A Tale of Two Courtrooms

The differences in the outcomes for Friday’s hearings speaks for itself: the prosecutor in the room matters, and judges will follow their lead.

On Friday, all the parole hearings (plus one bail hearing that has been going on for days) happened in Judge Charles Ehrlich’s courtroom. The ADA objected (in some cases, “strenuously!”) to 13 people receiving early parole, including one where the defendant had COVID-19 and one where the defendant has asthma. In each of those cases, the judge denied the motion or the Public Defender withdrew the motion. In one case, someone who had been granted early parole earlier that week via written motion had their early parole motion withdrawn because the ADA didn’t have input on that motion.

Meanwhile, all motions to lift detainers or conditions and two bail reduction motions were heard in Judge Barbara McDermott’s courtroom. In several cases, Judge McDermott expressed concerns or a disinclination to grant the motion. But the ADA in that room, Pretrial Unit Chief Liam Riley agreed with the PD to lift detainers/conditions or reduce bail in ALL the cases we observed. So all those motions were granted.

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