Thursday, June 19, 2008

Comparison Bonds in the Rochester Case

I was able to come by five more case action summaries for drug defendants in George C. Simpson's courtroom during the same time frame for John Alexander Rochester. Judge Simpson is the judge who set the bonds in the case. There are some whopping disparities. Check this out.

The bond schedule sets the bond for drug trafficking anywhere from $5,000 to $1,500,000. Class A felony bonds range from $10,000 to $60,000, Class B felony bonds range from $5,000 to $30,000 and Class C felony bonds range from $2500 to $15,000. Class A Misdemeanor bonds range from $300 to $6,000.


Regular Citizens

Charge - Unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance Second Degree - Bond $30,000 Class B Felony (This bond is the maximum)

Charge - Unlawful distribution of a controlled substance - Bond $30,000 Class B Felony (This bond is the maximum)

Charge - Unlawful distribution of a controlled substance - Bond $100,000 Class B Felony (This bond is $70,000 more than the maximum on the bond schedule)

Charge - Unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance - Bond $50,000 Class B Felony (This bond is $20,000 more than what the bond schedule says it should be at the highest)

Charge - Possession of a controlled substance - Bond $30,000 Class C Felony (This bond is twice what the schedule says it should be at the highest)

Compare to the bonds that John Alexander Rochester received from Judge Simpson


John Alexander Rochester - Judges Son


Charge - possession of Methyl Amphetamine - Bond $20,000, Class C Felony ($5,000 more than the bond schedule maximum)

Charge - possession of drug paraphernalia - Bond $5,000, Class A Misdemeanor(except it was within three miles of a school and public housing)(Near the maximum in bond schedule)

Charge - distribution of a controlled substance - Bond $15,000, (the other two people charged with this crime had bonds of $30,000 and $100,000) Class B felony (Bond set in the middle of range)

Charge - possession of a controlled substance - Bond $15,000, Class C Felony
This fine is the maximum on the schedule but still only half of what other defendants charged with the same offense had to pay. Why were others charged double?

Charge - 1st degree possession of marijuana - Bond $10,000, Class C Felony Less than the maximum bond by $5,000

Charge - trafficking cocaine - Bond $20,000. Class A Felony Now this one could have been considered drug trafficking and the bond could have been set up to 1.5 million dollars, but it looks like the judge went for the Class A Felony bond and not the drug trafficking bond.

In at least two cases John Alexander Rochester's bond was half (or less)what other people charged with the same crime had to pay. In most of the other cases the fines are way higher than what the bond schedule says they should be. That makes this even more disgusting because the Rochester's have plenty of money while the other folks don't. The Rochester's could pay almost any bond amount and not be hurt too bad financially by it....but these other, common, regular citizens, who probably make barely above minimum wage working at Tyson or Piggly Wiggly or Bill's Dollar Store, will go broke trying to scrape up enough money to get out.

Yesterday I mentioned that John Alexander Rochester, should have enhancements added to his sentence because he was within a three mile radius of the schools and many public housing complexes. Ashland is tiny. Just about everything in it is in a three mile radius. Here are the parts of the Alabama Code that deal with sales within a three mile radius.

Distribution within three miles of a school 5 year enhancement with no provision for probation
Distribution within three miles of public housing 5 year enhancement with no provision for probation aside
Use of Drug paraphernalia within three miles of public housing Subject to forfeiture

Here are the sections of the Alabama Code that deal with mandatory minimums.

Trafficking in marijuana, cocaine, meth

Sentences not to be deferred or reduced (unless the prosecutor asks for it to be or the defendant narcs out his connections, or attends treatment and pays his/her fines and court costs)

Now, I can already picture Fred Thompson, the D.A., asking for a sentence reduction for JAR and it being granted by Judge Simpson because John Alexander Rochester was able to pay his way out. Yep...theres actually a provision for folks who have money.
I don't know how the enhancements will affect this case or the possibility of the prosecutor asking for a reduction in sentence. If anyone out there knows please post the answer or email me.

This is so VILE! There ought not be two sets of rules in our judicial system. This case clearly shows that we do, in fact, have two sets of rules and that the main rule is you can have exactly as much justice as you can afford.





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Anonymous said...

Alex sat in jail the entire time anyway. They did not bond him out. So what does the bond amount have to do with anything?

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