Monday, April 22, 2019

No Justice Found In America's Justice System

This is another one of those stories where there are so many fucked up aspects to it that how the fuck do I headline this blog post without making it really really long.

Woman Jailed For Refusing Paternity Test Demand From Abusive Ex While 7-Months Pregnant, Loses Job and Home and 39 Days of Her Life Due To Total Incompetence of Officials, Finds Out She Has Stage Four Breast Cancer After Release

That is not The Appeal's headline but it incorporates most of the fucked up shit to be found in this story.

It starts out with Adrianna Thurman being found in contempt of court when she was seven months pregnant because her ex, whom she says only did this to further stalk and harass her, filed for a paternity test and she refused. So here we have the first supremely fucked up thing. Apparently, if you're a woman and you're pregnant, an abusive ex can file for a paternity test and if you refuse based on the fact that this person is dangerous to you, you can be thrown in jail. AND, because it's a civil case, the state was not required to provide her with legal counsel.

Then there was how she was treated in jail. She wasn't able to see a doctor for two weeks despite being quite far along in her pregnancy. The jail failed to comply with her request for an extra mattress and blanket, which she was entitled because she was pregnant. They ignored her request to speak with a caseworker so she could even figure out WHY she was being held. Even when her ex tried to help, nothing.

And according to her complaint, even when her ex-boyfriend’s attorney repeatedly asked the division clerk of the court to set a hearing before the court commissioner, he refused to do so, incorrectly claiming that hearings must be initiated by jail officials.

INCORRECTLY CLAIMING so was he lying or is he that incompetent?

One of the most mindblowing parts of this story is that Thurman didn't even know why she had been arrested or why she was being held in jail.

In her complaint, Thurman charges that a series of misconduct and errors led to her lengthy incarceration. She says she was not notified that Family Court Commissioner Mary Greaves had ordered a paternity test. And when she refused to submit her children to the test and the opposing attorney filed a motion for contempt, Commissioner Greaves ordered her arrest, even though the contempt motion was never served to Thurman in person, as the law requires.

Hi yeah what the fuck? How can someone comply with a court order when they don't even know about it???

Thurman was in jail for 39 days on a charge that she didn't even know about, while pregnant, with inadequate medical care and no accommodations for her risky medical condition. Not only that, she was denied bail. All she had done was declined to submit her children to a paternity test. Her bond should have been set at a mere $100.

Thurman also argues that Missouri law dictates she was eligible for $100 bond. Her arrest order, however, stated she would be detained without bond. She was taken to Family Court the day after her arrest, but never brought before Greaves. After that, the court clerk, Michael Young, did not schedule a hearing for 36 days. When Thurman finally went before the commissioner on Nov. 8, according to her complaint, she was lectured about the paternity test and sent back to jail. Greaves’s order that day stated, “This Court will order Respondent be released when Petitioner’s attorney has reported the genetic testing has been completed.”

LECTURED. THE ASSHOLE LECTURED HER.

After this, she was able to submit her kids to the paternity test so that she could be released and fucking care for them.

After this entire clusterfuck, Thurman had lost her job and her home because she couldn't work or pay rent while locked up. Soon after, she gave birth prematurely, which is always a risk to a newborn's health.

And here is the fucked up cherry on top of this fucked up sundae:

Postnatal testing revealed she was suffering from Stage 4 breast cancer, which had gone undetected during her jail stay. A paternity test showed Rush was not the father of her children, according to the lawsuit.

So now she might die because her cancer went undetected, and in late-stage cancer, every day counts. And after all of that, the paternity test was negative, just as she said it would be.

Needless to say, Thurman is suing, and I hope she gets millions. I hope she's set for life on that settlement, if she survives her cancer. Of course, in this shithole country, her hospital bills will probably be in the millions.

I have been unable to determine if Thurman is a white woman or a woman of color, but if I were a betting woman...

Either way, this is a prime example of how our supposed "justice system" barely even functions for people who aren't rich. People's lives can just be utterly ruined over fucking nothing, or over the actions of an abusive man determined to fuck with the woman who escaped his grasp. It takes the side of abusive men, ruins women's lives, risks women's lives, and ends women's lives. At least she didn't go into labor while in prison, or else she might have been shackled and abused while giving birth.

And what does the justice system have to say about all this?

Thurman’s suit says she was informed by jail staff after her release that she had “slipped through the cracks” because they were unsure how to handle someone booked on a civil warrant.

THAT SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD BE AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR JOB THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN 39 DAYS TO FIGURE OUT OK??? And/or that is an indication that she never should have been jailed in the first place.

And people act like I'm ridiculous for being a prison abolitionist.

 

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