Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Merry Christmas Poll

There are two schools of thought on jailing defendants around the Christmas holidays, at least as far as I have noticed.

The first is that judges and prosecutors should cut defendants a little slack, give them the benefit of any doubt and send them home to be with their families if it remains within the appropriate punishment range to do so. Call it what you will, an application of positive reinforcement, the holiday spirit, whatever.

The second is that the defendant put himself in this position so doesn't deserve a break, and it's better to keep criminals off the streets at Christmas time to keep them from buggering up the holidays for the rest of us.

So think about it.

A little harder.

Okay, now you are the judge, what are you going to do? You have someone convicted of a non-violent, drug/theft type case who wants out on bond for the holidays. Legally you are justified in going either way, you could release him now, after Christmas, (or not at all).

Which philosophy would you follow?


  1. For those type of offenses, leaving them in jail proves that the judge is being an ass for the sake of being an ass.

  2. I think the merchants and law abiding citizens are entitled to a crime free holiday so I say leave them.

  3. I would release them with strict conditions of random drug testing, weekly reporting, mandatory 12 step meetings., and house arrest if necessary. However I would also make a loved one, close friend or family member, sign on as a third party custodian, like how they do it in federal court. Most of these types of crimes involve drug/alcohol addiction and so releasing them to participate in their recovery will help them and society too. The added conditions will be there to protect the community.

  4. I think that was you who was present the other day when I appeared before Judge Lynch hoping to get my guy (on the revocation docket) home for the holidays before having to deal with his DWI and his APR. As you heard, Hizzoner wasn't inclined to let him go home to be with a bunch of people who might be partying through the holidays, lest he be inclined to join in. Client and I were disappointed, but TTYTT, Lynch's position made perfect sense to me. Judge Lynch has already cut him plenty of slack and my guy keeps snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  5. For drug offenses, if no priors, get out of jail.

    For frequent fliers arrested for drug crimes (crack, meth) with hard drug/other cch, stay in jail and try something different this year, like not being high or strung out for the holidays. You'll thank me later.

    For the final catagory, for thieves with cch's (not some kid or first time adult shoplifting a minor item), then it's like Beck says, "You're a loser, baby".

    For the thieves out working at Christmas, well, you shoulda really considered your options. Stay in jail and learn to think before you act. Call this negative reinforcement.

  6. lock 'em up. if you decide to be lenient at xmas, it will just encourage more crime and bad behavior around the holidays.


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