Advocates: State judge violating US court judgment on bail
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Civil rights attorneys say a state judge in New Orleans repeatedly violates a federal court judgment when setting bail for low-income and unemployed defendants.
Attorneys filed a motion in federal court Friday seeking an order that state Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell make a meaningful inquiry into defendants' ability to pay. They also want the court to order Cantrell to consider alternatives to bail and make sure defendants at bail hearings have access to a lawyer who can argue for them.
Examples cited in the motion include Cantrell's setting of a $15,000 bond for a man facing charges including aggravated battery. Attorneys said the man was homeless and there was no record of him failing to show up for court appearances.
Cantrell had not filed a response as of Friday afternoon.
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