Pennsylvania Judge Hits Lancaster Rioters With $1 Million Bails

There has been a controversy over the refusal of some in the media to use the word “rioters,” but one judge clearly does not see anything nuanced in the actions of those arrested rioting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania last week. Magisterial District Judge Bruce A. Roth set bail for nine of the defendants at $1 million each.  I personally view that bail as excessive under controlling case law.

Ricardo Munoz, 27, had a history of violence and mental illness, including past knife attacks. He was shot when he charged officers with a knife.  Rioting later broke out in Lancaster.

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: Lancaster police fatally shoot knife-wielding man

Twelve adults were arrested – Jamal Shariff Newman, 24; Barry Jones, 30; Frank Gaston, 43; Yoshua Dwayne Montague, 23; Matthew Modderman, 31; Talia Gessner, 18; Kathryn Patterson, 20; Taylor Enterline, 20; T-Jay Fry, 28; Dylan Davis, 28; Lee Alexander Wise, 29; Jessica Marie Lopez, 32 – for crimes ranging from arson to rioting to institutional vandalism to criminal conspiracy. Montague was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Nine were hit with the $1 million bail.

The Eighth Amendment states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”  The Court ruled in Stack v. Boyle, 342 U.S. 1 (1951), the Court ruled that bail cannot be set higher than an amount that is reasonably likely to ensure the defendant’s appearance at trial. Chief Justice Vinson stated:

“It is not denied that bail for each petitioner has been fixed in a sum much higher than that usually imposed for offenses with like penalties and yet there has been no factual showing to justify such action in this case…Such conduct would inject into our own system of government the very principles of totalitarianism which Congress was seeking to guard against in passing the statute under which petitioners have been indicted.”

I doubt that this bail would be found reasonable for all nine defendants, if any, on appeal.  The court was clearly sending a message but bail in not an appropriate vehicle for such messages.

108 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Judge Hits Lancaster Rioters With $1 Million Bails”

  1. Paging comrade Soros and the Trojan horse prosecutors…please pick up the red courtesy phone with hammer and sickle trim.
    Forward!

  2. Thank you Judge Roth! These nine Democrats are nothing but domestic terrorists, and I hope they all get long prison terms. Plus, there is a possible side benefit. The 4 or 5 white defendants are going to get to spend some up close and personal time with those wonderful People of Color! Hopefully, they will lose their phony, false and delusional beliefs about black people after some contact with reality.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. The judge is a moron. It is too late to impose “discipline” with draconian bail setting and sentencing accompanied by pious allusions to law and order. We haven’t done law and order for a long time, and that’s the problem. Law and order is not about the government’s monopoly on force; it’s about the government’s commitment to being fair and just. It is the third branch of government – the courts – that is supposed to keep that commitment and it has been failing – and I mean miserably failing – to do that for decades. It doesn’t even pretend to do it, and the members of the profession that administers the judicial branch – lawyers – are overwhelmingly nihilists who deny that fairness and justice have any meaning or content.

    That’s a formula for civil unrest. It’s just a matter of time. And it’s inevitable.

    https://strikelawyer.wordpress.com/2020/05/30/to-reiterate/

    It’s really unbelievable to me how dense a judge has to be to think he’s going to make a dent in all this by imposing an obviously unlawful bail. That’s exactly the kind of stupidity that has led to this situation in the first place. It’s also pretty depressing to see commenters here applauding the judge. I should think Professor Turley’s audience would be a little brighter.

    The problems here run so deep. All of these recent incidents – George Floyd, Jacob Blake, etc. – are just triggers.

    The underlying facts of these incidents don’t matter? You know, was it self-defense, was it a justified use of force by police, and so on.

    Of course the underlying reality doesn’t matter. That’s exactly how our courts have been behaving for decades now. That’s exactly what we have taught the populace. Now they have learned the lesson and the shoe is on the other foot, turned around on us. What do we do now? Get them to listen to reason? It’s so “too late” for that. Cave to the pressure? That will invite more pressure.

