I don’t know how I missed this story until she was released, but a Michigan woman just spent 11 days in jail for cursing in a courthouse. And she was only released after another judge overruled the first judge, but only on the amount of the bond, not on the actual charges she’s facing.
Hours after a circuit court judge ordered the bond for a woman jailed for swearing reduced to the $500 she already paid, LaRue Ford walked out of the Berrien County Jail.
The ACLU filed an emergency appeal to get Ford released from the jail, where she’s been since Dec. 18 for cursing in the court clerk’s office…
At the request of the ACLU, Circuit Judge Alfred Butzbaugh overruled District Court Judge Dennis Wiley and reduced her bond.
She originally posted $500 (10%) of the $5,000 bond, but had her bond revoked because she was moving to Indiana and had no permanent address…
She admits cursing, but said it was to herself as she left the clerk’s office frustrated after getting the runaround while trying to clear up an old traffic ticket. When she returned with $50 to finally clear it up, Judge Dennis Wiley ordered her arrested.
Are you fucking kidding me? Given how utterly unjust our court system is, profanity is about the mildest reaction one should expect. A $5000 bond for a woman for saying a naughty word? I’m not the least bit shocked that this happened in Berrien County. Even by the standards of our criminal injustice system, that county is among the worst — not in the state, in the entire country. When I interviewed Amy Bach, author of the amazing book Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court, she told me that she spent a lot of time in Berrien County and would have included it in her book if she’d had space (she focused on several counties down south instead).