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Court's inability to act sees woman toil away in jail

The potential failings of the criminal justice system are many. For example, prosecutors can leverage harsh penalty sentences (like mandatory minimums) to essentially force a defendant to accept a plea deal. But that's just one example: there are also examples of police misconduct, criminal rights violations, clerical errors, botched investigations and tainted evidence that show the justice system isn't always kind to the defendant, nor correct in a more general sense.

Here's another example: a 34-year-old woman spent six months in jail when she was actually sentenced to just two days.

How could this happen? Well, the woman violated her drug program and was sentenced to two days in jail until a court provided further orders. This was done without the woman even having the benefit of a hearing, or even legal counsel. So she received this minor sentence -- but a clerical error meant that the judge of that court never provided further orders. As a result, the woman sat in a jail cell for half a year until a deputy prosecutor noticed the mistake.

She was eventually freed, but as you can see, there were numerous failings in this episode that cost the 34-year-old a huge amount of time. This is why it is vital for anybody who is accused of a crime to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. They will protect your rights and make sure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.

It is unknown if the woman will pursue legal action against the court, but she would certainly have a good case.

Source: News and Tribune, "'A BIG SCREW UP:' Woman sentenced to two days in Clark County jail serves five months," Gary Popp, Jan. 24, 2014

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