For years I railed against the Judiciary’s systematic denial of PR bonds. Mostly, I focused on County courts where I urged the judges to grant more PR bonds on non-violent misdemeanors.
The county court judges assured me that they granted lots of PR bonds even though the FACTS SHOWED DIFFERENT. Annually , the County courts granted PR bonds on less than 10% of cases filed.
For years, I appealed to the courts’ better angels with no success. Ultimately, I predicted that the systematic denial of Pr bonds would only end when the County judges were sued in Federal Court. Last year, as predicted, the County court judges were sued in Federal court.
As an outgrowth of the Federal lawsuit, the abusive behavior of the magistrates was revealed. As a result of the magistrates’ abuse, Senator Whitmire filed Judicial misconduct complaints against 3 of the magistrates.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct held a hearing in Austin on Dec 7, 2017. The Chronicle reports that during this hearing the magistrates testified that
“ they had been told by Harris County criminal court judges they SHOULD NOT grant cash-free bonds or more affordable bond rates. They said they feared they would be fired if they didn’t comply.”(emphasis added).
Now we have the truth on the record. The truth is, as the magistrates testified, that for years THE COUNTY CRIMINAL COURT JUDGES TOLD THE MAGISTRATES NOT TO GRANT PR BONDS.
For years the County Criminal Court Judges Denied their complicity in the systematic denial of PR bonds.Now the truth is out. The County Criminal Court judges were directly responsible for the systematic denial of PR bonds and the perpetuation of the evil “PLEA MILL”.
Sometimes it takes years to get to the truth. But we must persist . Even now the County Criminal Courts continue to spend taxpayer dollars fighting the federal suit.
All the Harris County Criminal Court Judges who were complicit in perpetuating the systematic denial of Pr bonds, will perhaps someday meet their maker. I wish them good luck in explaining to the Good Lord, why they spent years conspiring to trample on the liberty of thousands of poor people so that they might move their dockets.