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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Portune wants to track bonds


A study released Tuesday about the exploding jail populations across the country got commissioners talking.

One problem, according to the study, is high bonds being set for minor crimes.

It prompted this suggestion by Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune: a record could be kept of which judges are setting what bonds “So we can see who’s contributing to the problem.”

“I’d like to see a scorecard that we can go back and look at the judges and see who is historically setting high bonds on low-level crimes. Maybe that will impose some self-discipline,” he said. “There are only so many rooms at the inn”

Portune mentioned as an example, the recent case in which Hamilton County Municipal Judge Richard Bernat set a $1 million bond for an 18-year-old $21 theft case. Commissioners and some judges (Judge Nadine Allen is perhaps the most vocal proponent) support the purging of old warrants for non-violent crimes to save the courts and jails time and money. The Criminal Justice Commission is examining that issue.

“People rightly get outraged when they see jail space being used up on cases like this,” Commissioner David Pepper said of the $1 million bond case.

It’s unclear whether Portune's suggestion is feasible. He instructed county staff to look into it.

The Enquirer is seeking comments from the court.
UPDATE: Here's what Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann said about it.
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann said his office does not have any system set up to track bond data in that way.
“We’d have to build a program to track it judge by judge and we haven’t received any request to do so.”
Hartmann is running for the Hamilton County commission seat being vacated by Commissioner Pat DeWine, who is running for municipal court judge. Hartmann agrees overcrowding is a problem, but said it shouldn’t be blamed on the judges. Tracking the bonds they set is not a good way to solve it, he said.
“I think we need to be careful not to overreact to one case in which there was an extremely high bond,” he said.
“Judges look at all kinds of different factors. That’s their job as judges. We need to be careful about telling judges how to do their job.


43 Comments:

at 1:26 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.

Doesn't the county keep 10% of all bond money ?

Isn't that an incentive to place high bonds and reduce O.R. ?


 
at 1:37 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is a great idea, I feel some Judges do that because they know it will get them some news and press coverage I believe that criminals must pay for there actions, but let us not get crazy 1 milllion for theft and 200,000 for murder, 10 years for murder, 25 to Life for drugs we have it backwards....

 
at 1:41 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The county has bond fees, which are 24 dollars per charge for Misdemeanors and 45 dollars per charge for Felonies. The citizen pays 10 percent of the bond, plus bond fees. High bonds and tougher stances make judges more attractive to place into Commons Pleas. Hello, Judge Mallory???

 
at 1:58 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bond set on the case involving Judge Bernat was set by a different judge at a hearing the defendant failed to appear. The amount of time and money it takes to re-arrest defendants is taken into consideration when a defendant becomes "appearance challenged".

 
at 2:10 PM, April 02, 2008 Blogger usefullidiot said...

Great day for justus!! But boy, this will devalue Portune's stock with the Soros Progresive Demokratische Partei.

Todd, a few more steps in this direction is a good thing.

 
at 2:11 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pepper is an idiot. Judges who set bonds usually have a complete history of the defendant and the case. So all of you monday morning quarterbacks better get all the facts before you open your mounths and confirm what everyone thinks already. By the way, Bernat didn't set that bond, Judge Rosen did.

 
at 2:23 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judges are elected seperately from Commissioners.

The Sheriff is elected seperately from the judges and commissioners.

It is nice if they choose to cooperate, but the Commissioners forcing their agenda on the judges is opening a can of worms that I do not think the commissioners want to deal with.

If the Commissioners create the bpublic perception that they are accountable for the judges, then they will pay the political price when the courts hit problems.

 
at 2:47 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"...Anonymous said...The county has bond fees, which are 24 dollars per charge for Misdemeanors and 45 dollars per charge for Felonies. The citizen pays 10 percent of the bond, plus bond fees."

Not certain, but, at one time when you went to collect the bond left on deposit the county kept 10% of the 10% deposited ?

