A piece of local news bothered me yesterday. A 35 year old Dallas woman, Adrienne Lemons, mother of a 3 year old boy, was thrown into a Fort Worth jail because she had a couple traffic tickets she'd not taken care of.
From what I read it seems she was thrown in jail prior to having a hearing in court. The hearing in court was pending, when on the 10th day of her incarceration over traffic tickets, Ms. Lemons died, due to a staph infection, for which jailer would not give her her antibiotics.
At some point during her 10 day incarceration, due to traffic tickets, the pain from her staph infection became so intense she threatened to kill herself rather than endure the pain. Rather than getting her the treatment she needed, she was thrown into a solitary cell in the downtown Fort Worth Jail.
In solitary, Ms. Lemons condition became so grave she was rushed to the locally notorious John Peter Smith Hospital, where doctors decided her condition was so far gone there was nothing they could do. She died a few hours later.
Her family is in shock. Her brother has been the family's spokesperson. I'm hoping they find a very very very good lawyer.
I know someone here in Fort Worth who currently has two warrants for his arrest due to getting a ticket for not having car inspection sticker up to date. When he realized his mistake he fixed it that day, went to the courthouse to show that it was fixed and was met with confusing language from persons for whom English was not their first language. He walked away thinking the matter was taken care of.
Then 4 years later the notifications of his pending arrest arrived in the mail, not by registered mail, so there is no record of him actually getting these notifications.
Now, I'm thinking, elsewhere in the country, it is unlikely you could be arrested and thrown in jail over this. But, here in Texas, it seems common sense does not always rule. Or fairness. Because, apparently you can be thrown in jail prior to being convicted of anything. Now, I know that's the case for serious crimes, like murder, or bank robbing. Of course you put the perp behind bars prior to trial.
But for a traffic ticket? That is nuts. Totally nuts.