Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mentally Ill Man Beaten to Death at Prichard Jail

This is really horrible.
Inmate dies after beating at Prichard Jail. Sunday morning, he died, his mother at his side. McDevitt was serving time for unpaid fines related to traffic tickets and misdemeanor arrests.

McDevitt was denied a psychiatric evaluation even though he had a long history of mental illness.

The judges in the case are doing this...

Judges in McDevitt case blame each other

And now hopefully the judges will both be in real trouble if the following is applied.

Imprisonment for Failure to Pay Fines
Constitutional and statutory bars against incarcerating indigent individuals for failure to pay fines are clear. In Bearden v. Georgia, the United States Supreme Court held that a court cannot imprison an individual for a failure to pay excessive fines unless that failure to pay is willful or incarceration is the only option.238 The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that Bearden applies to restitution payments.239 In Alabama, Rule 26.11(I)(2) provides that “[i]n no case shall an indigent defendant be incarcerated for inability to pay a fine or court costs or restitution.” In addition, Alabama Code section 15-18-62, as amended in 2002, restricts the amount of time for which individuals can be incarcerated for willfully failing to pay fines. The restrictions range from ten days imprisonment for charges totaling less than $250 to a maximum of thirty days imprisonment for charges totaling up to $1000, with four additional days for every $100 after that.

Federal Attorney Bill Dawson sued the city of Birmingham earlier this year for jailing defendants for inability to pay fines and WON the case. Birmingham agreed to stop the practice. I don't have the case number but am working on getting it. I hope that Mr. McDevitt's mama sues the absolute dog shit out of the incompetent fucks whose 'bureaucratic mistake' cost this man his life.


Anonymous said...

I thought STeven Wallace wa steh attorney on that case. I have the name around here somewhere and will try to post it

Loretta Nall said...

anon...I hadn't heard who the attorney for the McDevitt family was. If you do have that information I'd really like to have it so that I can pass along the Bill Dawson case info to them.

Anonymous said...

"From 2-1-08 post

defendants for Inability to Pay Fines
Gee, that is mighty white of them ain't it? About time too.

City settles federal lawsuit; judge must weigh ability to pay

Monday, February 25, 2008
News staff writer

The City of Birmingham has agreed to no longer automatically jail defendants who are unable to pay fines and costs for misdemeanor crimes.

In settling a 2006 federal lawsuit, city officials acknowledged that there were certain procedures judges in the Birmingham Municipal Court system did not follow when dealing with indigent defendants.

"We admitted there were certain things the judges were doing that they shouldn't be doing," said Lawrence Cooper, city attorney. "We agreed to follow the rules."

The suit, filed in Birmingham's federal court, accused the city of operating a dual system of justice that punished those who cannot pay fines more severely than those who can. The suit also claimed the city converted days in jail for fines and costs that resulted in a sentence that exceeded the maximum allowed by law.

Under the settlement, before fines, costs or restitution are converted to days in jail at the proper rate of $25 per day, the judge must determine a defendant's ability to pay. In the past, the city's automatic conversion of fines and costs to days in jail was at a rate of $15 per day.

Stephen Wallace, a Birmingham lawyer who sued the city on behalf of four indigent men, said Birmingham's sentences for indigent people who couldn't pay were illegal and unconstitutional. The suit said the Constitution prohibits automatic imprisonment for failing to pay a debt

Anonymous said...

DIsregard the last post

trizzybob said...

i'm going to argue that section 15-18-62 is unconstitutional under the part of the alabama constitution that says ....., no person shall be imprisoned for debt....... if that part hasn't been amended

trizzybob said...

section 20

trizzybob said...

you must have told some one my plans......the other day a friends nephew got a letter from the county clerks office saying his case is being referred to the D.A.'s for non-payment of fines and a 30% fee was added........ and another friend has a friend who was arrest and given 5 days in Jasper City jail for failure to appear after not showing up to pay a fine .............,some one did something and now i gotz ta change my argumentation even though I ain't even gotz my argument entered into public record, yet.

trizzybob said...

I don't got want the county is doing but I think the city of Jasper is convicting folks for contempt of court I'll look into this and see if freak sr. and freak jr. are going through the trouble of having a trial or hearing before conviction or if they are doing like the county like the county is doing and just adding on thanks for letting me vent