TO GO TO JAIL!”
“He wanted to go to jail,” I was told by Crystal in District Judge Bruce Roth’s office today about 20-year-old Delonte Shaw-Cannon.
She would not give me the reason he apparently gave for wanting to go to jail.
When I asked for specifics regarding paying the $100 dollars bail which is 10% of his $1,000 bail and providing proof that I have the full $1,000 should he default – she put me on hold and then came back and said she had been speaking with the Judge.
She said the Judge stated I could not bail him out unless the defendant himself says he wants to be bailed out.
This, of course, raises the question of whether a defendant can request jail. If the defendant met the guidelines to have been released on his own recognizance, or an unsecured amount of bail, can he “request” bail so he can go to jail? If there is no legitimate legal reason for setting bail, why should the public pay to house and feed him? And can he refuse to be bailed out?
And, of course, why in the world would this 20-year-old want to go to jail?
And we never got to the bottom of what I would have to provide to bail him out – it stopped with the requirement that I have a full time job. I replied that I am retired. Believe it or not this stumped them and then I found out why. Crystal told me than in her five years in Judge Roth’s office they had only bailed out one individual. One person in five years.
She did say that they have had bail bondsmen bail people out. After I talked to their office two days ago and I said I was in Philly and could not bring in cash that day (they do not take credit cards), they suggested I call a local bail bondsman. I called two in Lancaster. One said he could not help me and the other said he charges a minimum fee of $275 for his services.
There are lots and lots of questions to be answered here and I will do my best in the coming days.
Dissent — truly effective dissent — should be nonviolent, but nonviolent doesn’t mean comfortable. Peaceful doesn’t mean warm and fuzzy. And just because dissent risks overreaction by a king, a president, or a Republican state senator in Lancaster County, doesn’t mean government actors should give in to that temptation.
From a column special to LNP by Ephrata attorney Mitchell Sommers, “King George tried to shut down dissent, and look how that worked out,” (click here).
Sommers is the only good thing in LNP and his column is well worth the read and to understand what State Senator Scott Martin is trying to do with his truly appalling Senate Bill #754.
In the meantime, 20-year-old Delonte Shaw-Cannon sits in Lancaster County Prison for allegedly trying to burn an American flag in Penn Square (click here for the police press release). He is in prison. He is sitting in a jail cell at your expense. And no one is speaking up about it and the fact that racism is clearly involved in his case.
I tried to bail him out from Philadelphia (his bail is set at 10% of $1,000). It’s not as easy as you think.
That and more will come later today.