Going to Court via Skype

The video below shows a court processing applications for bail before a judge while the accused are still at the jail.  The use of a video link gets rid of the need to process, transport, seat and return the accused and appears to be a great idea to get some cost savings back into the system.

Mind you, it doesn’t pay to show disrespect, even over video:

A lawyer who viewed this video isn’t impressed:  

A little criminal defense lawyer perspective: First, the judge was clearly out of bounds increasing her bond because he didn’t like her attitude. Release on bond/bail legally is only allowed to serve two purposes – ensuring that the defendant returns to court (skip out and you don’t get your money back), and ensuring that the defendant complies with their conditions of release (mostly – don’t commit more crimes while released). There is no legitimate basis for a judge to modify bail/bond for a moment of flippant behavior.

Second – states that don’t provide arraignment representation suck. Where I practice, the PD’s office arraigns everyone who doesn’t have a private lawyer, even if they ultimately are not appointed a PD. If she had a lawyer representing her, this wouldn’t have happened – the lawyer would have been doing the talking and if she did anything inappropriate the lawyer would shut it down – client control is a lot of the job.

Third – video arraignments cause this kind of shit. She wasn’t in court, she was in jail and the county (state?) set up a video link between the jail and the courthouse to save themselves transportation costs. So she’s standing in front of a little camera with a little screen showing the courtroom to view and she’s surrounded by other detained defendants. It just doesn’t inspire the kind of behavior that actual presence in the courtroom does.

Third- Why not appoint her a public defender – she makes $200 a week, she can’t afford competent representation, jewelry or no…

Finally- the what the fuck factor. This is the perfect example of what is wrong with our criminal justice system. The state (or county) made two choices intended to save money – video arraignments and not appointing a public defender. Probably she wouldn’t have been held in contempt if she was in the courtroom and/or had a lawyer. Now the state/county gets to pay for a month in jail for what – possession of some xanax? Even if you take the contempt charge out of the equation – girl making $200 a week gets picked up for possession of a few pills and they hold her on $5000 – $10000 bond? Unless she has family willing to post or a sympathetic bondsman available, she’s going to sit in jail until she either pleads out or gets a trial – which can take months. So of course she’ll plead out, probably for time served, if that, and be yet another person we just spent several thousand dollars shoving through a kangaroo-court process and tarring for life with a drug charge that will severely limit her ability to move up from her $200 a week job (which she probably lost while she was sitting in jail), all for what – a few fucking xanax?



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  • tas

    That judge is a complete prick. He flippantly said “bye bye” to her and she replied with a friendly “adios”. How does that even remotely justify doubling her bond?

    • Travis Poulson

      At least it wiped the silly grin off her face and made her realize she wasn’t in a classroom, although it doesn’t justify what the judge did.

      • tas

        It was an arbitrary abuse of power. He doubled her bond for saying “adios.” Her attitude may have been a bit off but it was in no way inappropriate. She was scared and trying to hide it. That isn’t a crime.

        • Travis Poulson

          I think you misinterpreted my comment as a disagreement.

          • tas

            Sorry. I just felt sorry for her. Her behaviour is entirely understandable given the situation she was in and how the judge treated her.

      • StupidDisqus

        Doubling some crim’s bond is always, always justified.

        • A+random+reader

          Possession of a couple of Xanax doesn’t sound like the most grievous of crimes.

  • Andy

    Good on the judge. Word would soon spread that you don’t piss him about.
    I just wish he could come to NZ and work here
    We could give them Hubble and Neave as a swap- if you like soft cock judges in the court room.

    • Travis Poulson

      Trouble is the tough action needs to be taken where it actually matters, not petty bullshit instances like this. Cunt looks like he has an ego/anger problem.

  • StupidDisqus

    Better still:

    The use of a cop with a glock gets rid of the need to process, transport, seat and return the accused along with any needs for judges, lawyers, courts, remand, prisons, parole, and rehabilitation and appears to be a great idea to get some cost savings back into the system

    • A+random+reader

      Not arresting people for possessing a couple of Xanax would also introduce some cost savings back into the system.

      The American war on drugs has been nothing but a costly failure.

    • Travis Poulson

      Advocating murdering people for petty crimes? You sir have some psychological problems. Or a troll. Hope for your sake it’s the latter.

      • StupidDisqus

        Murder? Nope – execution. There is a big difference.

  • Guest

    Maybe when she said “Adios” is was magic and the ‘os’ in it meant the money was going to come out of His Worships a/c via an electronic transaction.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    If you want Xanax in the states don’t all you have to do is go to the doctor and make up some shit and get a prescription? Isn’t it a pandemic over there?

  • Never in the dark…..

    While I like the technological angle, I think the novelty of the format is conducive to errant behavior on behalf of the accused.

    I’m much inclined to go along with the ‘defence lawyer perspective’.