By Sophia Barberini
SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley last Friday attempted to revoke the bail of defendant David Jackson, citing convictions from 25 years ago and asserting, “I can set a bail that he probably won’t be able to make.”
Defendant Jackson is facing four years in prison after he, allegedly, hit a man with a baseball bat. The defendant then fled the scene and was later pulled over, where police found a loaded firearm, two baseball bats, 62 grams of meth, a scale, and $757 in various denominations in his car.
The offense occurred while the defendant was on post-release community supervision (PRCS) and bail was initially set at $1 million.
Assistant Public Defender Timothy Douglass filed a Humphrey motion in an attempt to have the defendant released on his own recognizance (OR), so that he may enter a drug treatment program, noting that repeated prison sentences are not working for Jackson, so maybe a drug program will work.
Since the defendant’s prior strike in 1993, “it has been the opposite of staying out of trouble,” stated Lee, as he referenced charges from 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2016.
Further, Lee explained that the victim in this case suffered broken bones in his arm and that a witness claimed that they saw the defendant waving a firearm around.
Judge Frawley added to Lee’s concerns, highlighting failures to appear from more than two years ago.
Conceding to the failures to appear, PD Douglass emphasized how old the failures to appear are and began his argument for Jackson to be released on OR (own recognizance, with no bail).
Refuting DDA Lee’s witness, PD Douglass highlighted the claims of his own witnesses, who he said, claim “that the victims in this case, both of them had a bat… and they were swinging it wildly at Mr. Jackson.”
“They did not see Mr. Jackson with the gun, but at some point, they do see Mr. Jackson take the bats away from the two victims… and place them in the trunk,” illustrated Douglass.
Addressing the loaded firearm discovered in the defendant’s car, Douglass informed the court that there was a passenger in the car who provided a sworn affidavit that the gun was hers, “a statement against her own penal interest.”
PD Douglass explained that, in a previous discussion with DDA Lee, he noted that the defendant “has a long history of drugs,” and inquired, “Can we put him in a drug treatment facility, with the stipulation that if he doesn’t do it, we’re going to hang 12 years over his head?”
Despite Lee initially denying this request, defense counsel Douglass informed the court that the defendant “has enrolled and got accepted into two drug treatments.”
The public defender requested that the court “release Mr. Jackson with the stipulation that he go into a drug treatment facility, return here in 45 days… and that might help us reach an agreement on the remaining drug charges, which that’s what the DA’s offer is, plea to the drugs and it is four years.”
DDA Lee vehemently opposed Douglass’ request, stating “The facts, according to the victims and the people’s position is the polar opposite of what Mr. Douglass just said.”
Further, Lee reiterated, “Every time he is released, he picks up a new firearm/drug case.”
Acknowledging Lee’s argument, Douglass emphasized “Almost every single offense involved drugs. At no time did Mr. Jackson ever receive drug court or drug treatment.”
Further, Douglass argued, “It has always been prison, prison, prison… and it seems like we can keep doing the same thing and getting the same results, or we can try something new.”
Jude Frawley refuted Douglass’ argument that the defendant’s charges were predominantly drug cases, arguing “there is also domestic violence and child endangerment.”
But PD Douglass quickly explained that those charges were from 25 years ago. “I mean put that in perspective,” said Douglass, “25 years ago you could walk onto a plane without taking your shoes off. If you went on vacation, you had to book it through a travel agent. A lot has changed in 25 years.”
Judge Frawley, seemingly irritated by Douglass’ argument, stated, “I am not going to make light of the situation, but it doesn’t appear to me that the defendant has changed all together.”
Further, Frawley declared, “I find that he is both a public safety risk and a flight risk, given his prior failures to appear… I order that he be held at no bail.”
Public defender Douglass swiftly inquired, “No bail?”
Judge Frawley, conceding that he is “not sure what we are doing in these post-Humphrey times” (law now requires reasonable bail), subsequently responded, “Well, I can set a bail that he probably won’t be able to make.”
Moreover, Frawley asserted, “There is incentive for him to flee, he has failed to appear in the past, and I find that he is a public safety risk, based on his extensive prior record.”
Douglass, clearly baffled by Frawley’s ruling, argued, “I think there are not enough facts for the record for this court to decide that he is a threat to the community, by just looking at his past history.”
Citing the facts of In re Humphrey and the defendant’s prior strikes in that case, Douglass claimed that the California Supreme Court “still found that Mr. Humphrey was suitable for release, and these facts are nowhere near what Humphrey is.”
“So, I think that there are not enough facts for the court to decide that Mr. Jackson is a threat to the community, and to move from bail to no bail,” contended Douglass.
Judge Frawley, evidently agitated by the argument against his decision, concisely declared “Ok, I’ll set bail at $250,000.”
David Jackson’s trial is currently set for May 3, but the date is subject to change given PD Douglass’ decision to leave the Public Defender’s Office.
Sophia Barberini, from San Mateo, CA, is a fourth-year student at UC Berkeley. She is double majoring in Political Science and Legal Studies and hopes to pursue a career in law.
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