Friday, June 13, 2014

Contempt of Court

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 5:30 AM

I remain utterly disheartened about any chance of real, meaningful aid coming to victims of domestic violence in this city. As you may recall, Brian Haas spent much of this winter writing story after story about just how bad our system treats domestic violence victims and then we got all this bullshit about how appalled everyone is and how the city is making all these efforts to improve the situation. Blah blah fucking blah.

And now this story about David Chase allegedly getting the chance to beat the shit out of his girlfriend twice in the same day because Judge Casey Moreland decided, apparently based on the word of Chase's lawyer, that she wasn't really Chase's girlfriend. Oh, well, then, of course! That makes perfect sense.

No, wait. It makes no sense. How does a judge hear someone say "My client is in jail for beating this woman, but he shouldn't have to be held for the whole 12 hours because she wasn't really his girlfriend." and go along with it? Why would you just assume the dude sitting in jail was telling the truth? And, frankly, why does it matter? The lawyer's argument was not that he didn't hit the woman, but that she wasn't his girlfriend. So, it's not as serious a problem if you're running around beating up women you know who you don't consider yourself to be dating? Judge Moreland was all "Oh, he didn't beat up his girlfriend, he just beat up a girl friend, like a friend who is a girl. Let that poor man out?!?"

The story, from the Tennessean, gets worse:

Moreland said his "heart just fell" when he heard about Chase's second round of charges.

"Other than the victim, nobody feels any worse than I do about what happened," he said.

Judge Moreland, let me assure you, that's not true. You're just embarrassed. All the police officers who try to encourage domestic violence victims to leave their abusers, who assure them that their assailants are in jail and will remain in jail long enough for the victims to get a good head-start on running away and who now know that the encouragement they're providing to those victims is a lie feel worse than you do. All the people who work with domestic violence victims, who now know that the cooling off period is a lie feel worse than you. Everyone who knows they need to leave their abusers who sees this story and has to imagine that their abuser could show up mere hours after being arrested and who decides the risk of calling the police isn't worth it feels a lot worse and scared than you do.

But that's not the worst of it:

Taken before Judge Thomas Nelson for the second arrest, the 12-hour hold was waived again and bond set at $15,000. Chase was later released. Why the hold was waived again isn't clear in court records.

Note that's not the same judge. So, you can be accused of assaulting a woman, get your 12-hour hold waved, allegedly beat her again, and another judge will wave your 12-hour hold again.

And, again, that's not even the worst of it:

"Both Mr. Chase and I respect domestic violence victims' rights, and we do not stand for or believe in domestic violence," [Bryan Lewis, Chase's attorney] said.

Nobody stands for domestic violence, but, in Nashville, not enough people stand against it.

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