Racial disparities in Martin County court investigated by Sarasota Herald-Tribune



(Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

“The buck stops with the judge at the end of the day,” said Veverly Gary Hamilton, an attorney and president of the Florida Treasure Coast chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. “That’s where liberty hangs in the balance.”

“It comes as no surprise to me that there is racial discrimination,” said Robert Watson, a criminal defense lawyer on the Treasure Coast, referring to countywide discrepancies. “Doing criminal defense in Martin County is like trying to pursue civil rights in Alabama in 1965. A lot of the rights for defendants are just not welcomed here.”

“We call it a kangaroo court,” said Jackie Gore, a retired corrections deputy and wife of the local NAACP president, referring generally to courts in her county. Blacks “are afraid to go through the system because they’re afraid they’re going to get railroaded. There’s no justice.”

For the complete article: http://projects.heraldtribune.com/bias/bauer/

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