18 months in jail without arraignment

From the Dothan Eagle:

A Houston County judge reduced the bail for a local meth trafficking suspect to $10,000 after he’d served over 17 months behind bars.

District Court Judge Benjamin Lewis granted a bail reduction request by attorney Eric Davis for his client Kevin Lee Stephens, 39, of Cowarts.

Houston County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Stephens in March 2012 and charged him with trafficking meth, first-degree manufacturing meth and the felony possession of precursor chemicals.

Lewis reduced Stephens bail to $10,000 for each of the trafficking and manufacturing charges and $5,000 for the possession of precursor chemicals charge.

Davis asked the court to reduce his client’s bail, which had been set at $175,000 for both the trafficking and manufacturing offenses based on his client having been in jail for nearly a year and a half with no indictment.

Assistant District Attorney Jarrod Blumberg said a rush had been placed on the lab work submitted to the state Department of Forensic Sciences.

Lewis said he made his ruling because the defendant had already spent nearly 18 months in jail.

According to an earlier Dothan Eagle report, deputies arrested Stephens and Aaron Dewayne Tillery after seizing 3.5 ounces of meth from a meth lab located on Bluff Springs Road in Cowarts.

Here is the link to the previous arrest article.

I don’t like meth and I don’t like meth dealers, but I hate when you can throw someone in jail for 18 months without an indictment.  If our justice system can throw Kevin Stevens in jail for 18 months without a “A written accusation charging that an individual named therein has committed an act or omitted to do something that is punishable by law” then they can do it to me.  Or, for that matter, you too…


Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


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