Several days ago , I read a post by Scott Greenfield on his blog Simple Justice . The theme of the post is that the courthouse has changed from a place where the average citizen could seek a fair trial to one dominated by the government. For example , Greenfield noted that the presence of policeman from manning the metal detectors to the display of firearms has changed the fabric of the courthouse from one of justice to that of a place of law enforcement. I read the article and agreed with the conclusions then I had court in Murfreesboro , Tn. which drove the point home.
Domestic violence cases in Rutherford County are handled differently from most places in Tennessee. Here’s the deal:
- As the court calls the docket , it refers the alleged victim to a domestic violence coordinator who is not affiliated with the District Attorney’s office.
- The alleges victim is interviewed by the domestic violence coordinator who I have been advised may make recommendations to the Assistant District attorney that is handling the case.
- Then the Assistant District Attorney interviews the alleged victim.
The whole point is the process where the court refers the witness to be interviewed. Is the court now a referee of the law or an active participant in the enforcement of the laws.Secondly , guess who funds these domestic violence coordinators in Rutherford County , Tennessee ? The defendants who pay court costs in criminal cases in General Sessions Courts in Rutherford county. I have been advised that a fee is assessed as court costs for all criminal cases except driving offenses to pay for these domestic violence coordinators. So , a MTSU student is convicted of simple possession of marijuana , he or she pays a fee to support this program. Is that court costs assessment fair or constitutional ?