Why did judge set $1M bond in Madison?

Although I am a throw-the-book-at-’em citizen, I have to wonder what Municipal Judge Ed Hannan was thinking when he set the alleged shooter’s bond at $1 million. Even the city prosecutor had to be surprised.

Isiah Sanders, 23, is accused of shooting Curtis James Tuesday, then fleeing the scene before being tracked down by police. Two men also charged, Ferlando Esco and Michael Terrel Johnson, fled the scene.

James was taken to University Medical Center. He is recovering from a gunshot wound to the back. No one knows how this started. Does it matter anyway?

What does matter is that as bad as this crime was, as much as I take it as a personal affront that such callous behavior took place with kids nearby, the justice system has not been fair by requiring such a high bond. Bonds are set by guidelines and are not meant to be punitive.

The judge was able to level such a high punishment because Sanders still has a pending charge of strong-armed robbery in Florida and poses a flight risk.

I’m not buying it. People live in Madison because, well, it’s Madison. It’s a slice of Americana that comes without the TV show. Good schools. Stable families. Quality housing stock. No criminals.

When reporters asked the police chief how often this kind of crime occurs in Madison, the poor man was at a loss for words. “This is a new one on me.” The mayor said it’s been at least 26 years since such a crime happened.

Clarion Ledger
6/19/5