A recent discrepancy in a Kentucky court room was brought to light just recently which has led to a judge being suspended for two weeks without pay. Judge Vernon Miniard Jr. was overseeing a criminal drug case and requested the presence of Christy D. Cooper-Stinson to serve as a witness to the case. Apparently, when it came time to serve Ms. Cooper-Stinson, she was nowhere to be found.
The judge overseeing the case made the mistake of placing a witness in jail for contempt of court but failed to make plans to have her case heard.
Criminal defense lawyers in Bowling Green, Kentucky note that because the woman was subpoenaed and missing, officials were led on to believe she was purposely avoiding officials. And as you know, when you don’t cooperate with the law, things have the tendency to turn ugly-and they did for Cooper-Stinson. Because she failed to appear for the hearing, triblive.com stated that she was “to be incarcerated from Aug.26 until Nov. 2 of last year.” Trouble is, Miniard placed her in jail for two months without setting a bond or holding a hearing on the contempt to court allegation.
Kentucky criminal defense attorneys note that Miniard willingly accepted that he made a mistake and agreed to the two weeks of being suspended without pay. Because of this one action, one woman lost two months of precious time she could have been out working or enjoying her family. According to the commission, Miniard violated many ethical standards including “failing to accord every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding the right to be heard,” he “failed to maintain high standards of conduct and failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary.”
The woman spent two months in jail without bond or a date to be seen before a judge.
While every system is going to have its flaws, there isn’t any room in the judicial system for mistakes. Innocent individuals are incarcerated far too often and many of these people’s lives are completely shattered by a simple mistake. Whether it be a decision made by a judge or jury, it is vital that a criminal case is treated fairly and all decisions made are in fact legitimate penalties. This is precisely why many elect to hire a Kentucky defense attorney. They are the only individuals working on your side who understand the law and can identify what may or may not be used against you.
Unfortunately, some cases are simply too large for some criminal defense lawyers but had Cooper-Stinson hired a legal representative after being placed in jail even after two weeks, there is a possibility she would not have spent two months behind bars for a crime she merely was an alleged witness to. One valuable lesson that can be taken away from this particular case is that the judicial system isn’t fair and that judges are human too, which means they can easily make a mistake. The problem though, is that their mistake ultimately affects a person’s life and well-being.
So, if you are ever faced with a criminal charge or are being summoned to court as a witness, consult with a nearby defense lawyer in Bowling Green, Kentucky to further discuss your case. The last thing you want to do is spend unnecessary time behind bars for a crime you had no involvement in.