Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's next? Waterboarding?

So you think sitting on the wooden benches at the City of Houston Municipal Courthouse is a long, painful experience now -- it just got longer. City of Houston Attorney David Feldman, who apparently has never met a bad idea he didn't love, sent out a memo instructing officers not to show up in court until 1:00 p.m. -- regardless of the time listed on the summons. Motorists accused of violating traffic laws will still be required to show up on time, however.

Why the change, you may ask? According to Mr. Feldman it has to do with cutting overtime hours since someone has to pay the officers for showing up (nevermind that many officers sign in and leave after telling the bailiff they are "on call"). Of course I think there's a more insidious reason. Make enough people sit in the courtroom long enough and you can wear them down and coerce a plea. Does Feldman not understand the basic principles of criminal law or does he just not give a rat's ass?

Feldman's latest hare-brained scheme (click here for his last "great" idea) will do nothing but clog the dockets further because instead of clearing cases in the morning and picking a trial case in the afternoon the courts will be trying to clear cases in the afternoon.

So what's the solution? Refuse to plead traffic cases. They're all on the trial docket anyway. We can bring the city's ATM machine to a grinding halt by refusing to go along.

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