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Cleveland Municipal Judge says he will no longer send low-level offenders awaiting trial to jail

Posted at 9:38 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 23:14:56-04

Judge Michael Nelson is taking a stand after six Cuyahoga County Jail inmates died over the past four months.

"Everybody's antenna should be going up and everybody should be alarmed," said Judge Nelson.

The Cleveland Municipal Court Judge said from now on when someone is arraigned in his court room on a low level offense, he will no longer send them to jail while they're awaiting trail.

"People being held in jail on $1,500 bonds, you might as well send them home," he said.

The judge is making this bold move after yet another person was found dead in the Cuyahoga County jail this week.

"Any citizen in this community should be concerned and I was alarmed, I said you've got to be kidding," said Judge Nelson.

Of the six recent deaths, one was ruled a suicide and one accidental, but the other four are still undetermined.

Most of those inmates were awaiting trial on low level charges.

"We're not cave men anymore, we have methods of monitoring individuals," said the judge. "There will be that occasional incident when someone slips through but by and large we have all the technology that we need in place to monitor and ensure that a person acts right while they're on bond."