Jenkins v City of Jennings
In 2015 eight plaintiffs filed suit against the City of Jennings. The complaint alleged that impoverished city residents were jailed solely because of their inability to pay court fines and fees from traffic and other municipal violations. No meaningful inquiry was made of their ability to pay, and the City officials arbitrarily decided how much a particular debtor should pay before being released. The City never provided attorneys for the plaintiffs, who were indigent. The plaintiffs alleged that they were taunted daily by jail guards, were forced to clean the jail without monetary compensation to get extra food, and that the cells were filthy and overcrowded. Despite passing all the relevant exams, one plaintiff was unable to join the Navy because of her outstanding fines and fees.
The case was settled December 2016. The agreement included, Settlement Fund: $4,750,000.00, $10,000 to each class representative, Per Diem damage award for each day spent in the Jennings Jail for class members: $416.61 and Class members court fines and fees forgiven
Host Teresa Wilke talks with Michael-John Voss the Co-Founder and Director of Special Projects at ArchCity Defenders about Jenkins v City of Jennings a groundbreaking case that has implications across the state.
Michael-John Voss is the co-author of ArchCity Defenders’ White Paper on St. Louis County’s municipal court system, a paper that brought context to underlying factors in the protests following the Ferguson Uprising. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, National Public Radio, Democracy Now, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Since co-founding the organization in 2009, Michael-John and ArchCity Defenders have received several local and national accolades for indigent defense, systemic impact litigation, and holistic legal advocacy.
ArchCity Defenders website – http://www.archcitydefenders.org/
Daniel Ellsberg discusses the prosecution of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act
Daniel Ellsberg is one of a line of whistleblowers that has faced prosecution under the Espionage Act. Today he talks about the original intent of the act when it was enacted during WWI and its increasing use in recent to punish whistleblowers. The Obama administration made more use of the Espionage Act than all the others Presidents in the 50 years + before him. The Trump Administration will try to expanded its interpretation in their expected prosecution of Julian Assange to include reporters.
Host Margot Patterson talks with Daniel Ellsberg about the use of the Espionage Act since he leaked the Pentagon Papers, up to the threats posed by its possible use against Julian Assange and the threat to a free press.