Judge dismisses inmate's ability to pay bail case

United States District Judge Vanessa Gilmore has dismissed a lawsuit filed by an inmate who claimed that his bond had been set without consideration of his ability to pay. Judge Gilmore held that under the doctrine of Younger v Harris, a 1971 U.S. Supreme Court case, a federal court may not intervene in state court prosecutions except in extraordinary circumstances. Because the inmate’s aggravated assault proceeding was ongoing the federal court abstained from interfering with the state court case.

The judge also found that the inmate’s claims that he was kept incarcerated in jail for too long under excessive bond against Sheriff Hickman lacked merit.  Bond is set by a court and the Sheriff has no role in setting bail.

The case is Jackson vs. Hickman Laura Hedge was the Assistant County Attorney in charge of the case.