In our continuing series on the evolving role of smartphones in news gathering and social impact we bring you this: an undercover recording of a judge telling traffic violators to pay or go to jail – without representation and actually against the law. It is another nail in the coffin of discriminatory practices against those least able to afford it, brought to you by smartphones.
I’m having a tough time with stories like these: my rationale for posting them in planet5D is that they have a digital filmmaking angle (in this case, the growing role of citizen journalism enabled by smartphones and their evolving visual grammar), but even though the technology is the primary reason for posting it, as sentient human begins we have to recognize that the technology is not the most important point.
Too preachy, right?
We welcome your comments below.
A Surreptitious Courtroom Video Prompts Changes in a Georgia Town
Via The New York Times:
An explosion of cellphone videos has brought renewed attention to police practices, provoking criticism, indictments and talk of criminal justice overhaul. Courtroom videos of judges in action, however, are far rarer.
But one surreptitious video in a small-town Georgia court has led to an overhaul of court practices there. The video showed the judge threatening to jail traffic violators who could not come up with an immediate payment toward their fines.
“You can pay what you have, you can call whoever you need to call, go to an A.T.M. if you need to, do what you need to do,” Judge Richard A. Diment of Bowdon Municipal Court said to one defendant. “Call friends, call family, call your employer. But until you get $300 here tonight, you won’t be able to leave.” The defendant said she had recently begun working at a supermarket and had $150 with her.
To another defendant, a man who said he had been unemployed for two years and received food stamps, Judge Diment said: “You’re going to have to figure out a way to get this paid, do you understand me? Or you’re going to go to jail. One or the other. You understand?”
|Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before|
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)