Unless, we got scammed by the clerk or by the individual we loaned the money ?


 
at 2:49 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, Deters is the one that said this was ridiculous.

 
at 2:49 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the commissioners ever think of how much it costs the county every time someone misses court??? There are hundreds of cases every day where the defendant does not show up and a warrant is issued. Let's just focus on this one case and not look at the whole picture. That is what has hurt the city and county for so long. WOW I'm glad the parties made a sweetheart deal to run Portune unopposed.

 
at 3:20 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I imagine the courts would throw a fricking fit if the Enquirer actually reported on their conduct .

But don't forget, the elected official who is refusing to hear the voice of voters is Joe Deters.

Deters is the one who is asking for these ridiculous bonds, demanding long jail terms, prosecuting stupid cases, jacking up the charges to felonies, and arguing against outpatient treatment of non-violent offenders.

Deters is as m uch, if not more, responsible for the pocket wrenching costs of our criminal justice program because he's "tough on crime" but doesn't have a way of paying for it or negating the need -- just throw 'em in jail and throw away the key -- that way our conviction rate is high and felony conviction rate makes us look "tough" but broke!

 
at 3:45 PM, April 02, 2008 Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Did someone say "Pepper is an idiot"?

I have said that for years. So is Cranley.
ST CSA

 
at 3:47 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

DeWine is running for Common Pleas Judge, not Municipal Court Judge.

 
at 3:48 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is the just the tip of the iceburg. How about the Bail Bondsman that are chasing you out of the court house trying to grab you before the next bondsman. Why pay a straight bond or even a 10 % bond when you can find a bondsman lurking in the court or down a alley way willing to do it for little money or sometimes for favors. So does it really matter that high bonds are set ? Maybe we should be more concerned that criminals are getting out of jail less than what their bonds are set for. If the Judge are setting high or not high bonds anyone can get out if they find just the right Bail Bondsman. There is a bondsman just waiting for you to come to court room A. The one I have used did'nt even ask me for I.D. or to sign anything. Just wanted what money I had (which was no where near the 10% on a straight bond). Bonds are set for a reason, maybe the judges should be concerned just how some criminals are getting out?

 
at 3:54 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd should leave judging to judges and recall his Constitutional Law Classes (Separate but equal branches of Gov't)

 
at 3:55 PM, April 02, 2008 Blogger t said...

won't this have a bad impact on a Judge's ability to make an "independant" decision case - by - case? These judges are elected aren't they? Our commissioners should have more important things to do. Just because there was a "study released" doesn't make this an important topic for our city.

 
at 3:56 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous JC said...

The whole criminal justice system is a money-making-machine. The prosecutor didn't use any evidence against me, yet Burlew decided he would convict me of an OVI. I guess I am not the first JC to be persecuted, but it sure does suck! It's all about money (and Burlew is a known racist, but that's a whole different issue)!!

 
at 4:06 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are serious separation of powers issue at stake here. portune just cant go barking orders at a separate and coequal branch of government.

 
at 4:32 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portune and Pepper are both morons. If there were not do many low life's living in the area there would not be a problem.
Portune is a "grand stander" and Pepper who has never had an original thought in his life follows lockstep.
I moved out of the City after 35 years. I can always leave Hamilton county and let the liberals decide how to fund the handouts.

 
at 5:04 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

They mentioned in the article that the dude tried to hurt himself- perhaps that was the reason for the high bond, to protect him.

 
at 6:17 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe King Todd can reward the judges he likes with a *deal of no party endorsed candidate to run against them?

 
at 7:29 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portune isn't saying that judges can't require bonds, but that there should be a mechanism to track who is requiring what size bond for which crime. This would allow voters to make more informed decisions -- and maybe make judges think twice before asking for an outlandish bond -- which typically results in jail time until trial.

 
at 7:54 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The justice "system" (Deters, judges, Leis, etc) doesn't want this. They might have to answer common sense questions that we citizens might have.
I could do this for free with a simple Excel program and Hartman needs a new system?

 
at 8:40 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

The citizens of Hamilton County will get the out of control crime they deserve.

