LAST WEEK IN COURT

OCTOBER 23 - OCTOBER 29

  REFLECTION FROM A WATCHER:  I think about all the ridiculous things I did and said when I was 16 and 17, and how lucky I was not to live in a  community victimized by over-policing.  I think about what a scandal it would have been if I or one of my middle-class, white peers had been sent to jail indefinitely for a crime that we had been accused of  based solely on the testimony of an undercover cop.

REFLECTION FROM A WATCHER: I think about all the ridiculous things I did and said when I was 16 and 17, and how lucky I was not to live in a community victimized by over-policing. I think about what a scandal it would have been if I or one of my middle-class, white peers had been sent to jail indefinitely for a crime that we had been accused of based solely on the testimony of an undercover cop.

  REFLECTION FROM A WATCHER:  Just one arrest is going to make it harder for people who are already the most marginalized --  resulting in the loss of a job, or a bed at a shelter , or a violation of somebody’s parole or probation status. Any of these events have devastating consequences on people’s immediate lives and all but guarantee future justice-involvement, and  it's demoralizing to see that cycle play out right in front of you.

REFLECTION FROM A WATCHER: Just one arrest is going to make it harder for people who are already the most marginalized -- resulting in the loss of a job, or a bed at a shelter, or a violation of somebody’s parole or probation status. Any of these events have devastating consequences on people’s immediate lives and all but guarantee future justice-involvement, and it's demoralizing to see that cycle play out right in front of you.

  REFLECTION FROM A WATCHER:  It was an unforgettable shock to spend my first day in court and see almost none of the assumptions I’d made about due process… Seeing this happen once or twice is upsetting enough, but to sit in a courtroom and see dozens and dozens of people go through this horrific experience in a single day is  inarguable evidence that our legal system has become a factory dedicated to manufacturing convictions than it is a resource for defending the public good.

REFLECTION FROM A WATCHER: It was an unforgettable shock to spend my first day in court and see almost none of the assumptions I’d made about due process… Seeing this happen once or twice is upsetting enough, but to sit in a courtroom and see dozens and dozens of people go through this horrific experience in a single day is inarguable evidence that our legal system has become a factory dedicated to manufacturing convictions than it is a resource for defending the public good.