As I spend each day as a court observer in the Berrien County Courthouse of Horrors, certain patterns have become obvious. One that is most common is the use of the word "mother."
A typical example was yesterday when court appointed attorney Scott Sanford told a 15 year old boy that his mother said he should plead guilty. That boy had the courage to tell the judge his mother said no such thing. (His mother was present in the courtroom.) However, since the guilty plea was already in, the judge would not take it away.
This boy received 23 years in prison for allegedly attacking a guard in the Juvenile Center. All because the court appointed attorney told a lie.
Amercan prisons are full of wrongfully convicted persons. Many were coerced into admitting to crimes they did not committed by court appointed attorney`s threats that the prosecutor will pile on more charges. We must examine the moral, judcial, and constitutional implications of the push to resolve cases by pressuring defendants into plea agreements, guilty or not.
Rev. Edward Pinkney
1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, 49022
(much needed legal fees being accepted for my Sept. 19 frame-up trial)