Tomorrow’s emergency docket has eleven cases on it.

That’s right. Eleven cases.

An email went out to judges this morning, confirming emergency Covid-19 bond requests have pretty much subsided, as reflected in the low number of cases to be heard tomorrow.

Yet there still aren’t VFO or Arthur hearing bond procedures in place, despite direction from the Supreme Court on utilization of witnesses in the new paradigm, and the fact other jurisdictions have been doing both, as required by law during the pandemic, via Zoom or in person.

The time for patience is over. VFO qualified defendants, whether or not they’ve ever thrown an actual punch in their lifetimes, are stacked up in the jails, on lockdown in crowded, small cells up to twenty-two hours a day, together with others awaiting Arthur hearings. It’s not safe for inmates or jail staff, or humane. Some have underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible to severe implications from potential infection, and all are simply accused of violations or new allegations. And pursuant to Supreme Court orders, they’re entitled to bond hearings.

It’s been roughly twenty days since we last brought up the subject. The emergency docket has now dwindled to almost nothing. There are no more excuses. And Jack Tuter, chief judge of Broward County, has still not come up with a method to provide bond hearings for all …


Florida Supreme Court Best Practices (May 11)