irony is that it takes the jail a rather long time to have an inmate produced in court when the jail remains on the third floor of the courthouse with the courtroom on the second floor. The fact that the Warren County courthouse elevator must be the slowest elevator on the planet can not be the only factor in the difficulty the jail has in producing inmates for hearings. But regardless of my historical experience, we did not wait long this morning. Judge Lloyd was presiding and after a brief presentation and plea, reduced the bond, and additionally allowed the defendant to post 10% with the Clerk of Court. Posting 10% with the Clerk of Court is a fine thing. It allows defendants or the friends or relatives of defendants, who normally have little money, to have the bond posted returned to them when the case is over. Bondsmen are upset of course because it cuts into their livelihood. Just goes to show that no matter what a judge does, someone is pissed. The county attorney objected to a reduction of bond as is usually the case. Bond is a tool of the prosecution. Any defense attorney who has practiced any time will tell you that a percentage of defendants will plead guilty to about anything as long as probation is involved and they are released from jail. Whether they did the crime they are charged with is irrelevant. This is called the administration of justice. Justice is being administered to by the State. Cases must be moved along or the docket gets jammed up and defendants escape the punishment they so much deserve. It really doesn't matter if they did it or not since they probably have done other crimes for which they have not been charged and will do more crimes when they are released. This reasoning allows prosecutors to justify this method of criminal justice administration. Criminal justice administration has become a big business--a little like business administration. Very seldom will you find a two-year college not offering two year degrees in criminal justice. Most police officers now declare that as a major. Four-year colleges also offer degrees in criminal justice and a few even offer master degrees in the area. Having been a criminal defense attorney for thirty years I have yet to fully understand what the administration of criminal justice means. It wouldn't surprise me that they are yet attempting to understand why people commit crimes. The vast majority of crimes are simply because people won't do what they are told. The examples of this are almost endless from being told you can't drive more than 65 m.p.h. to smacking your girlfriend up side the head or smoking a little weed. If people would just do what they are told, there would be no crime. This is not difficult to understand.