Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On debtors prison policies as job security for government bureaucrats

Not all judges view poor defendants who can't pay fines for petty offenses as a source of "job security," but neither is the attitude uncommon, nor in the present political environment, disqualifying. The Houston Press' Meagan Flynn has the story of Houston magistrate Judge Joe Licata, In a recent case involving a woman with high Driver Responsibility surcharges:
Licata warned her that, if she didn’t pay the fines for these tickets and renew her license after paying surcharges to the Department of Public Safety, “then you’re gonna get arrested every time you get pulled over.” 
That was nothing to her, Clearey responded — because she had already become trapped in a cycle of arrests. 
“It’s nothing to me either,” Licata told her. “It’s job security.”
Tis as true as it is horrifying that he would view it through that lens.

The Texas Organizing Project has produced a video with examples of problematic statements by Licata from the bench.


The Comedian said...

"Forget it, Jake. It's Trump-Town."

Gritsforbreakfast said...

OTOH, nothing really changed here. The rest of America became more like Texas. Here in Texas, we face more or less the same situation we did two years ago.

In theory, the Trumpites are supposed to hate these sorts of self-centered bureaucrats who think mulcting taxpayers for their own career gain is a great and wonderful thing. Time will tell if that really plays out that way on the ground, or if it was just something people were using to attack the Clintons.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you give inadequate people power over others - they boost their own egos by beating down those already below them in the pecking order. You see it in the police, corrections officers. Even in the way some defense attorneys talk to their clients. I don't know if there's a cure, other than vigilance by those who care.

john said...

The Cops' War On America is long and hard.
The new documentary "13th" covers a lot of the background.
The real problem is likely mankind---humans corrupt, rather easily, when given great power. We The Poor People have neither voice, nor representation. THIS IS NO ACCIDENT:
While most of us ARE terrorized enough to be afraid of the Cops, we try to obey what we know of the law; no matter what we do, there will be some Cops watching and waiting to swoop in, to detain and ticket us.
The Administrative Code Moving Violations is 200+ undefined terms, and used freely to override the Transportation Code. Complaints are falsified systematically by Court Clerks and others who have no first-hand knowledge. There is no Information. Folks are routinely jailed, at least overnight, for a non-jailable Class C Misdemeanor. Magistrate Hearings are ignored.
"Your" lawyer has an oath to the Lawyer's Guild/union (Bar Ass), then one to the Court. He paid an accredited school a fortune, for the Bar Ass to promote his practice, and doesn't want to risk that.
Judges nearly never have the required Oath on file. JPs without legal training go by rote policy (though at least you can say they are not intentionally violating our rights). ALL the Courts go by expedient policy, written or not-even. In jail, eat crap and submit to medical, or get forced--if not beaten up. Jail is vastly overcrowded. The money made is so good it can be passed all up the line.
Lawyers become judges become politicians, and Guantanamo can't hold enough.

Mark M. said...

"But your honor, this court has no jurisdiction over me, I'm a sovereign citizen." Right?

Anonymous said...

I am sure she is a democrat. Just shows those rich Judges don't understand the poor. With those type of attitudes we will never be able to help the poor or change the screwed up judicial system in Texas.

Anonymous said...

Man, I miss working for the government. All I had to do was show up and fill out a time sheet. Literally, that was it.