Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Judge: Swine flu is reason to suspend constitutional rights:
Delays caused by lockdown are costing thousands of dollars, inconveniencing jurors.
SANTA ANA – A Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that there is legal justification to keep the Central Men’s Jail under medical quarantine – at least for a couple of days – to control a swine flu outbreak.
Judge Thomas Goethals said the “significant medical public health event” in the men’s jail is good cause to temporarily suspend constitutional guarantees to speedy trials, preliminary hearings and arraignments for some criminal case defendants.
He made his ruling over the objections of the county public defender’s office and the alternate defender’s office after a special 90-minute hearing on the status of the health scare in the main men’s jail, which usually houses 800 to 900 inmates.

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