COURT WATCH: Judge Gives a Chance to Accused, Releases Him Pending Trial

San Francisco Hall of Justice – Photo by David M. Greenwald

By Yash Mishra

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Tensions began to stir between the prosecution and the defense in their statements regarding the accused’s release in San Francisco County Superior Court last week.

In a bench warrant return hearing overseen by Judge Michael Rhoads, the prosecution and defense presented arguments in a case where a man is charged with vehicle theft and receiving stolen property.

With a booming voice, Deputy District Attorney Robert Miranda argued the accused did not appear in an arraignment back in November and a bench warrant was issued on Dec. 22. He concluded the accused should be kept in custody until trial because of his failure to appear in court.

As he emphasized this argument, Judge Rhoads took a glance at his monitor and nodded, asking, “Does he have any criminal history?”

DDA Miranda took a pause to look at his papers and responded, “I am not aware of any criminal history.”

Judge Rhoads glanced back at his monitor and then turned to the defense and asked, “What does the defense have to say?”

Deputy Public Defender Kathy Bryant fiercely responded, “Your honor, he (accused) was homeless and had no resources to come to court.”

She added, “I have spoken to ACM (Assertive Case Management), and they have been helping him (accused). He (accused) has now got a phone and is familiar with the bus system.”

Judge Rhoads nodded and asked if the DDA had any more statements. The DDA responded that he did not.

Judge Rhoads took a little time to ponder the case, and then turned to the defense side and looked at the accused. With a firm tone, he said, “I will let you be released. But I am expecting you to be here for your next court hearing.”

The accused’s next court date is Aug. 13.

About The Author

Yash Mishra is a senior at California State University, Fullerton where he studies Criminal Justice. He is very passionate about the burning issues in the criminal justice system. After completing his undergraduate studies, he plans to pursue a career in investigations.

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