    There’s probably only one way out at this point: return to first principles like justice and fairness, or at least decency, then hang on, be patient, and take our punishment in the meantime.

    This is not something we seem able to do very well. Or at all.

  4. Compared to the continuing criminal enterprise that is the GOP, the bails absolutely are excessive.

    It’s amazing to watch the disillusion of America.

    The party in control is the insurgent party!

    We’re all toast.

  5. I think a case could be made that the high bale is justified due to the accused being an ongoing danger to the community.

    In any case, I think you’re missing the point. In “Catch and Release” states like California, a rioter gets arrested, makes bail, is back out on the street in a few hours and is back to rioting the next night.

    These people may very well get their bail reduced at a hearing, but they’re going to spend a couple of days at least in jail, keeping them off the streets that much longer, allowing things to cool down.

    Plus, as has already been demonstrated in a video I saw with a demonstration leader exhorting the demonstrators to stay out of the street to keep from getting arrested, the fact that this city and state are taking it seriously is having an impact. They know they may not be immediately released if arrested so they are much more reluctant to be arrested.

    Mission accomplished.

    Whether the action is legally defensible or not (and I think it is), it is definitely morally and pragmatically defensible.

  6. Defendants were charged with multiple crimes against many, many thousands of innocent citizens. Given bail set at $500 per defendant per criminal action perpetuated against each of say 2,000+ innocent Americans then it follows $500*2000+=$1,000,000+. I find the bail insufficient to address the criteria for terrorizing thousands of American citizens.

    For those that disagree, invite them to riot, loot, vandalize, murder innocents, and set fire to your own neighborhoods. You must get all of your neighbors to consent to your plan. Good luck with that.

    A mere million in bail compared to the costs inflicted on General Flynn by corrupt prosecutors (give me a break, 25+ phones “accidentally?” wiped clean” is trifling when compared to the corrupt Mueller gang as well as the overtly corrupt Sullivan court. The executive branch is subject to oversight only by Congress, not the Judicial Branch as Sullivan and the unruly thugs of circuit court judges pretend.

    Never in my life have I seen such legal gymnastics by the Democrat Party. The rule of law is out the door. Democrats can pass a law eliminating bail and judges obey without question. Yet corrupt prosecutors and judges can suspend General Flynn’s life for 4 years and have now decided a common unelected citizen (Gleeson) can prosecute Flynn as well as the DOJ. Ludicrous.

    The BS gets piled higher and deeper by the radical politicians, fascists that claim they oppose fascism, rioters, looters, arsonists, and murderers.

  7. Clearly Professor Turley is either lacking in courage, flagrantly hypocritical, or both, as demonstrated by his intentional failure to address the recent disclosures of corruption at the highest levels of the Justice Department, including criminal activities by Mueller, Weissmann, and scores of others, who ordered and/or deliberately destroyed evidence and obstructed justice to protect their own criminality. The fact that the mainstream media presstitutes, including Professor Turley, have desperately ignored this story is proof that they approve and of–and encourage–this criminal activity and the two-tier/double standard of “justice.”

  8. So what does the state of Pennsylvania going to do with such overtly rogue judges and prosecutor’s for imposing such fine clearly this state can see the sure flamboyant support for a idea that oppressed anything that has to do with the narrative of Anti BLM did these prosecutors and judges forget the law and there other dis Barr them and set a example to rest of Law enforcement that We the people are in charge not rogue judges and prosecutors because of the way they feel about a certain worthy situation

        1. Yep, probably a foreign country. I received a phone call from someone similar. The computer generated voicemail said “The plastic card attached to our system will be charged $500 as computer support virus. Please respond in hour or case will be sent to police to arrest you”.

  9. OT:

    Glenn Greenwald:

    “For the second time in the last year, Edward @Snowden was interviewed by @JoeRogan

    “Snowden’s first appearance was watched by 15 million people on YouTube alone — *5 times* the size of even large prime-time cable news audiences.”

