But this email from FACDL chieftains was forwarded to us, and we took the initiative of posting it.*
On Tuesday, October 21, the Board of County Commissioners will hear and decide on the attached resolution prepared by Commissioner/former Senator Javier Souto. This resolution aims to impose an additional $75 of court costs on state clients who take a plea for or are convicted at trial of a felony, misdemeanor, or criminal traffic offense.
This simply cannot pass.
And, of course, we're not talking about $75. We're talking about an amount added to the hundreds of dollars already imposed on the largely indigent population that are drawn into the court system.
We (and our clients) know that racial and social inequality is embedded in our criminal justice system. We know that minorities are much more likely to be drawn into the despair of the justice system than whites. African-American males are six times more likely to be sentenced to prison than white males; Latino males, 2 ½ times more likely. We know that although 95% of cases end in pleas, it's not possible that 95% of defendants are guilty. We know that many clients would often rather take a plea to CTS than stay in jail.
Knowing all these things, and knowing that imposition of expensive and overwhelming court costs for indigent clients does nothing more than perpetuate the inequality by continually thrusting them back into the system, suspending their drivers' licenses, and re-incarcerating many -- we cannot remain silent.
The County Commissioners are holding a meeting next Tuesday, October 21 at 9:00 a.m. If you know one of them, please call, email, or write them to speak against this resolution. A list of the commissioners is attached. Or please join me at the meeting.
*Apparently there was a real barn-burner of an FACDL meeting a few weeks ago when this blog and this blogger, we have heard, were personally disparaged (as much as an anonymous blogger can be personally attacked) for posting FACDL list-serv emails which are as secure and sensitive as all NSA emails currently on Wikipedia.
"Loyalty-oaths" were called for. All FACDL members would have to solemnly swear under penalty of perjury that they were loyal Americans, were not now, nor ever have been members of ISIS, have not traveled within the past two months to West Africa, currently do not have a high fever, do not read this blog, are not Rumpole, and in fact despise Rumpole and everything Rumpole stands for, and would not, under penalties yet to be determined, ever forward Rumpole an FACDL list-serv email.
There has not, as of yet, been a final determination on this loyalty oath. But we admit to being scared, shaken, chagrined...but not enough to stop posting emails that FACDL members gleefully send us.
Have a good weekend.