Alabama, Jefferson County, Prosecutor discussed on Capt. Hunter's Podcast


There and he was like what what so yeah consistory like a main every time i have the conversation. The kids are always like what you mean to tell me. I can get charged and i'm and i always tell them. This is important. According to choose the company you keep very widely and then i always tell them that i've never had anybody come into my courtroom and say hey judge. Let him go. Oh it. Those were my drugs. I want everybody gets charged. Your left to fight alone for yourself on your criminal history. That's it it is odd for ever. Are your criminal history follows you forever. That is something that's definitely needed night and i'd like to do more of speaking to young kids myself. Stop to help them to understand these particular sentiments and tactics that the police used different laws and things like that so. I think it's really important. I think that's good that you do that. I can remember number being a young kid and gone to court. We didn't ask those type of questions but <hes> but <hes> but i certainly think it's it's really really important you and i both relatively we knew to leap organization in leap is is geared towards getting the public in the police to see eye to eye to work together a criminal justice reform and things like that. Tell me what you what your thoughts are about criminal justice reform across the board police interactions. I'm researching another topic right now about asset forfeiture. Tell me what your thoughts sir about all this kind of stuff. Oh wow okay let me start living story here. <hes> bail you know. Let me tell you my thought unveiled because this has been a huge ordeal in alabama <hes> within the past few years try to get the public and judges to understand that bell is to secure present in court and it's not to punish an offender for the crime charge however <hes> judges must be very careful <hes> we must with bell we must seek secured the descendants presence in court must seek to protect the community from violent offenders but more often than not fail issues punishment for the crime charged and and i have a problem with that that you know of personally for me i have a huge problem with that and an impending problem with that i am not a judge will around and get a signature bond to shwe capital murder defendant or to a defendant who charged with curric- rate. I debris case but i will say this. I lean toward independent being on bond until they are convicted. Now there are way too many descendants across this country who are are incarcerated on nonviolent offense and they cannot make bond. I have a problem with that. I have a problem with incarceration of people on nonviolent offenses often. They're unable to make bond <hes> and sometimes the judge will reduce the bond mountains they will have reduced it but if the defendant still cannot next bond that is tantamount to nobody and even in some of our seemingly violent tasted the state of alabama <hes> well i was at the state eight of alabama but the state the commonwealth or whatever jurisdiction whatever prosecuting authority you live in if they're acting that a dependency held on a no bond or if you're asking that a defendant beheld on a very significant bond then they should be able to demonstrate to the judge that the defendant has a a prior criminal history in violence to the community that that descendant has previously fell to appear in court before and therefore should be held on a higher. You're fine or that. The prime is particularly heinous in comparison to other crimes and so therefore the community needs to be protected and and more often than than not that it's not that's not the case <hes> and let me give you an example just recently a young man a here in in jefferson jefferson county but it did not happen happen in the birmingham division it happened in the best merger division of our county are county school differences two divisions but a young man tate in jail. I believe for two and a half years at least two but i believe it was two and a half years. He was charged with. I believe like a burglary charge or rate charge d._n._a. Evidence show last week just last week after he sent two and a half years in the county jail d._n._a. Evidence show that it could it. There was no way it could have been him. He maintained his innocence. All along kit. Mom could not afford to bail him out of jail and so he stayed in jail two years. Those situations happen way too often ways you often this. Young man in two years could've could've been in school. He could have been in college. He could have been manager at a job that now he lost two years of his life for crime that he did it. Not commit and i'm not saying and i don't even know who the judge was. I'm not saying that that judge should have released him on a signature by but i am saying that the judge should have require the state the prosecuting authority to give him some reason as to why the defendant could not have remained on bond pinging the investigation trial of this matter and you know and that's running sample but these examples happen faith examples are they have been across this nation every day and that is an example of violence aged but there are many more examples where defendant discharge with nonviolent offenses. They are being held in jail another thing to stop the end. No no no no i was i was going to was going to <hes> there was a case in new new york city and i was just looking that up a new york city where a kid was held almost the same amount of time two years or so for for stealing a purse or something like that and then he couldn't make bond and he came home and committed suicide. I don't know if you heard about yeah yeah zone type of things they've got to stop happening but it also means that our judges have to be you know socially conscious about about other people in their positions and so for diversity on the bench is is a really good thing it is an important thing and it is a good thing and i'm i'm talking about diversity versity across all ethnic groups across gender because as a woman i bring to the bench something that my male colleagues you know they don't bring and of course they bring thing that i that. I can't bring as a woman but i am a mother. A wife and i'm a former prosecutor so bring all of those life experience to the bench <hes> and that's important like moss perspective is important and it needs to be valued and so therefore we have to make sure that the infamy because among the bench. I'm passionate about this up to make sure that we have black judges twice judges latino latino judges asian judge. We must have women men. We've got to have people who are homosexual heterosexual. We've got to be able to have people on the bench who do not look like us. Who do not have the same life experiences as a new run a where we have to run on a party line in alabama are judgeships. Are you have to run into the democrat or republican or whatever party you want to democrats and republicans are the party here what we democrats and republicans on the bench and we need them on the bench in every facet of the court system and that doesn't always happen but because when we have a diversified dench that will see true criminal justice reform but as long as everybody is preaching the same message and the you know. They're the query thing in the same songs. We're not gonna get anywhere so it's very important that we that we constantly constantly that we are constantly seeking to understand people outside of arab position and and people who are less fortunate than us typically has there date in the criminal justice system and we've got to be able to understand their circumstances. We've got to be able to understand the indigent population. We've got to be able to uh understand people that grow up without a mother and father in the home and if they had a mother and a father that they come from less <hes> less less situations than what we come from but we got able to punish people appropriately understand how to use the power that that we have within a while. We're on the bench and so you know this is a conversation i could go on for days about things about those are just two of the things that i'm passionate talking about. How receptive are the people that you work with. I'm talking about prosecutors and judges to your that frame of mind to have that we need more dirt diversification. I will say luckily here in jefferson county. I had the opportunity to work with colleagues. Were extremely receptive. Cadet extremely <hes> the process of prosecutor's office is out public defenders offices. I get an opportunity to work in. What i i believe the progressive jurisdiction like we're really interested in criminal justice reform here and it's and it's from our judges to our prosecutors to art to arizona's now with that being fit we are only one of taking steps counties in alabama and i'm not saying that other sticky fix aren't progressive <hes> and and there are few work entirely are progressive but the great number of counties in alabama are not. They're not as progressive rested minded as we are here in jefferson county when it comes to trying to trying to really do things criminal justice reform here and and so it makes the little part for the entire state.

Coming up next