Rev. Pinkney Arrested AGAIN, supporters: Lynn Stewart, Voice Of Detroit, EXPOSED,

What's really happening to the people of Benton Harbor:
The thrust [of the Berrien county courthouse] is to physically remove and destroy families through the use
of the criminal justice system. Every person they can put in jail; every person whose voting rights they can
revoke with a felony conviction; every person they can cause to lose their job by putting them on probation;
every person they can cause to lose the ability to pay for basic necessities through imposing ruinous court
costs and probation is all part of the process. In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was
called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide, the removal of the minority population for the purpose
of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and the foremost leader
of the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney. --Civil rights attorney, Hugh "Buck" Davis

Monday, May 17, 2010

Homeless Court-Watch Program

The Benton Harbor NAACP has been working with the homeless in a combination court-watching program. It has been a great success.

There is also an effort to take the court system to the neighborhood. We want court sessions for the homeless defendants convened in a homeless shelter to resolve warrants and misdemeanor offenses without jail sentences.

The NAACP would like to build strong relationships between the courts, local shelters, service agencies, prosecutors, and court-appointed attorneys. It seeks to resolve the problems that homelessness represents with a practical solution.

The NAACP proposal is for the prosecutor and the defense attorney to review the cases before the court hearings. The court sentencing for fines, cost, and custody would be substituted by participating in agency programs. The program is designed for efficiency. The majority of the cases would be heard and resolved. The people would be sentenced in one hearing. The initial referrals to a homeless court would originate in the shelters and service agencies.

This program is designed to counteract the effect of criminal cases pushing homeless defendants further outside society. This program combines a progressive plea bargain system, an alternative sentencing structure, assurance of no jail and proof of program activities to address a full range of misdemeanor offenses. It brings homeless people back into society. The homeless need justice too. --Rev. E. Pinkney, 269-925-0001

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