If the trumped up charges were not enough, Magistrate B. Wakil compounded problems by placing a $1 million bail against Crystal Mangum. What could justify such a high bail, you ask? It must undoubtedly be the charge of attempted first degree murder that was lodged against Ms. Mangum by the arresting police. The best I can tell, as the police reports are really vague, sketchy, and non-existent when it comes to details, Ms. Mangum, after seeing her ex-boyfriend re-enter her apartment following their earlier encounter, allegedly lunged forward towards him and shouted something to the effect that, “I’m going to stab you.” Although she may have uttered those words, police did not record her as having any implement with which to carry out her threat. In fact, she was never recorded as having anything in her hands, except clothes which she allegedly placed in the bathtub. This, of course, is a total fabrication, as she never carried clothes in the officers’ presence, and the bathroom door was closed until Durham Police Officer Tyler kicked it in (long after Ms. Mangum was handcuffed). Anyway, the alleged forward movement by Ms. Mangum coupled with the words “I’m going to stab you,” constituted grounds for attempted first degree murder.
Compare this with the case of Labrian Lynch who had a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. During the dispute, Mr. Lynch stabbed his girlfriend in the leg with a knife. To escape from him, she jumped out of the car which they occupied, and ran into the street where she was struck by another car. She was taken to the emergency room, then hospitalized for treatment. Mr. Lynch was arrested on the charge of “assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury.” Now, he was not charged with “attempted first degree murder” even though he did, in fact, stab his girlfriend. In other words, you won’t be charged with attempted first degree murder if you stab someone, but you will be charged with attempted first degree murder if you lunge, unarmed, towards someone and say, “I’m going to stab you.” This is the sort of thing that makes North Carolina’s justice system the laughing stock of the country.
Mr. Lynch’s bail was set at $60,000, a fraction of the initial $1million bail for Ms. Mangum on trumped up charges. And when Mr. Lynch’s bail was satisfied, he was told not to have contact with his girlfriend. He was not put under electronic house arrest with an anklet. Yet, Crystal Mangum, a victim of domestic violence who posed no flight risk or threat to society was placed under house arrest after satisfying a $100,000 bail. Why? I don’t know, but it is my understanding that the condition requiring Ms. Mangum to be place under house arrest in the event that she bonded out came from District Court Judge Claude Allen. He was the first judge to sit in on a hearing for Ms. Mangum after her arrest, and he reduced her bail from $1million to $250,000. When he did so, he put in place the condition that if she bonded out, she would be required to be placed under electronic house arrest.
To my knowledge, Judge Allen never explained why he felt that it was necessary to impose this punitive and burdensome condition on Ms. Mangum in a case that a cursory look would tell anyone that the charges were bogus. Judge Allen, furthermore had no reason to believe that Ms. Mangum would be a flight risk, as she was born in Durham, had spent most of her life in Durham (with the exception of a couple of years while serving in the U.S. Navy), had three children in Durham, had no car or means of transportation, and had not the financial wherewithal to pick up and move elsewhere. Was Judge Allen’s action in requiring house arrest on a defendant who had bonded out arbitrary? To determine whether or not it was the rule or the exception to the rule would necessitate an investigation of how Judge Allen handled other similar cases. If I knew Judge Allen’s past history, I could more accurately determine the motives for his peculiar house arrest ruling. However, until I have more data, I am inclined to believe that his action in requiring monitoring of Ms. Mangum was directly due to his desire to adhere to the Carpetbagger Jihad agenda, which calls for the malicious and vindictive treatment of those determined by the Powers-That-Be to be on the wrong-end of the Duke Lacrosse case. Whether or not it was a conscious or subconscious decision is another matter that might be considered for debate. The mainstream media’s success in playing Jedi mind-tricks on the public is a powerful force which should not be underestimated.
Only Judge Claude Allen has an idea as to the reasons why he made the condition that Ms. Mangum be placed under house arrest in the event she was able to bond out. I think that it is important for him to explain the reasoning behind that determination. My opinion is that he set forth that condition as a last-ditch measure to assure that in the unlikely event Ms. Mangum was able to bond out, that she would still be under the control of the prosecutor… that the prosecutor would still have a bargaining chip with which to try and secure a plea deal with Ms. Mangum.
I am aware of only one other case in which the condition was in place that if a defendant bonded out he/she would be placed under house arrest. This is the case of a suspected rape defendant named Gregory Boykin, and it took place a couple of month after Judge Allen’s ruling in the Mangum case. Someone, I believe a magistrate, set bail at $500,000 (half the initial bail of Ms. Mangum) and set a condition that if he bonded out, he would be required to be under electronic house arrest (the same conditions that Ms. Mangum faced). Two days later, however, Mr. Boykin’s case was brought before the Honorable Judge Jennifer Knox, who reduced his bail to $300,000, and dismissed the condition that he would have to be placed under house arrest if he satisfied bail. In other words, he would be treated like everyone else who satisfied bail… he would be free until his case came to trial. The reasons Judge Knox struck down the house arrest condition for Mr. Boykin I do not know, but I believe that she did it because it was the fair, ethical and moral thing to do.
I applaud the Honorable Judge Knox for doing the right thing in Gregory Boykin’s case. Judges Paul Ridgeway and Michael Morgan, who have sat on hearings before Crystal Mangum, both failed to fully address the house arrest and monitoring issue, and let it stand. It is Judge Allen, however, who owes all an explanation for imposing the electronic monitoring issue in the first place. An explanation is due in order to satisfy questions of fairness and impartiality in our state’s justice system. Until a logical reason for implementing the house arrest condition is forthcoming from Judge Allen, faith in the state’s system of justice will be lacking.
To test your comprehension on a recent topic about MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst Susan Filan, visit the link below and click on Quiz 9. You will be graded.