Jackson Municipal Court Judge Ali Shamsid-dunce is in full CYA mode after he got called out for giving two $5,000 bonds to a suspect arrested for armed robbery and carjacking. WAPT reported last night:
A Jackson municipal court judge raised a $10,000 bond Wednesday to $200,000 Friday for a man accused a robbing a restaurant and carjacking someone hours earlier.The judge also told WAPT:
Stephan Brown, 19, was arrested Tuesday in connection with an armed robbery at the IHOP on Greenway Drive. The crime was caught on surveillance video, which showed a man pulling a gun on employees and them handing over cash. Employees said the robber left, but came back and demanded more money.
Brown is also charged with a carjacking at Quality Inn, which is down the street from IHOP.
Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance was not happy about the decision of the low bond.
"I'm really upset about this. My officers work their asses off to catch these guys and get and hopefully keep them off the streets. They are running around committing heinous crimes, robberies, thefts, and carjackings against the citizens of Jackson and when we catch them and bring them before a judge and they get a low bond like this it is very disheartening. It bothers me a great deal. I don't like it and I am not going to hide my feelings. I am upset by it and appeal to the judges to consider their records and the safety of the community."
Vance said the punishment is a joke.
"It is my understanding that he was issued a $10,000 total bond, $5,000 for each count, which basically means he can he can post $1000 and he can be back out in the streets again. That is unacceptable."
Officials with the Jackson Municipal Court said the officer gave erroneous information, Judge Shamsideen, brought defendant Brown back into his court and modified and raised the bond to $100,000 on each count, $200,000 bond and added the addendum that if he does somehow make bond that he must be placed under house arrest.
At the hearing on Brown when I asked the officer about this defendents prior crime record, I was told that his record was clean. That is why I set such a low bond. Only later did I learn that the officer was mistaken and that Mr. Brown had a long criminal rap sheet. And remember too that an initial appearance not a punishment proceeding, it's the beginning of the court process and that's why individuals go through the entire process in order to ensure that they have a fair and impartial hearing and ultimately justice is rendered.
Not so fast, Judge Shamsid-dunce. The suspect's rap sheet should not matter one damn bit. The suspect is accused of committing an armed robbery with a gun at a restaurant and then carjacking some poor victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Those are TWO VIOLENT felonies. Knowing the criminal history is helpful but a judge should know that a $5,000 bond for carjacking is almost the same thing as a Get Out of Jail Free Card. The perp pays maybe $500, or in this case $1,000, to a bail bondsman for the charge and gets out to go terrorize the community some more. It is assumed, of course, that the suspect has to pay $1,000 and not a lower amount if the bail bondsman puts him on a "installment plan".
Judge Shamsid-dunce could have looked at Brown's criminal history on the computer that is right in front of him in the courtroom. The learned judge only has to enter a code and presto, Brown's criminal history would appear on the screen right in front of him. This fact assumes that the judge can actually operate a computer. The fact that the judge blames the low bond on not knowing his criminal history shows the judge's incompetence or ignorance on the bench.
Mr. "Firm But Fair" got caught red-handed turning a dangerous suspect loose on the community and his now trying to cover his ass. This is the same judge who gave Daryl Dedmonds a $50,000 bond for murder and later raised it when the community raised hell about it. Sound familiar? The only firmness this judge shows is when he stands up to the police and protects criminals. He probably sees Jeff Weill as more of a threat to the community for locking up criminals than the criminals who actually rob, rape, and kill. Such are the way of things on his bench.