End Harris County’s Plea Mill for Those on Bond

For decades Harris County Criminal Courts  required the accused on bond to make  unnecessary monthly court appearances. Most of these frequent court appearances served no legitimate purpose; the cases were  reset month after month.
The intended purpose of these frequent court appearances  was to create a plea mill for people on bond. The frequent court appearances caused the accused to miss work. A person can miss only so much work before they jeopardize their job. Those on bond, were forced to chose between losing their job or continuing to fight their case.
Many chose to plead guilty rather than risk losing their job. The decision to plead guilty was driven not by the guilt or innocence of the accused, but by economic necessity. That is wrong.
The solution is simple and not costly. The Courts  should stop the coercive practice of requiring frequent unnecessary court appearances by the accused. Let the accused come to court when their appearance serves some legitimate purpose; otherwise let them go to work.
Robb Fickman

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