As Courts Across the Country Postpone Cases, King County Superior Court Remains Maddeningly Open

Comments

1

no one gave a shit when this was posted before and no one gives a shit now

2

Trader Joe’s was following the rules by limiting the number of people in the store, but this just ended up with a line of people definitely not 6 ft away from each other outside the door.

3

Why don't they just drop the charges on anybody currently facing trial for nonviolent offenses? That would clear out a lot of the crowds and no real harm would be done.

4

The boot of the criminal justice system must remain on the neck of the poor classes. It is all these people know how to do. Keeping poor brown and black people in jail or under the thumb IS an emergency from their perspective.

5

@4: Actually we have one of the most progressive prosecutors and court systems in the country. There are many people within both institutions who strongly believe in equal justice and alternative courts, for example. The author here buried the lede--that the court is in the process of standing up a video appearance system--and in so doing projected his bias onto the reader. A steaming pile of bias that you gladly stepped in.

6

This is just stupid. People WILL break quarantine to attend court!

The courts I practice in have waved appearances by out of custody defendants. Set overs are conducted by attorney signatures, without the clients.

7

First of all, this is not the county's call, it's not KCPAO's call, it's the courts themselves -- separate entities, Rich. The justice system is a huge bureaucracy, and part of not immediately shutting down is that there are serious due process issues around rights to speedy trial and juries, among others. These provisions -- and we can argue forever about whether and how effectively they work -- are meant to protect the rights of the accused. It is incredibly frustrating that in the attempt to meet these constitutional obligations, the courts are putting the health of those same people (and every else who works in the system) in jeopardy.

And with all of that said, the state Supreme Court stepped in yesterday with an emergency order to suspend most criminal court operations until at least April 24:

https://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/?fa=newsinfo.internetdetail&newsid=34138

8

@7. It is actually the Prosecutor's call... the judge is only present to adjudicate disputes between prosecutors and defendants. If the prosecutors agree to release the defendants or waive their appearance there isn't much for the judge to do.