(Editor’s Note: Police officers need to respect court dates the same as citizens…maybe if Judge Jolly locked up some of these deputies they would reschedule their leave and training dates…meanwhile the citizens and witnesses have taken off from work to attend only to have the hapless prosecutor ask for a continuance…Hats Off to Judge Jolly!)
“So, it’s ironic to me that at the same time this community is seeing that from our criminal justice system, they’re also learning that in another courtroom (DWI) cases are being dismissed en masse over state objection because an officer wasn’t present.” — District Attorney Jon David
A police officer has the same obligation to appear in court as a defendant or witness. Police officials know in advance both training days and court appearances. The prosecutor should not be “puzzled” unless he just got out of law school last year…
The prosecutor told the newspaper reporter that the defense attorneys didn’t object to the delays caused by cops failing to appear for court dates…first, this is just another time the lawyers can bill their clients and second, the defense attorneys often need their own delays and their legal practice often hinges on the edge of financial ruin and friendly relations with the D. A. keeps them solvent…
From Star News
Impaired driving charges against 28 people were refiled by the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office recently after the prosecutor was forced to dismiss the original cases because a judge wouldn’t grant a continuance.
Chief 13th Judicial District Court Judge Jerry A. Jolly made the decision despite the fact that the defense attorneys in the cases didn’t object to the continuances and the officers called to testify were unable to attend.
On Nov. 28, and again on Dec. 12, Jolly denied prosecution requests to continue driving while impaired cases when he was informed on Nov. 28 that the arresting officer was in mandatory training and on Dec. 12 that the deputy was out on leave.
But, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office records indicate, in each of the 28 cases continuances were granted at least once – and in some cases up to five and six times – at the request of the defense attorneys. Fourteen of the 28 cases were also previously continued at the request of the prosecution.
“I don’t know why he denied the continuance,” said District Attorney Jon David on Friday. “You’d have to ask (Jolly).” …. MORE