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Santa Clara: The Court Changed Its Tone

TODAY IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY COURT // Judge looks at her calendar and says, “I have no bail motion hearings today.” Public Defender approaches. He’s representing a young Black man in his mid-20's, sitting in the box in his orange jumpsuit.


Currently, he has no bail allowed. PD says, “That’s right, Your Honor. But the family of my client is here today who has driven all the way from another county to support their loved one who’s in custody.” He looks at mom and grandma, both who are emotional.


PD asks the family to stand. The judge stops what she’s doing from the bench, looks up and acknowledges the family. She smiles. PD also points out De-Bug in the audience and says De-Bug will be supporting the family. The judge looks and smiles again.


PD thanks the Judge and asks to set a date for a bail hearing. DA says he can’t do the date and tries to set it further another month. Judge then states, can someone stand in for you? Humphrey Hearing set for June 1st.


Prior to seeing the family and community, the court was moving along its business. But upon recognizing our presence, the court changed its tone. Proof that family and community presence can disrupt the assembly line of the courts