Mike D. had his release hearing this afternoon at 3:00pm in the courtroom of Judge Ronald Thom aka Judge Dread. I witnessed one defendant after another chopped down by axe of Judge Thom. He barely allowed any defendants to speak. When they asked to speak, he simply said, in his authoritarian manner, "NO!"
Defendants were not brought into the court room. Instead, they were viewed on monitors. Whether they were in custody or not the monitor made everyone look like a criminal. The personal aspect of the courtroom was nil.
When Mike D's case came up Judge Dread's justice was also swift. To his credit he did reduce Mike D's bail from $50,000.00 to $5,000.00. But, he would not release him on his own recognizance though his lawyer argued that he had a place to stay and based on his two weeks in jail he would definitely take his court date seriously. When Mike D asked to speak to his lawyer, Dread said "NO!" Mike D's physical reaction was to basically throw his hands up in the air. He also raised the fist to show that he was continuing the fight.
Besides the fact the Judge Dread still insisted upon placing bail on a case where it was obviously unnecesary, the lack of the Mike D's ability to sit beside his lawyer and discuss things with his lawyer was the most shocking. I have never seen this closed circuit tv systems in courtrooms where the defendant wasn't violent or had some other circumstance. The defendant has to be able to talk to their during the hearing and that is only discretionarily possible with the tv. Their must be some legal challenge to the use of these monitors.
We are all waiting to hear if Mike D would like to be bailed out. We still have no contact through the jail or through the lawyer.