The California Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of 18 criminal cases, two of them felonies, in Riverside County on Monday.Â All were dismissed because the state does not have enough judges to hear them.
In addition to the 18 criminal cases, over 300 criminal cases were up for appeal.Â All of these were also dismissed.Â The defendants are feeling quiet victorious about these decisions.
Who is to blame?Â The court blamed the problem on the state's failure to hire more judges.
Chief Justice Ronald M. George, writing for the court, said Riverside County's "congested criminal caseload represented a chronic" problem.
Riverside's growing population has contributed to the lack of judges and increase in crime.
All of the defendants had declined to waive their rights to a speedy trial, forcing a trial judge to dismiss the charges because there were no courtrooms available. Two had been felony cases.
Riverside County prosecutors challenged the dismissal. They felt that every judge, in every courtroom, should have been used for these cases.Â Including judges in juvenile, family law and probate.
How can the judges or state explain this decision to the person or business that was expecting a fair ruling and justice?
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