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The Charge: Violation of the Bail Reform Act
The Record: On Oct. 29, Maurice Whitfield failed to appear for a sentencing hearing for a misdemeanor case in which he was charged for attempted possession of cocaine. According to the arrest report, three officers observed Whitfield “making a throwing motion toward the ground.” They scoped out the spot and recovered “a loose white rock, portion field tested positive for cocaine, along with a burnt glass tube with additional white rock substance inside of the tube.”
PLEAS FOR MERCY
Lawyer: “When Mr. Whitfield was released initially on this matter, back on Aug. 6, he, on his own, got into drug treatment,” says his attorney Abraham Blitzer. “Mr. Whitfield completed the inpatient portion of the program, but because he wasn’t court ordered, there was no funding for him to get any after-care. Left to his own devices, he backslid again, started using drugs again, and missed his court day.…On Nov. 8, Judge [Zinora] Mitchell-Rankin sentenced Mr. Whitfield to the 45 days in the underlying case.”
Defendant: “I made a mistake, and I apologize for that,” says Whitfield.
The Sentence: “It would be nice if we could give you the help that you need, but you’re a grown-up,” says Judge Robert Richter. “You’re going to be held responsible for what you do. There were times in the past where you failed to appear: You got 90 days, you got 120 days once, you got 130 days once. I’m going to sentence you to 140 days because you shouldn’t get any less than you’ve gotten in the past. Maybe one day you’ll learn, maybe you won’t.” In addition to his jail-time sentence, Richter requires Whitfield to pay $50 to the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Fund.