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"Excessive Bail"
Is Tantamount To No Bail At All

''This traditional right to freedom before conviction permits the unhampered preparation of a defense, and serves to prevent the infliction of punishment prior to conviction. . . . Unless this right to bail before trial is preserved, the presumption of innocence, secured only after centuries of struggle, would lose its meaning.''1

The following report from Sharif contains this addition: Dear Kay: The article "Excessive Bail" has very strong points. That article is absolutely accurate with the exception of the erroneous reference to the Stalking charge being a class A Misdemeanor, and that mistake was made based on the erroneous information that my court-appointed attorney John H. Read II  told us. The Fake Drugs article is also on point with respect to Cathy and the dishonesty of the police and prosecutors.Although it's happening to me I still can't believe how deceitful these people are. In truth, I am embarrassed to tell my friends that these sort of things are still going on here in Texas in the 21st Century.Wow, this is a real nightmare! 

BAIL

Bail is required to be set within twelve hours of the issuance of a complaint. All defendants have a right to bail under our state constitution. If bail is posted, defendants are released until the charges listed in the complaint are resolved. Defendants can be required to post funds or property to assure that they will appear in court in the future. They may be required to deposit funds or property with the criminal division manager in exchange for a promise to appear. If defendants have significant ties to the community, or no criminal history, they may be considered for a Release on Own Recognizance or R.O.R., which is an affidavit certifying that they are aware of the charges levied against them, and will appear in court to face them. Defendants may also be required to give a personal bond, which is a promise to appear or face a judgment , whereby a specified amount of money is forfeited. Some defendants pay a bail bondsman to post funds on their behalf. These defendants may be ordered to post a higher bail, or have no bail set. They will remain in jail until the charges are disposed. If they are released and appear in court as required, bail money may be refunded in full upon case resolution or disposition. Once defendants are released, bail is discharged to the surety.

The purpose of the bail in criminal matters is**:

1.       To give assurance that the defendant in a criminal trial will appear

2.    To enable defendant to stay out of jail until a trial has found them guilty

3.    To enable defendant to work freely with attorney to prepare for trial.

4.    To prevent inflicted punishment prior to conviction

5.    To ensure defendant submits to sentence if found guilty

**FINDLAW  http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/

SHARIF'S BAIL

Magistrate Judge Lela Mays set Amir-Sharif's bail at $150,000.00, in effect "a ransom" and is tantamount to no bail at all, but that is the bail amount she has ordered for Amir-Sharif based on misleading and deceptive affidavits submitted to her by the police so that they could obtain a arrest warrant. This is a common practice among police throughout the country, and its apparent the Dallas/Farmers Branch police aren't any different.  Nevertheless, the bail seems especially high given that there has been no verified physical injuries, nor physcial threats or violence perpetrated on the 'victim', plus the absent of any tangible or other credible evidence to substaniate that the crime ever occurred and that Amir-Sharif is the possible culprit. 

Bail Investigations

Bail investigations may be ordered by a Superior Court judge of the Criminal Division. Criminal Division bail investigators or case supervisors collect information on the defendant's ties or standing in the community. Identifying information is collected, including the names, addresses dates of birth, employment, criminal record, mental health and drug abuse history. These investigations are conducted by professionals working for the court. They investigate and report on a defendant's amenability to bail or bail supervision. Bail investigation reports consider the seriousness of the offense and the severity of punishment upon conviction, as well as the defendant's family ties and financial status. All of these factors are considered in light of the probability that the defendant will appear for trial or other court events. Case supervisors or bail investigators report to the judge, who hears evidence from the defense and prosecution and decides the amount and form of bail to be set, if any.

The prosecution's supposed “victim/witness” is a heartbroken and vengeful ex-girlfriend named Cathy Jonette Hawkins who has changed her story each time she tells it.  One observer stated, “the only thing missing from Ms. Hawkins ‘fairy tale’ story is "Once upon a time". 

Yet despite these facts, on November 17, 2005, Dallas District Court Judge Manny Alvarez went through the perfunctory motions and then denied the Writ of Habeas Corpus filed, which challenged the $150,000.00 bail placed on Amir-Sharif’s freedom as excessive in violation of the Texas Constitution and US Constitution.

To infer from the fact of the indictment alone a need for bail in an unusually high amount is an arbitrary act. The factors a court/judge is to consider when setting the amount of a defendants bail are:

1.          The nature of the alleged crime

2.          The strength/ weakness of evidence against defendant

3.          Defendant's ties to community

4.          Defendant's financial status

5.          Whether of not defendant is a flight risk

**Bail set at a figure higher than an amount reasonably calculated to ensure the asserted governmental interest 25 is 'Excessive' under The 8th Amendment...  "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Many people are asking the same questions, “How does Judge Alvarez believe his actions proper and justified in refusing to reduce the $150,000.00 ransom which was originally set by Magistrate Judge Lela Mays on October 12, 2005, following Amir-Sharif’s arrest?” 

