The jail, how to work the system
The Beaufort County jail has been a political football for several years and it will continue to be. The reason is our vast intelligentsia who profess to know all about jails have never addressed why we need a jail. When the experts start shifting from one cheek to the other while they say things like, “I believe” and “I feel like” and “ I do not like the present jail” you can rest assured they are clueless about why we have a jail. They have never said what they would do with a jail if they had a new one. That is, how their improved jail would be used to enhance the quality of life in Beaufort County.
We have jails to hold serious offenders for trial, to provide punishment to those sentenced to less than 6 months because of their crimes, and to provide punishment to those who are probation offenders. The State Prison System takes those who are sentenced to more than 6 months. Other than for these things we do not need a jail.
Beaufort County, mostly District Attorney Seth Edwards, has done a good job of reducing the jail population during the past 4 or 5 years.
This brings us to analyze how quickly prisoners use the jail. That is, how fast they move thru it. Economists talk about the velocity of money, how quickly it changes hands. The velocity of prisoners thru our jail determines how big of a jail we need. Justice should be swift and sure. The accused are entitled to a speedy trial. Holding prisoners for long periods of time without trial violates the Constitution and punishes the taxpayer.
If the justice system drags its feet with unnecessary trial delays, we need a larger jail to house more prisoners. There are many reasons for trial delays. Some are justified, such as waiting for laboratories to complete their work, witnesses who cannot be made available for the trial, court scheduling conflicts and illness. Other delays are not justified, such as, lazy lawyers, over worked lawyers, long periods of time time for lawyers to adequately do their discovery and investigations, lawyers who are judge shopping, lawyers who are hoping witnesses may disappear or even die. There are inmates, who deliberately change lawyers to delay convictions. Much effort and dedication are required by both the Judges and the District Attorney to bring justice (whether guilty or innocent) to the accused in a short amount of time. Notice almost all the delays are in the hands of lawyers. And most lawyers know how to play the system.
We use a budget number of $50.00 per day for the cost of housing an inmate. We have an inmate who has been with us on dope dealing and murder charges since January of 2021. That is more than 900 days at a cost of more than $45,000, all paid by Beaufort County taxpayers. Another $5,000 has been paid by the State of North Carolina for lawyers to defend William Waters. He has used some of the tricks described above to delay his trial. (Waters is charged with murder of Jamie S. Daniels in the Sladestone Grocery parking lot on January 11, 2021)
His present lawyer, Less Robinson from Pitt County has had plenty of time to prepare his defense and has only recently agreed to have William Waters name placed on the court docket. Being on the docket does not mean a trial is scheduled. It means Less Robinson says he is ready for the trial. However, starting a trial does not mean finishing a trial. Robinson may still find ways to delay the completion of the trial. Hopefully, this case can be moved to the top of the docket and the taxpayers will not continue to be abused.
Attorney Robinson is the same lawyer who made his time available to defend Paul Varcoe against my charge of assault. Attorney Robinson had the good fortune to have the case heard by his admitted good friend (Judge Galen Braddy) also from Pitt County. At this time, I do not know who the Judge will be in the Willliam Waters case. It will not be Judge Braddy because Superior Court Judges usually try murder cases.
With Robinson defending Paul Varcoe and having Varcoe admit he pushed me, Judge Braddy still pronounced Varcoe “innocent” saying Varcoe did not mean to push me. The testimony showed Varcoe deliberately came to my table, followed me away from the table, assaulted me verbally and finally pushed me. This is a decision that sounds very similar to the kind of things the George Soros Democrats would do. Braddy established a legal precedent. It is called Braddy law. If you did not intend to do it, you are innocent. All elected officials be on guard. With this kind of justice, I expect more bad behavior.
The efficient running of the jail depends on the goodwill of several elected officials. No one person can be held totally responsible for how justice is spooned out. The Sheriff has the responsibility to run the jail efficiently. He cannot force trials. The District Attorney can decide when cases come to trial but he has to make sure of due diligence or the cases will be turned over by higher courts or not be heard because of trial judge orders. The Judge cannot call a case for trial. He makes sure the trial is fair and within the law. He has some authority over the jail but only if severe conditions arise. The public is very shy about being any participation in justice matters because of the power and authority of the Sheriff, the Judge and the District Attorney. However, all citizens should respectfully inquire of these officials as to whether or not efficient progress is being made in our justice system.
County Commissioners as a body provide the jail, and the offices and courtrooms for our justice system. We as a body representing the public should have a broad overview of the entire justice system. I am constantly disappointed at the lack of care and concern the majority of my fellow commissioners have when it comes to developing a strategy for the use of the jail and our court system. It takes the cooperation of all of us to focus. for example, on defeating drugs. Some commissioners are uncaring for their fellow man in any of the issues involving our justice system. Watch the way they vote.
Editorial Comment: The lack of court case reporting makes the public uninformed about local justice. Modern newspapers seem to report on cases that support their political views or have a celebrity appeal. This volunteer newspaper would welcome anyone who would monitor Beaufort County Courts and write periodic articles. What Beaufort County really needs is an effective group of volunteers to operate a “Court Watch” system, much as was previously available in Pitt County. A volunteer Court Watcher simply goes to court and observes and takes notes. They then either write an article or submit their notes for someone else to write a report. What this does is shine sunlight on judicial proceedings. If you or an organization wants to develop a Court Watch Program in Beaufort County the Beaufort Observer stands ready to allow its resources to publish the Court Watch reports. Just let us know if you are interested in this valuable public service.
|"That kind of assignment will never be acceptable." Superintendent shoots down the Gender Unicorn||Hood: I'd Rather Be Right, Editorials, Beaufort Observer, Op-Ed & Politics||Wandering Israelites Getting Real Tired Of Guy Who Keeps Saying, 'At Least We're Getting Our Steps In'|