So the court slapped Jephthah Ford with a six-months custodial sentence on each of the two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice charges he was convicted on.
In the greater scheme of things this offender should have been sent a strong message by the court that corrupting public officials is a serious crime.
As was to be expected and as I predicted, the courts gave the defendant a tap on the wrist.
What I found curious is that the defendant’s attorney Bert Samuels all but admitted that his client broke the laws Quote: “He has allowed his good intention to cloud his better judgment.”
Samuels said the foregone while [petioning the court for a non-custodial sentence.
According to reporting Bert Samuels told the court that he acknowledged his client committed a serious offense but lectured the court that it involved no violence and resulted in no monetary value to Ford as if that negates the seriousness of the offenses. He said Ford’s action was out of a desire to assist, but conceded that this was a wrong intervention.
After Samuels made his submission the court announced the sentence of six months in prison on each of the two counts as charged to run (concurrently) meaning he would only serve six months or less in prison.
Now here’s the kicker, there is much talk of too many cases clogging up the rosters at all levels of the justice system to include the appeals court.
Yet immediately Samuels learned that Ford was going to spend time in prison, despite his own admission that his client committed the crimes, and despite admitting to the court that the crimes his client committed were serious crimes, Bert Samuels announced he would be filing an appeal.
This was the very same Attorney who asked the court to impose a fine on his client.
Now to the casual observer, this seems ridiculous, generally, an appeal may only be successful if the defendant can show new evidence which was suppressed by prosecutors or wrongdoing on the part of investigators and or prosecutors. Samuels admitted that his client committed the crimes in his summation.
On what grounds then will his appeal be entertained except because of who his client is?
The idea in this case as I said in a previous article, is to do whatever it takes to make sure that Ford does not spend a day in jail, that’s okay that’s what defense lawyers are supposed to do.
There was no suggestion of police impropriety, there was no suggestion of prosecutorial impropriety. In fact, Bert Samuels conceded his client committed the crimes he was charged with committing.
But during the appeals process which will drag on and on, new allegations of impropriety will begin to creep into the narrative until the appeals court make a decision to toss the case.
I will be watching this case as it languishes in the appeals court and Jephthah Ford continues with his life unobstructed.
Justice demands that someone keep and an eye open, fairness and our Democracy demand that we keep a candlelight on so that the dark forces of injustice are kept at bay.
I will be watching this one.