If Amir-Sharif was a real threat, either to the “victim” or community, or was he a real flight risk, he had three weeks to act out after being informed of Ms. Hawkins mendacious accusation and told that he faced possibly being indicted by the Grand Jury. 

Amir-Sharif didn’t flee, nor did any harm befall upon Ms. Hawkins.  In fact, Amir-Sharif visited the Frank Crowley Courthouse on many occasions thereafter, in preparation for a hearing in a protective order matter sought by this same “victim.” (See: In the Matter of Cathy J. Hawkins And Lakeith Amir-Sharif Cause No. CV-05-00157-V-292nd; Appeal Cause No. 05-0600446)
http://5thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/search_c.html

His arrest occurred inside the protective order court where he had come on October 11, 2005 to plead his case.  Are these the actions of an alleged stalker?  A guilty man?  NO!!!

Amir-Sharif had faith that our justice system works, but once again it has failed him, indeed, failed each of us, which is an all too common occurrence for low-income defendants who are accused of a crime in this country.

(See: the "Fake Drug Scandal" reports and the news accounts about the 400 + applications from Dallas-area prisoners seeking DNA tests to prove their innocence and the news accounts about the "15" recently exonerated men [and counting]  from Dallas County who have been freed after spending nearly  200 years behind bars. Manny D. Alvarez is one of the judges responsible for these miscarriages of justice;Charles Chatman has Judge Alvarez to thank for the 27-years he spent behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Will Sharif share a similar fate? Only time will tell. 

Amir-Sharif had faith in the Farmers Branch and Dallas County police department and their investigators assigned to search for the facts and seek out the truth.

Even when the rest of the country was already aware of the abuse of power by Dallas County police & prosecutors and the careless methods and erroneous results of many criminal investigations/prosecutions, Sharif had faith in the Dallas D.A."s office and its investigators to do the right thing, who, after all, were entrusted with a collective obligation, responsibility and duty of exercising the professionalism necessary to conduct careful, thorough and accurate investigations, investigations which follow the verifiable and documentable facts available to a more complete picture of guilt or innocence of wrong doing. Rather, in Sharif's case as well as many others defendants, they have produced reckless and slipshod investigations that rely solely on the far-fetched, irrational, inconsistent and uncorroborated accusations of people like Ms. Hawkins. 

Judge Alvarez has undeniably overlooked or intentionally ignored some very significant factors that favor at the very least Amir-Sharif’s right to being granted a reasonable bail, or having the bogus charges dismissed all together. SEVERAL of these factors overlooked or ignored are as follows:

1.          Amir-Sharif is an Honorably Discharged Veteran (who is also disabled).

2.          As pointed out before, he has proven he is NOT a flight risk

3.         He has “NEVER” knowingly and/ or intentionally failed to appear in any court whenever his presence was required.

4.         He has “NEVER” been charged nor convicted of jumping bail. In fact, by reading this site, you must be aware, Sharif is not the type to run from any problem.

5.         He “DOES NOT” have any other felony charges pending against him in Texas or any other state.

6.         He has five daughters ranging in ages from 3-months old to sixteen years old, who are dependent upon him for support.  He would "NEVER" abandon them.

7.         He has strong and constructive ties to the community. He has many family members in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, plus a host of relatives and friends scattered across the state of Texas.  Earlier this year, he was attending college at a local community campus.  Amir-Sharif has volunteered his time to work with worthy causes/ organizations such as:  S.T.E.P.S. (Skills to Empower People Socially) of Irving, TX, Buckner Orphan Programs (Dallas, TX), Boys Club (Dallas, TX), Vision Regeneration (Lancaster, TX).  Also to his credit is his volunteering with relief efforts at Reunion Arena for the victims of the Hurricane Katrina.  His favorite place of worship is Friendship West Baptist Church and  IBOC/Inspiring Body of Christ (Dallas, TX).

8.          He is legally indigent and he doesn’t have the financial resources to post a surety bond in excess of $1,000.00.

9.         Finally, he has “NEVER” previously been convicted of any violent crime in Texas or any other state; he has “NEVER” previously been convicted of stalking and has “NEVER” been convicted of violating the October 6, 2005 Protective Order (Case No. CV-05-00157-V-292nd). 

