Use common sense in setting bond

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The last thing law enforcement officers need is to feel other parts of the justice system are working against them.

Earlier this week, the actions of Adams County Justice Court Judge Patricia Dunmore seemed to run counter to that logic.

Dunmore released a man on his own recognizance less than 48 hours after the man was allegedly found in possession of illegal drugs and led sheriff’s deputies on a foot chase. The man ultimately had to be subdued with a stun gun multiple times before he would comply with officers.

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Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten called the case “disheartening.”

He also said, “We need a better solution than this.”

The sheriff is correct.

While Dunmore certainly has the right, legally, to release the man on his promise to return to court, we understand the frustration law enforcement officers face when they drive down the road and see a man walking free just a day or so after he physically fled and then fought with deputies.

Logic would dictate that a person who flees from law enforcement officers should, by the law of common sense, be forced to put up something other than his word to gain release from jail.

Running from the police is not something law-abiding, honest people do.

In defending her actions, Dunmore said the purpose of bond is not to punish the individual, but to ensure they will return to court.

We agree with her, however, we also know that state law gives judges the leeway to make sound, logical judgments. But the law cannot make judges exercise good sense. They have to do that on their own.

Adams County needs and expects better.