Our Nation and the world are engaged in an awful battle with a deadly pandemic. Over a million people are already sick and many thousands will die. Officials have urged us to stay at home. They have called on courts to cease operating in all but the most essential situations.
Have the Harris County Criminal Courts all heeded the official admonishments? No. Many of our judges are still requiring the presumptively innocent accused on bond to attend court. These dockets are most often unnecessary. The accused who do not appear, risk revocation of their bond and incarceration.
To needlessly require an individual charged with a crime to chose between risking the loss of their liberty or the loss of their life, is nothing short of cruel.
People define themselves, particularly in times of crisis. Lincoln said if you want to test a person’s character you need only give them power.
Unfortunately, at this critical time, too many of our judges have chosen an inhumane path. In so doing, they have failed Lincoln’s character test. These judges who have abused their authority and needlessly required court appearances have disgraced themselves, the bench on which they sit and our criminal justice system. Let these judges who have so acted be remembered for the poor and inhumane judgement they showed when it counted most.
Robb Fickman , Houston