‘Put Me in Jail or Don’t’ – Defendant Waits, Speaks Up for Himself in Court

By S. Priana Aquino

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Torrance Scales was present in San Francisco County Superior Court this week for a pretrial conference regarding his out-of-custody status about an incident that occurred more than a year ago.

The district attorney began with a report from the victim in Scales’ case stating that he was still bothering them. Because of this, the DA wanted to keep the defendant on more restrictive supervision.

Scales had an ankle monitor at one point, but had it removed because of his health concerns.

At this point, Scales raised his hand, requesting to speak. He was told to be patient and have his defense speak up for him.

Defense attorney Ivan Rodriguez rebutted the DA’s claims, stating that his client had a positive report and had been in constant communication with him and the court despite having to join some calls from the hospital.

Rodriguez added the report filed by the victim was not what it seemed to be—Scales had called the police to be on standby while he got the rest of his things from the victim’s house. He was turned away and never even got to retrieve his belongings.

Adding to the falsity of the alleged victim’s claims, Rodriguez reminded the court that there was evidence of said victim admitting that they had made up some of the evidence that was used against Scales before.

Attorney Rodriguez stated that stricter supervision was both unhelpful and unnecessary, as Scales had committed no new crimes and had been present for all his court dates.

Throughout his attorney’s defense, Scales continued to raise his hand and wait patiently for his turn to speak. And, when the judge finally allowed him to address the court, he spoke passionately about what he had been experiencing.

“I’m so sick of this,” said Scales. “There has never been evidence that I ever committed these crimes…where’s the proof? I’ve been doing this for the whole year—I never did nothing to no one.”

His outburst rose in volume, and both the judge and Rodriguez tried to quiet him down.

“At this point you either put me in jail or don’t,” said Scales. “I haven’t been in jail in 40 years and I don’t want to wait around for you to put me back there again.”

After Scales spoke, the judge agreed with him that his positive report was a good sign that he did not need to be on restrictive supervision. They decided that he would check back into the court at a later date for another progress report.

“I don’t mean the court any disrespect,” Scales said. “I’m just trying to tell y’all what happened.”

About The Author

S. Priana Aquino is a rising Senior at the University of San Francisco, majoring in Business with minors in Legal Studies and Public Service & Community Engagement. Upon graduation, she hopes to attend law school and continue her work in uplifting and advocating for communities of color.

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