A writ of Habeus Corpus has been granted by Tyler Gill, 7th Judicial Circuit Judge, ending the indefinite incarceration of 17 people ordered held by Carol Sue Browning, a Todd/Logan County District Court Judge. These 17 people committed various infractions, all misdemeanors, in fact, most had committed traffic violations. The District Court judge then had them jailed, and attempted to initiate deportation proceedings from her bench. The Writ states, in part:
The Court finds that the detentions were illegal and in violation of the Kentucky and U.S. Constitutions, and,
1. It is illegal to hold a prisoner without bond.
2. It is illegal to hold a person not convicted of a crime indefinitely under any circumstances.
3. The detentions were illegal because the District Court denied counsel to the prisoners.
4. The initiation of deportation action against the detainees violated the constitutional doctrine of seperation of powers.
And the money quote: “The fact that the detentions are illegal is not subject to reasonable debate. The initiation and ordering of these detentions by a court of law is especially baffling. In the cases before the court, the Rule Of Law has inexplicable been ignored or abandoned by the very institution entrusted to uphold it.” (emphasis mine)
I have to wonder how many of these “detainees” were sole breadwinners for their families, and jailed for something as minor as missing a stop sign? Thankfully, the 7th Circuit reins in a District Court judge before she can permanently disrupt more lives.
Hat tip: Freddy Peralta at KCCIR