    Joe Rogan Experience #1536 – Edward Snowden

    Sep 15, 2020

  10. Does not seem excessive. My Grandfather-in-law, a District Judge in Massachusetts set bail at $1 Million for a robber in 1965.

  11. Bail to High?

    Why the hell is Klye Rittenhouse still setting in jail ??????

    What the Hell about the MUR.DER of all these Cops & Citizens by these American Hating Commie AntiPhks/BLM/Dim/Rino/CEO Azzholes?

    These leading Judges/Lawyers/Reps/CEO might want to reconsider hanging out & supporting a pack of Satin Worshipping Pedophiles, Arsonist, Mur.ders, Looters & it seems every type of scum bags. Lead the Parade or get running over by it!

    Not the best video but good enough for my point. People are done waiting on that POS AG Barr to round up those animals, it’s everyone for themsleves & their family/communities.

  12. After listening to Andy Ngo and Elijah Riot, I think the bond should be higher. Celebrities are paying the bail anyway.

  13. So JT says bail is too high? It seems JT just can’t wait for the these thugs to get back out there spreading peace and love throughout the universe, in the form of Molotov cocktails, chains, clubs, arson, etc.

    JT: why don’t you and your fellow GW professors take out 2nd mortgages and help get as many of these poh folks back on the street for more mayhem ASAP?

    Oh the humanity…..

    1. JT is commenting here on a strictly legal, VIII Amendment basis and despite my contempt for these rioters, antifa and BLM, his point is smart if for no other reason than that these rioters’ lawyers will surely move for bond reductions ASAP. I don’t hear JT advocating on the merits of the rioters’ conduct.

    2. LOL:)

      To me I don’t understand why Trump hasn’t already evoked the insurrection act, patriot act & the NDAA….. held No Bail! Or sell their American hating guts (organs) to their Masters, Commie China Govt. I know that last part I wrote would put us/nation as those Scum Bag Domestic Terrorist/Enemies, Dims/Rinos.

  14. We went ’round a bend after 9/11, though things weren’t all that great beforehand. It’s taken a long time for us to get to where we are. As with a dysfunctional family, the kids are acting out.

    It won’t get better until the root causes are addressed; it won’t get better until we fix the problems.

    The question is: Do we have what it takes?

    “This Is Amerika: Where Fascism, Totalitarianism and Militarism Go Hand In Hand [SHORT]”

    By John W. Whitehead

    August 11, 2020

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/this_is_amerika_where_fascism_totalitarianism_and_militarism_go_hand_in_hand_short

  15. Bail law does permit consideration of several factors that merit consideration here, such as ones history of appearing for court in other matters and criminal history. It’s also worth noting that numerous Antifa/BLM rioters in OR and WA have been released after arrest and immediately reoffended. If these offenders can be linked to these groups I would expect the DA to argue they’re a continuing danger to the community – a regular bail law factor. Further, these groups regular post things online that promise violence. If it’s true the feds have made gains in info gathering on these people and share w locals, this is fair game.

  16. If the leadership of the riots is jetting cross-country and staying in $300/night DC hotels then it’s a fair inference that someone is paying for it. Antifa types wouldn’t use their money that way – they need it for bricks, arson accelerants, high-powered lasers & dope.

  17. Is $1 million bail too much to ask to release rioters?

    What have rioters been doing when BLM and other activists bail them out? They go right back to rioting, looting, and burning.

    So, how much is someone’s business, their livelihood, or the preservation of needed establishments like the corner grocery story worth? Democrats have created a revolving door for criminals. Business owners have been so stressed and worried, barely hanging on. Trying to stay afloat during a global pandemic, amid massive shutdowns. These business owners have families and relatives to support. Employees to keep in work. Communities to serve. When a local grocery store burns down, where are people without transportation or unable to afford fuel going to get food? But $1 million is too much to ask to either ensure these criminals take this seriously and stop engaging in mayhem, or just stay in jail and commit no more carnage.

    The only problem I have with the bail is that, to my knowledge, it is not paid into a victim’s retribution fund.

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