NC court officials, judges and magistrates are increasingly calling for bail reform to keep low-level, misdemeanor defendants out of jail before their trials. Cash bonds and secured bonds often keep defendants behind bars because they cannot pay.
Kristie Puckett Williams spent months in jail on a cocaine charge while pregnant because she could not afford the high bond set for her. She pleaded guilty to gain her freedom and had twins days afterward. Now she fights for bail reform.
The push to limit or end cash bail or secured bonds in North Carolina demands alternatives for the state’s jail population. Here are suggestions, pilot programs and plans tried in other states, especially California, where voters will choose in 2020.
Kanautica Zayre-Brown asks N.C. Department of Public Safety to transfer her to a women’s prison for the remainder of her sentence because she is a post-operative transgender female who faces harassment and health issues in an all-male prison.
A man was arrested after he fought police and used their pepper spray, according to the Raleigh Police Department. He was charged with assault causing physical injury to a law enforcement officer, a felony.
Garner police say a James William Johnson of Powell Drive accidentally shot his 14-year-old son early Saturday morning. The father now faces a felony child abuse charge. The teen is being treated at WakeMed.
Records of a state investigation into supervision of Jean Carolyn McGirt found a lack of documented checks in that area the day of her death. The jail has responded by increasing the checks, and with plans to electronically document them in the unit as they do elsewhere in the facility.
Bobby Whitt’s body was found under an Interstate 40-85 billboard near Mebane, North Carolina, in 1998. An Orange County Sheriff’s Office investigator closed his career and the case last week after 20 years chasing DNA evidence.