The criminal insurgents have made it into the suburbs now. It is only a matter of time before YOU are a victim. So remember when YOU have to go to court and the nonviolent offender does not show up on the third or fourth court date and YOU have taken off work each time, paid for parking and waited three to four hours only to be told sorry the nonviolent offender didn’t show up again. YOU may start to understand why we need more jail space and high bonds.
For all of the people who say they should not lock up the nonviolent offender, how about giving me your address so I can tell the criminals where you live and then they break into your home and not get locked up.
How about asking the victim of the so called nonviolent offender what the CRIMINALS bond should be.
WAKE UP HAMILTON COUNTY BRING BACK LAW AND ORDER.

 
at 9:21 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

One poster mentioned Deters jacking up charges. Quite the opposite; many actual felonies are rapidly reduced to misdemeanors at the direction of his assistants hiding behind the secrecy of the grand jury. This results in less pleas, more appearances by police, victims and witnesses; and a general waste of other people's money and time. Anyone that has been to municipal court can vouch for the fact that Deter's could care less about the time of victims or police.

Also, the Commisars should stick to the administration of the county, not telling judges how to set bonds. Keeping that guy locked up was the quickest and most efficient resolution for the case. I'd rather pay to house him than have some victim wait in the courthouse hallway for hours, again and again, each time the jerk capiases.

 
at 10:45 PM, April 02, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord, don't ask Hartmann - he is a complete idiot. The county had to pay out big for him posting people's social security numbers on the internet, he hired Joe Deters nephew in a quid pro quo over an applicant who actually lives in the region, much less county, opts to run background checks on foster parents - only after he decides to run for county commissioner, ... Hart-less Hartmann hasn't a heart or a brain - just a little power to buy a few favors

 
at 8:54 AM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get out your simple Excel program there Mr. Gates and then enter all the data for free. Hundreds of cases per day. Oh you don't want to do it for free? Neither does anyone else. That is why we are in these situations, you can't throw money at the problem and hope to fix it. As soon as Portune and Pepper quit caring who gets credit for solving our jail problem the sooner it will get solved.

 
at 9:03 AM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

so glad anothe judge was able to intervene with this case, wht judges won't do for a little publicity. please everyone open your eyes DeWine is the last person we need to be a judge, this guy just won't let go. have we figured out what he wants to be when he grows up?I thought he was a lawyer? when did he ever practice law? after all he was suppose to be married and a father and never got that right either. do we really want this guy on the judicial bench making decisions for our future?ns

 
at 9:58 AM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it not true that most judges are or at one time were attorneys. It's also commonly thought that MOST attorneys are scum sucking pigs who feed on peoples misfortune and pain. Prosecutors are just as corupt with overblown egos and less educated than high profile lawyers used by the rich to 'balance' the system in their favor. The police and jail gaurds are even less educted and perhaps even more power hungry. Their attempts at peace are often times clouded by rage and miscalculations. Even with all of those who are locked up in jail I would venture to say there are even more dangerous criminals running our country and government. Who do I feel sorry for; the nonviolent criminal who just lost his/her job and family to pay a nominal debt to 'society' who when this debt is repaid will have little opportunity for gainful employment once the debt has been paid. As well, I feel sorry for the tax payers who keep seeing their taxes waisted on a system of justice that isn't fair or balanced.

 
at 1:37 PM, April 03, 2008 Blogger The Sour Kraut said...

I got this message; what does it mean?
You're currently posting as The Sour Kraut
Use a different account

 
at 2:50 PM, April 03, 2008 Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

it means that Portune, Pepper and Cranley are ALL MORONS!

 
at 2:50 PM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
The Sour Kraut said...I got this message; what does it mean?You're currently posting as The Sour Kraut Use a different account1:37 PM, April 03, 2008"

It means that you have been busted as a sock-puppet and are no longer permitted to post on the blogs !

Probably one of those young and naive elephant chippers !

We have your IP address so don't think you can FOOL us !



 
at 4:17 PM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
Cheviot Sports Authority said...it means that Portune, Pepper and Cranley are ALL MORONS!
2:50 PM, April 03, 2008"

Well I say my good Watson, the chevy-it land-baron is lacking the elements of refined dialogue !

Rather foolish, I'd say !

