Bearing Witness

by John Vodicka

“In most places, when people hear about or see something that is a symbol or representation or evidence of slavery or the slave trade or lynching, the instinct is to cover it up, to get rid of it, to destroy it.” 

Bryan Stevenson 

I’ve decided to step back from the rigorous courtwatching I’ve been doing these … Read the rest

Finding your way out of Misdemeanorland

By John Cole Vodicka

I posted a $1 – yes, one dollar! – cash bond on Friday afternoon to get Terry B. out of jail. Mr. B. had been locked up nine days. He’d been charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing/damage to property.

Because the State tacked on “family violence” to the charge, a new Georgia law prohibits any judge from setting a non-cash bond … Read the rest

Shackled to a system designed to separate, shame

“Like Jim Crow (and slavery), mass incarceration operates as a tightly networked system of laws, policies, customs, and institutions that operate collectively to ensure the subordinate status of a group defined largely by race.”

– Michelle Alexander

By John Cole Vodicka

Friends, we must acknowledge the 400 years of injustice that haunt us.

After enslaved African Americans arrived in Virginia … Read the rest