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Thu Oct 12, 2017, 07:09 PM

Courts Sidestep the Law, and South Carolina's Poor Go to Jail

Source: New York Times

Courts Sidestep the Law, and South Carolina’s Poor Go to Jail

One homeless man has been arrested or cited 270 times on the same charge, trespassing. He has never been represented by a lawyer.

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS OCT. 12, 2017

SUMTER, S.C. — Larry Marsh has a history of mental illness and drug addiction. Homeless, he has no place to go. The police in this city have arrested or cited him more than 270 times for trespassing. In December, they got him four times in one day.

For this misdemeanor offense, Mr. Marsh, 58, has repeatedly served time in jail, and was even sent to prison. Not once has he had a lawyer.

Being represented by a lawyer is a fundamental right, enshrined in the Sixth Amendment and affirmed by the Supreme Court, which has ruled that anyone facing imprisonment, even for a minor offense, is entitled to legal counsel. But the promise has been a fragile one, with repeated complaints that people without means are stuck with lawyers who are incompetent, underfunded or grossly overworked.

In municipal courts that handle low-level crimes, poor defendants can face a worse problem: no lawyer at all. Recent reports detail a failure to provide lawyers in Nashville and Miami-Dade courtrooms, and in 2015, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, held hearings on the issue, saying the right to a lawyer was frequently ignored in misdemeanor cases.

-snip-

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/us/south-carolina-jail-no-lawyer.html

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Reply Courts Sidestep the Law, and South Carolina's Poor Go to Jail (Original post)
Eugene Oct 12 OP
Nitram Oct 13 #1
Scruffy1 Oct 13 #2
coolsandy Oct 13 #3
Skittles Oct 13 #4
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Oct 14 #5

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 07:54 AM

1. We're rapidly speeding back to the 19th century, when it was illegal to be poor.

Vagrancy was a crime.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 03:48 PM

2. Screw Grassley.

What an asshole. he has done as much to destroy our jucicial system as anybody.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 07:11 PM

3. 45 called to day to take us BACK and he was cheered for it. What does that tell you?

 

It tells me a lot about our fellow citizens.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri Oct 13, 2017, 07:19 PM

4. more kicking people when they are down instead of helping them

and I can guarantee you most people participating in this garbage would describe themselves as "Christians"

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat Oct 14, 2017, 08:08 PM

5. The center of Trumpville

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