Couldn't possibly be old money !

 
at 8:04 PM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheviot idiot owns two times shares that are 'Naples near'.

 
at 10:05 PM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Criminals belong in jail. They need to accept responsibility and pay their debt to society. There are way to many criminals out on bail commiting additional crimes and not being held accountable for their actions. I commend Mr. Portune and Mr. Pepper for trying to deal with the jail overcrowding issue, unfortunately the jail levy went down to defeat and that is why this is being discussed. If the voters of this county had the common sense and guts to do the right thing and vote yes on the jail tax so we could afford to build the jail we so desperately need this bail issue would never be discussed. The criminals would be where they belong in jail and not free to terrorize our families. The citizens of this county with the leadership of our elected officials need to find the funding for a new jail! They also need to move torward a metro form of county government which would free up a lot of duplicated services, save a lot of money and provide a better more efficient form of government. Take a look at Lexington and Louisville!!!

 
at 10:11 PM, April 03, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! There's another side to this story about the defendant's high bond. For some reason, the Enquirer didn't state the reason, or the dude's family asked for privacy. Judge Rosen has done this dude a favor & hopefully, the defendant will get the help he needs.

Say, how about Judge Bernie Bouchard cranking up the bond on Chris Henry?? Mercy sakes alive! The look on that punk's face when the Judge told him he was out of a job & in a heap of trouble, was priceless! Certainly livened up my dreary, damp Thursday afternoon!

Bengals can kick Ocho Zippo out the door, too. There's no "I" in team & it's about time these high-rolling criminals got their just due. And Chris Henry's was waaaay overdue.

 
at 8:36 AM, April 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is there so much glee over another's misfortune? What did Mr. Henry do to you?

I think you all seem to miss the point of bail. It is only to insure appearance. It is not meant to be punishment. Take a look at the US Constitution once!

In that Henry turned himself in seems to have been overlooked. The criminal in this case is the judge by depriving Henry of his right to freedom pending conviction, if there is one.

I think it is sad that this country is filled with self-righteous asses, who don't understand the law.

 
at 9:02 AM, April 04, 2008 Blogger The Sour Kraut said...

Why is there so much glee over another's misfortune? What did Mr. Henry do to you?

I think you all seem to miss the point of bail. It is only to insure appearance. It is not meant to be punishment. Take a look at the US Constitution once!

In that Henry turned himself in seems to have been overlooked. The criminal in this case is the judge by depriving Henry of his right to freedom pending conviction, if there is one.

I think it is sad that this country is filled with self-righteous asses, who don't understand the law.

 
at 9:06 AM, April 04, 2008 Blogger The Sour Kraut said...

I see why there are so many anonymous posts; trying to login or use a blogger account is really a pain.

It would seem that some moderator would let the powers that be know in order to get better comments. But then I am assuming intelligence.

Dieter

 
at 9:24 AM, April 04, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

US District Court has sued Simon Leis over illegal procedures against people out on bail.
Simon should tell them "It's none of your business!", just like he tells any citizen that dares question him about anything.
Double dare you, Sheriff.

 
at 11:44 AM, April 04, 2008 Blogger The Sour Kraut said...

What are the illegal procedures that Leis is accused of?

 
at 12:00 PM, April 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

.
"The Sour Kraut said...What are the illegal procedures that Leis is accused of? 11:44 AM, April 04, 2008"

The department has been accused of trumping up reasons to stop, search and harass citizens in OTR with a mindset of guilt by location !

The department has been accused of selective enforcement since, in the last 35 years, there has not been a major LOCAL white-collar, money laundry, drug-lord, million dollar bust !

Some have claimed New Orleans style protectionism !

But, the wRong wingnut whackos seem to get their panties all up in a twist and file frivolous lawsuits because the department taped issue support signs to parade vehicles !

PATHETIC 'family values' !

HAD ENOUGH, VOTE DEMOCRAT 2008 !



'

 
at 11:56 AM, April 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous, If those allegations are correct, I think they are serious. If the question of the allegations are even raised, I think they need to be addressed.

That they are the subject of a law suit by the government tells me that there is a valid question here and what other way to resolve it is available other than a due process legal action?

It is difficult to bring such an action and it is expensive. Is their any proof that the allegations are wrong?

It is refreshing to find people who get their pants in a twist over anything anymore. I can't in this instance, because I don't really understand your position. It is not very clear.

The Sour Kraut ( anonymous in this case because I can,t find my password)

 
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