73 year old church lady imprisoned for 'looting' food

A perfect parable of New Orleans Justice:

Merlene Maten, a 73-year-old church deaconess, never before in trouble with the law, spent two weeks in jail after a judge (I'm STILL LOOKING FOR HIS NAME) set her bail at $50,000.

Her offense? Police say the grandmother from New Orleans took $63.50 in goods from a looted deli the day after Katrina struck

Maten was moved from a parish jail to a state prison an hour away. Her daughter had evacuated to Texas. And the original judge who set $50,000 bail by phone -- 100 times the maximum $500 fine under state law for minor thefts -- hadn't returned a week's worth of calls. She's been IN for two weeks.


Mieke said...

I am sure you've read by now she was released today, but have not dropped the charges. I want to know the name of the judge too.

Anonymous said...

Why can't judges be fined/imprisoned/disbarred for exceeding the statutorily imposed punishment. I mean, isn't that breaking the law as well? Isn't it breaking the law in a much more frightening and serious manner than a single act of petit larceny by an old lady? If I attempted to extort $50,000 from a 73 year old lady, my ass would go to prison.

Anonymous said...

If our Gov. would have done what they were supposed to she would not have had to take food. I would have done the same thing. Drop the charges!!!!!!! Shame on you for taking her to jail!!!!!!!!!!!!!