Orange-Osceola Public Defender Robert Wesley will meet reporters Tuesday at 11 a.m. to call for an end to “low-value” arrests and large court-ordered fines against the homeless and others who can’t possibly afford to pay.
Last week Larry Thompson, a 61-year-old hospice patient, was arrested on a judge-ordered writ for failing to pay court costs related to a 2010 charge of driving on revoked license. Because of Mr. Thompson’s fragile physical condition the jail would not accept him. Instead Mr. Thompson was sent to the hospital under the supervision of 2 jail guards.
Mr. Thompson’s arrest, and others like it, wastes taxpayers money and resources of the police and the jail. Mr. Wesley’s office represents Mr. Thompson.
This March, in the wake of the federal Department Justice report criticizing heavy-handed court-costs and fees in Ferguson, Mo., Mr. Wesley called on local court, law-enforcement and elected officials to review collection practices in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit. Nothing has happened.
During Tuesday’s press conference Mr. Wesley will detail a common-sense solution to low-value arrests and update reporters on Mr. Thompson’s case.
Press conference location: Plaza in front of the Orange County Courthouse
For more information call David Porter Communications at 407-256-7831
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