According to Texas Law TX criminal code for stalking and protective order code says violations will be prosecuted as a felony if stalking or assaults occurred* the offense of stalking (according to the erroneus information provided to Sharif by defense Attorney John H. Read II) is a “Class A Misdemeanor”; unless the defendant has been convicted in the past of violating a valid protective order then a defendant can be charged with felony stalking.

*Tx Protective Order information under Family Law section.* 

What MTWT has discovered about the Texas felony stalking statute sec.42.072 is that there "must" be more than one reported  incident of stalking before Sharif can be lawfully charged. With this being the law Sharif's bond is not only excessive and unconstitutional, but that his detention itself on this charge is unlawful.

It’s also worthy to note that on October 31, 2005, when contacted by members of Amir-Sharif’s family, counsel of record, John H Read, II “promised” he would file an appeal if Judge Alvarez denied the Writ of Habeas.  As of March 07, 2006, there are no court records showing that an appeal has been filed by Attorney Read.

[To challenge bail as excessive, one must move for a reduction, and if that motion is denied appeal to the Court of Appeals, and if unsuccessful then to the Supreme Court Justice sitting for that circuit.27]

The excessiveness of Amir-Sharif's bail is even more suspicious when viewed  in contrast to the bails given in the following cases:

1.Plano, TX Soccer coach and the Dallas, Plano and Irving, Texas police officers during March 2006, who are accused of acts of indecency involving minor children had bails set at $15,000.00 or less. nbsp;

2. $200,000.00 bail set for Andrea Yates, Houston mother, accused of  murdering her "5 children". This bail was granted after conviction was overturned by court of  criminal appeals

3. Global Limo owner, Jim Maples, released on personal recognizance Feb. 01, 2006, in light of being accused of acts that contributed to the fiery deaths of "23 elderly" nursing home patients/evacuees trying to escape Hurricane Rita.  p>

4. Former SMU police officer Dennis Hickman Admits involvement and is at the center of an arson-murder investigation. He was given a $50,000 bail

5. Arlington Pastor Terry Hornbuckle, charged with 3 counts of sexual assault and violating conditions of previous bails set by using cocaine/drugs is given multiple bail opportunities.

6. Cadillac Heights - 2 arrested in robbery and beating death of another male. Lewis Jimenez 37, and Johnny Fonseca 38. Bail was set $500,000

7. March 29, 2006 Robert D. Stephenson charged with retaliation, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated kidnapping - held and tortured her for 19-days-bail set at $250,000.

Other links---- and Farmers Branch Chief Jimmy Fawcett accused of making racist.

Ironically, on November 22, 2005, the Dallas D.A.'s office decided to go back nine (9) months and spruce up allegation by Ms. Hawkins from a questionable February 10, 2005 car accident involving this same "victim" "who was driving without any car insurance", and charged Amir-Sharif with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (a car) causing bodily injury. Once again there is "NO" evidence this ""victim"" was injured. There is "NO" evidence nor witnesses to cooroborate Ms. Hawkins story that this crime ever occurred and that Amir-Sharif was actually involved. Ms. Hawkins alleged that Sharif ran his car into other cars before hitting the car she was driving, yet the police report states they found no evidence to support this allegation. 

To add to these injustices, as of April 2006 Judge Manny Alvarez has blatantly violated the United States and Texas Constitution by refusing to even set set a bail in the non-capital aggravated assault offense/Cause No.F0559639. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 1.07 and 1.09 " guarantees every defendant the right to reasonable bail in non-capitol offense, and this code is backed by the Texas and United States Constitutions. 

Legal FYIs you might find interesting. 

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure: 
a-article 1.07- right to bail 
b article 1.09- cruelty forbidden
c article 17.01 Bail 
d article 17.15- Rules for fixing amount of bail 
e article 17.151 Release because of delay
f article 17.33- request setting of bail 

Art. 17.15. Rules for fixing amount of bail

The amount of bail to be required in any case is to be regulated by the court, judge, magistrate or officer taking the bail; they are to be governed in the exercise of this discretion by the Constitution and by the following rules:

1. The bail shall be sufficiently high to give reasonable assurance that the undertaking will be complied with.

2. The power to require bail is not to be so used as to make it an instrument of oppression.

3. The nature of the offense and the circumstances under which it was committed are to be considered.

4. The ability to make bail is to be regarded, and proof may be taken upon this point.

5. The future safety of a victim of the alleged offense and the community shall be considered.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 588, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

From the Texas Constitution:

Sec. 13 - EXCESSIVE BAIL OR FINES; CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT; REMEDY BY DUE COURSE OF LAW

[100] 1. The Texas Constitution - Art 1 - Sec 13

 2ND TIME AROUND

The Accuser - Cathy J. Hawkins
http://www.angelfire.com/crazy4/texas/cathyhawkins.html