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Harris County will continue to fight bail lawsuit

Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Harris County has appealed a federal civil rights lawsuit that challenged the county’s bail system, despite rising legal costs that have neared $3 million.

After a heated discussion and a closed-door meeting Tuesday, Harris County Commissioners Court voted 4-1 to appeal the suit and to ask for a delay to a May 15 start date that would require the county to consider an inmate’s ability to pay when setting bail.

The stay was filed after the meeting and Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal promptly issued an order giving all parties until 5 p.m. Wednesday to respond to the defendants’ request for a stay.

Elizabeth Rossi, an attorney from Civil Rights Corps, who represents indigent defendants held in jail because they cannot afford their bail rates said her clients “are disappointed to learn that the county and the judges are appealing Chief Judge Rosenthal’s thorough and comprehensive decision but we are confident that every judge to review it will agree with her and uphold it.” Rossi said her team would “vigorously” oppose a motion for a stay.

County leaders also urged their legal representatives to continue trying to settle the lawsuit, which had led to an order from Rosenthal declaring the county’s system unconstitutional.

“We believe the system she wants to implement is arguably not legal,” County Attorney Vince Ryan said.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who has pushed for settlement, cast the the lone vote against the decision to appeal.

“This is really asking the court to give you the funds to appeal,” he said.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, who is a named defendant in the lawsuit, also opposes the appeal. He declined to join the other defendants Tuesday in appealing the order, explaining after the Commissioners Court meeting, “We’re just going to move forward to implement it the best way possible and see what all these other proceedings lead to.”

I’m angry about this. It is a huge waste of time and money in pursuit of an unjust resolution. Everyone who supports this needs to be voted out. I don’t know what else to say.

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12 Comments

  1. paul a kubosh says:

    How about no free bonds to criminals. The current pre-trial system gives free bonds to wealthy white people to the exclusion of needy poor people.

  2. Terrance Jewett says:

    How about not judging someone to be a criminal prior to finding them guilty in a court.

  3. Paul Kubosh says:

    How about not arresting anyone and just give them all a ticket.

  4. Neither Here Nor There says:

    I think I agree with Paul, but I am ignorant on the matter, like how many rich white guys don’t have to post bonds?

  5. C.L. says:

    Howabout don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time ? – Detective Anthony Vincenzo “Tony” Baretta

  6. Paul Kubosh says:

    All of them.

  7. Neither Here Nor There says:

    There are some things that I am really stupid on, So Paul in numbers, how many rich white people don’t have to post a bond when arrested? 5,000, 500, 50, 5?

    How many poor people stay in jail because they can’t post bond, in numbers please.

    An estimate would suffice, thanks.

  8. paul a kubosh says:

    All of them. The pre-trial release system in Harris County is racist. We have looked at this a long time. The wealthy people who can afford a bond get a pretrial bond. The poor people do not get a pretrial bond. Most wealthy people are white therefore they get the bonds. If kuffner would like to have my brother Randy do a guest post I am sure he would be happy to do it.

  9. Neither Here Nor There says:

    That would be nice of Kuffner if he allowed it, I hope he does.

  10. C.L. says:

    Hold on…. re: “Most wealthy people are white therefore they get the bonds.” I’m no statistician, but correct me if I’m wrong – rich white men aren’t, for the most part, committing blue collar crimes [robbing convenience stores, home invasion shootings, etc.], so are much, much less of a flight risk. Is that one of the ‘intents’ of the bond system, to ensure the defendant sticks around for the trial ?

  11. paul a kubosh says:

    C.L. bahahaha the kids of rich white people you can’t get past. You guys don’t really know whats going on. They get on dope early on. D.W.I.’s, assaults, criminal mischief. You know marijuana (gateway drug). All those petty criminals already get free bonds.

  12. paul a kubosh says:

    “you can;t get past the stereotyping of the white people”