In this installment of is “is this believable” we’re in Texas where the New York Times reports an innocent woman was incarcerated just so that prosecutors could force her to show up at her own trial.
Yup, you heard that right. No charges were filed, but this woman, a rape victim, was further victimized by a judge, who locked her up for 27 days so that prosecutors were assured she would complete her testimony.
And it gets worse:
The woman, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, was held in the general population at the county jail — the same place where the rape suspect, Keith Hendricks, was housed. There, the suit says, she was misclassified as the perpetrator of a sexual assault — not as a victim — attacked by an inmate, denied medication and punched in the face by a guard.
The rape victim, naturally, is suing Harris County.
Apparently Texas is not the only state to do something so blatantly unconstitutional:
In a case in Sacramento, Calif., prosecutors in 2012 demanded that a 17-year-old victim of sexual assault be held in juvenile detention to ensure that she showed up to testify at the trial of her alleged attacker.
The Harris County DA claims they had no choice but to arrest the woman as she had threatened to flee the state before the trial was over.
The Jane Doe was diagnosed with bi-polar condition. She broke down while testifying about the brutal beating she received two years earlier at the hands of a man whom the state calls a “serial rapist”.
The break down was so severe she was sent to a mental hospital for ten days. But upon release, she was jailed, then taken to the courtroom every day to complete testimony.
The perpetrator was convicted of two life sentences.
One thing that can be said about Harris County law enforcement, they hate their prisoners. And they hate bad guys… and black lives matter.
But what’s the difference right?
District Attorney Devon Anderson, who was responsible for incarcerating Jane Doe once said of black lives matter:
“It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement. There are a few bad apples in every profession. That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement. The vast majority of officers are there to do the right thing, are there because they care about their community and want to make it a safer place. What happened last night is an assault on the very fabric of society. It is not anything that we can tolerate. It is time to come forward and support law enforcement and condemn this atrocious act.”
The use of the term “silent majority” is key here. It is most associated with disaffected white people who formed the core support of Richard Nixon’s campaign.
The Silent Majority was mostly populated by blue collar white people who did not take an active part in politics; suburban, exurban and rural middle class voters. They did, in some cases, support the conservative policies of many politicians. Others were not particularly conservative politically, but resented what they saw as disrespect for American institutions.
Richard Nixon was the “law and order” President and no fan of civil rights and woman rights. Civil disobedience was not to be tolerated.
And those who where with him on this, who pushed against racist and sexist institutions, were his silent majority.
So that gives you a glimpse into the mindset of the officers and the legal system in Harris County.
In addition, the Huston Chronicle has reported beating and killings of inmates by guards at Harris County jail.
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And, more and more mentally ill patients are being transferred to the general population in prison instead of mental health facilities at Harris Country. Back in 2011, the NY Times reported on just such a phenomena.
So here it is, five years later, and we have a woman with bi polar disease being incarcerated with the general population instead of staying in a mental hospital.
Is this believable?
Not only is believable, but given what we know, it is also predictable.